Prepare for Transition Before You Do It

So, you've done your duty and served your country, but now it's time to leave the military.  What happens next?  This is a common question for those transitioning from the military and the process can be hectic. To reduce the stress of moving from one stage of life into another, it helps to be ready.  Being prepared when you leave active duty is crucial to a smooth transition back into the civilian world.  This requires some prior thought and planning as to what you'd like to do and where you see your life heading after your service.

The first thing to do is to really think about what you'd like to do.  This is the fun part of planning your future because you haven't made any solid decisions or commitments.  What did you think about being when you were younger?  Perhaps you dreamed of being a doctor, or a fireman, or a chef.  The sky is the limit during this pre-decision phase and it gives you the opportunity to really dream big about your future.  Pay special attention to what you like to do in your off time and what kinds of skills you've acquired in the military.  These can be very helpful when deciding what type of career you want to pursue next.

After narrowing your ideas down to a few career choices, do some research to determine how to go about accomplishing this goal.  What does it take to be a landscape architect?  Should you go back to school?  Make some solid career goals and stick to them.  Use the regimented skills the military taught you to your benefit by creating a timeline to stay on track and then go for it.

The military teaches you to be prepared for any and all types of situations and this is the perfect time to put that training into action.  Transitioning from military to civilian life can be daunting, however, planning accordingly for life after the military will ease some of the stress of transitioning and allow for a more confident start to this new stage of your life.

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