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By Erica Skoutas

A lot of changes come about when retiring from the military and choosing your new career is one of them. Ultimately you need to decide if you will be taking on a completely new career path or carrying on with your same career path into the civilian world.

Many factors need to be considered when determining what career path is right for you in this stage of your life. First and foremost, take a look back at your military career and decide if the job you have been doing for the past 20+ years is making you happy. At this point you are certainly a professional but do you want to continue in this field? You may be completely comfortable and confident and finding a similar position as a civilian may be the perfect choice for you. Maybe you are burnt out and want to go in a different direction. Maybe you finally have the chance to use the degree you have earned. Maybe you have always dreamed of owning your own business. Any of these situations are good choices as long as you determine that it’s the right choice for you and your family.

Once you determine what field you want to go into there are a few things you should consider when looking for a new job. Determine the location you want to live in. Job markets vary from place to place so you must decide if you will live where you work or work where you live. Whether you choose to live close to family or on the coast these places may play a role is what job you can attain.

Another contributing factor may be education. Does your new career require a degree? Maybe you have obtained a degree during your years of service or maybe now it’s your time to use your GI Bill and focus on your education.

When choosing your next career consider your transferable skills and how they can carry over into your new desired position. At the end of a 20 year military career you have several valuable skills and assets. You have training, leadership skills and expertise in your field. Make sure you really review your career and consider all your attributes when deciding what career is right for you.

Once you know what direction you are headed you may find that there are several companies in your desired field that love to hire veterans. Look at military friendly companies or even military friendly colleges if you decide going back to school is your best choice.

There are many resources available to military members who are transitioning into the civilian world but your first step should be some personal reflection when determining your career after the military.

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