2.) Identify your gaps.
“After you have identified your drivers, look at your limiting factors needed to achieve your ideal career,” says Henry. What gaps do you need to fill in order to get there? Do the type of jobs you are looking at require specific education or certifications that you do not have? What technical skills are required for those jobs? Do your skills match the skills listed in job descriptions for the types of jobs you are targeting?
Identify any gaps that you may have and develop a plan to fill in those gaps before you retire from the military.
Do you want a position that is directly related to the government or a Defense contractor? If so, according to Henry, your military experience may be more likely to get you hired into a similar position.
Or do you want to break into a different career field altogether? If that is the case, this becomes a significantly different job search and you will have to try to connect similarities from your military experience to close the gap.
You may be limited to the types of jobs that you can step right into with the same salary you were receiving in the military. In this instance, treat this transition as gaining another 20-year career. Your goal is to “gain experience to leverage future opportunities.” Henry suggests going into a different career field with a “willing to” mindset and a focus on broadening your skill set.
Develop a 5–10 year growth plan and strive to become known inside the company for possible promotion. “Recognize that your first job out of the military may not be your dream job, especially if you are changing careers, but use this as a steppingstone to fill in the gaps for future opportunities.”