You may be asking yourself “What is Intentionality and How Can It Help Me Leave the Military?”  Intentionality is defined as the fact of being deliberate or purposive.  

In the past year, I have heard the word intentionality many times, usually on podcasts about personal finances.  This made me start thinking about whether intentionality can be applied to the military transition and how it can be implemented in a way that helps.  

Once I wrapped my head around the notion, it became clear that intentionality can be applied to all aspects of the transition, but three things came to my mind immediately:  resumes, interviews, and post-military living arrangements.

Resumes

When you are working on your resume, you need to be intentional while writing it.  You can do this by making sure your resume is not too long or too short.  Be intentional with what you put in your resume.  It should only contain previous positions that relate to the job you are applying for at that moment.  

If you are applying for IT jobs, you do not have to include the cashier job you had in high school.  The only exception to this is your federal jobs resume because it needs to include a lot more information than that of a private sector resume.  You also need to realize that your resume should fit the job for which you are applying by including keywords from the actual job posting in your resume.  

Realistically, you should have a few different copies of your resume saved and each should be tailored to whatever job you are applying for at the time.  This should get your resume past the various Applicant Tracking Systems companies tend to use and into the hands of a person.  One more tip on the resume:  PROOFREAD!   

Interviewing

You may think of the interview as a one-time event when you go talk to someone about a job you want.  You need to be intentional before, during and after an interview.  You need to prepare for questions that could possibly be asked.  There are websites like GIJobs.com that can give you an idea of the types of questions you can expect for that position and that company.  

You cannot predict every question, but you can still prepare by working on things like eye contact and other nonverbal cues. Practice in the mirror and even ask family members or friends to do a mock interview with you. The day before the interview, you should take your time and choose the appropriate attire.

You can also put intentionality into practice by researching the company and your interviewer prior to the interview. You may discover that the interviewer is a Veteran by viewing their social media pages. Finding things that you have in common with the interviewer can help break the ice in the first few minutes of the interview.

During the interview, be intentional in your demeanor.  Give clear, confident and complete answers to the questions. After the interview, be intentional and send a thank you email to the interviewer. In the email, include something that will help jog their memory about you.

Post-Military Living Arrangements

Believe it or not, intentionality should come into play when choosing where to live after the military.  Whether you decide to move back to your hometown, stay in the area of your last duty station or move somewhere altogether different, be intentional when prioritizing what factors help make that decision.

Research cost of living, salary information and state Veteran benefits when making this crucial decision.  Sometimes, going back home may not make the most sense because the job opportunities may be less than desirable.  On the other hand, if your priorities include being close to family, you may be willing to bite that bullet.  

Either way, make intentional decisions and do your research.  Some states have better Veteran benefits than others, but the cost of living may be higher than you want to deal with.  Intentionality can help make this decision easier.  Perhaps your potential salary is higher in the area where you were last stationed.  If this is what is more important to you, it may make more sense to stay put, especially if you already have put down some roots there.

Intentionality is just another tool for your toolbox.  It can truly help you focus, but do not let it only apply to the three things discussed here.  Find other areas in your transition journey where intentionality can be of service.