Every year, thousands of people leave the military and return to civilian life. For many, it is a welcome process. Finally, they have a chance to put themselves first and follow their passions outside of the armed services.
For others, though, it is a massive challenge. Returning to regular life isn’t as easy as they initially expect. All of a sudden, they have to direct their affairs and can’t rely on a commander barking orders from on high.
Building a thriving career after the military can be difficult, but it is possible. You can create a work-life that allows you to thrive just as much as you did while you were in the armed services. It just requires a particular approach.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at the concept of “rebootcamp.” You’ll learn the steps that you need to take to build a thriving career, even if you’re a vet (and you’ve known nothing but the military your entire life). And you’ll find out how you need to adjust your mindset to deal with an entirely different world.
Accept That Civilian Life Is Voluntary
When you spend your adult years in service, you learn to accept orders from your superiors. You must listen to commanders and carry out their instructions to the letter.
In ordinary life, though, nobody provides you with a template or a plan. You pretty much have to figure it out for yourself. And that’s where a lot of vets get into trouble. The first step is to accept that civilian life is voluntary. Nobody can tell you how to spend your time, who to associate with, or what objective to pursue. You have to figure all that out yourself.
Accepting that life is voluntary requires some deep soul searching. When you joined the military, you knew that you wanted to serve your country. That was your calling. But when you return to civilian life, you can’t do that anymore (at least, not in the same way). You often find yourself wandering aimlessly, wondering what to do next. Here’s what you need to do.
First, consider what you’re good at. Write a list of the things that you can do well, no matter how outstanding they might sound.
Next, ask yourself what the world needs. How can the people around you benefit from your skills? How can you help people in the wider world?
Third, be honest with yourself about which of your skills can make you money. You might be good at them, and they could help people, but are they economically valuable? Can you craft the lifestyle that you want with them?
Finally, write a list of the things you enjoy. You don’t want to be one of these people who shows up to a job that they hate because they feel they ought to. We all have a calling in life. Your task is to figure out yours.
Ideally, you want to choose to do something that fulfills all of the above criteria. You don’t want to find yourself lacking money or doing something destructive that harms other people. A purposeful life is a positive one, full of abundance.
Go Back to School
Okay, let’s say that you’ve found a career or a vocation that suits you down to a tee – now, what?
The next stage is to gain entry to your chosen industry. It’s not enough to have skills. For a lot of work, you need training.
What does a military-friendly school mean to you? For many, it is somewhere they can go that provides a gateway into their chosen field and plenty of support along the way.
Going to school is the first step for crafting a new life for yourself in the direction of your choosing. Remember, you now have complete sovereignty over the path you craft. Nobody can tell you what to do – and neither should they. It’s your life and your responsibility to make it work for you.
Define What Success Means to You
As we go through life, we delegate the definition of success to other people. We watch reality TV shows that teach us that the ultimate purpose in life is to become wealthy and live a life of unbridled freedom. But is that necessarily the case?
Many ex-military personnel find meaning and purpose in all sorts of areas. For you, a job could be about what you love, not what makes you the most money. And that’s okay: so long as you make peace with the idea.
People also find their success in other places, such as staying healthy or pursuing projects that improve the world, even if it means you’ll never make a lot of money.
Put Your Military Training to Use
The lessons the military taught you aren’t worthless. In fact, they’re some of the most valuable lessons you can learn in life. What you discover about yourself and leadership is essential, and often lacking in the civilian workplace.
Putting your military training to use, therefore, can help you increase your value to other people. You can go a long way in the private sector if you can demonstrate strength, courage, and passion.
Push New Boundaries
Military life sets strict limits on what you can and cannot do. While it pushes you, it also confines you. It makes you live a very specific kind of life.
Part of developing as a person, though, is to push new boundaries and get out of your comfort zone. It is the only way you grow.
Many vets who take the path of most resistance find themselves thriving ten or twenty years after leaving active service. They discover that they are more robust as people and have found a genuine passion in their lives. They don’t turn to alcohol – they replace it with hard work and flourishing.
Are you looking for a thriving career after life in the military? Follow this advice, and you will be well on your way to achieving one.