At some point during your spouseís military career you will come to the time when you need to figure out what youíll be doing after the military. Whether youíre separating out or retiring, there are certain steps to take to ensure as smooth a journey as possible.
The most important thing to remember is that this is an adventure. It will be different from anything youíve ever done and will have many ups and downs. If you have a positive attitude and are open-minded, amazing things will come your way.
Decide where you want to live. Are you open to all possibilities or do you want a specific area? Some headhunters will place you in a job where you want to live; however, you may have to concede a bit on salary. There are many considerations when deciding where to live and itís best to start early so you have time to research different areas.
No matter how unfair it may be, the old saying is true: Itís not what you know, itís who you know. Of course knowledge counts for something when getting a job, but it always helps to know someone who can get your foot in the door. An easy way to do this is to use headhunting firms. I personally started looking at headhunting firms about a year before my husbandís separation date. He was deployed and I wanted to stay as on top of things as I could. We ended up working closely with Orion International, Bradley-Morris and Lucas Group. There are many smaller companies that are just as great, they just serve different clientele. These work with military clients in general, while others may only work with Navy nuclear-trained personnel. Do not pay for these services; there are a vast number that are very reputable that are paid by the company and not you.
Start working on a resume. Your headhunter can help you fine-tune it for general circulation and for their specific company. Post your resume on sites like Monster and Career Builder. Attend transition assistance classes put on by your local command. These classes have a wealth of information on things from making sure your military service commitment is finished to resumes to interview prep to resources available to you. If your command will let you, take the class twice. It will help you retain information and pick up on stuff you missed before.
Lastly, networking is very important! You never know who knows someone who knows someone that is looking for someone just like you. Join professional organizations, networking groups, talk to people in the store, whatever it takes. It will definitely pay off.
There are countless other pointers to keep in mind; these are just a few to get the ball rolling. Look for future articles on this subject and check out the forum for other information to help you in your transition!