Transitioning from military to civilian life isn’t easy. After years of discipline and the fast pace of military life, you may have trouble adjusting back to life that sometimes has little direction or planning. Here are 5 tips for how to make the transition easier:
Set New Goals
Service members are great at setting goals and reaching them. When you leave the service, you might find that you miss the adrenaline rush that came with your service to Uncle Sam. Now is the time to set new goals. Sign up for a marathon and create a training plan. Join a bodybuilding program or a hiking club. There are all kinds of ways for adrenaline junkies to find new adventures.
See Where Your Education Applies
Service members learn practical skills. Whether you learned transportation logistics or how to service airplanes, chances are you have some valuable skills that employers are looking for. College and universities may be eager to help you find ways to apply your training towards a degree. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 10 percent of veterans have a master’s degree. You may find that you can apply your skills towards a masters in electrical engineering or another similar discipline. Getting some education can help you kick start your civilian career at a high level.
Find a Support Network
Veterans love to help other veterans. You should never feel alone. There are veteran associations and other social groups to support people just like you who are making the move to civilian life. Take advantage of local community events to honor veterans like you. These events can remind you that you’re not alone and that the community appreciates your service.
Fix Your Finances
You might find that you’re having trouble with your finances. Without a housing allowance and other perks, you’re on your own for managing your paycheck. Now is the time to sit down with a financial adviser. Make a plan for your hard-earned dollars, create a budget, and make sure you’re on track for retirement and other goals. Your future self will thank you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
You may not realize how much your military career affected you until after you’ve retired. It might take days, weeks or months to realize that you’re struggling with the slow pace of civilian life, struggling with PTSD or having a hard time with individuals who want to make it known that they don’t appreciate your sacrifice. If you’re feeling this way, there are people that can help. There are counselors, support groups and other individuals that want to help. They’ve been there before, and they can offer their ideas and suggestions.
Making the Move
Transitioning from military service isn’t easy. Your military life might be the only adult life you’ve ever known. However, there are things that you can do in order make the transition easier. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and explore your options to create new goals and find new opportunities.