Transitioning to Civilian Life

Many military members concluding their service find that separation can be bittersweet. Returning home and starting a new career is exciting. But for the unprepared, separation can be an abrupt and overwhelming change. Our advice: make a plan, and stick to it.

Six Months Before Separation

Work with your Transition Assistance Center or Regional Work-Life Office. These services can provide valuable guidance to help you choose a new direction in life. Think about how you’ll use your military experience to your advantage in the civilian world. And explore employment opportunities with organizations that place high value on military experience. It’s never too early to start working on a resume and networking with people who can help you.

Three Months Before Separation

Start actively searching for employment. Send out resumes and network aggressively. In addition to searching for jobs directly, consider employment agencies or recruiting firms to help you. Military/veteran’s associations and professional organizations in your field also can be valuable resources.

One Month Before Separation

By now you’ll have a better idea of where you’ll be living and what you might do for a living. So take a closer look at how your day-to-day life will change. Talk through your new routines with your family. And start adapting to normal civilian life. In the business world, no one holds meetings at 1400 hours! Preparing now to ensure a smooth transition can help you hit the ground running and excel in your new career.


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