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A new job can be like returning from deployment … awkward! Once you have successfully secured a position in the civilian sector, it is by no means the time to relax. Here’s how to ease your transition from long-term service into the “foreign” world of civilians.
These seven simple tips, based upon military training, may be the keys to settling into your new career (Read: Fast Track to Civilian Jobs).
1. Define your personal chain of command: Discover the web of contacts in your professional circle who you are confident in going to for expertise, correction and guidance. Be certain these individuals are the pillars in their positions so that you have not built your chain on weak links.
2. Ask questions: Rather than fear the unknown, learn your position as best you can with the tools given. Continue to seek guidance with determination to strive for excellence in your field.
3. Attitude: What you bring to work is reflected in your work. Keep your chin up in situations which may appear negative, embrace the positive and continue to press on with that positive outlook. Survival in all fields is based on attitude. Bring your best!
4. Mentorship: Be a mentor to someone or adopt a mentor with the leadership skills you admire. Everyone has something wonderful to offer; finding the best in yourself and others may sometimes be the easiest way to manage your newfound territory.
5. Team building: Begin to forge pathways that align similar interests and determine what motivates the “players” surrounding you. By taking the time to navigate your workplace and the members within, you’ll begin to assess what makes the circuitry in your surroundings work. Seek out management and incorporate possibilities to level the field with camaraderie. Make yourself approachable to new opportunities within your new community, whether it be an office fundraiser, newsletter or during a lunchtime workout.
6. Form and utilize your personal core values: Your education with your past can enlighten your “present.” Live your personal core values within your position in all ways. Allow yourself the foundation you once had beneath you to become the platform for current success.
7. Lead, follow and listen: Everyone is a leader within. Follow leadership loyally, lead within your position and take advice, criticism and banter for face value. Keep emotions away from progress. Becoming emotional about correction is purely a natural reaction, which must be kept at bay. Eliminate the urge to react negatively by tapping into your personal core values. These values will remind you to rise with grace.
Your new playing field is not a box to be maintained — the walls are movable forces. Personally, you have developed the tools with military training and education. Use these tips to help you gain confidence and navigate what will soon become friendly territory, as you are among your brothers and sisters in your seemingly “deployed” location.