What You Need to Know to Succeed in Your First Civilian Career

From the Battlefield to the Boardroom Podcast - Episode 37

While many of the things you've learned in the military are invaluable, some behaviors won't help you get ahead in the civilian world.

In this episode, we'll give you tips for making the transition into your civilian career successful.




Perhaps the biggest obstacle for veterans transitioning out of the military is finding the best jobs for military officers, jobs for junior military officers, or military technician careers. Once you've found a career, there may be a steep learning curve between your military career and your new civilian career.

On the latest podcast, Adam Swartz, a former Marine Corps Officer and Orion Account Executive, discussed what he has learned from his post-military job. He listed several tips for veterans who have already found a civilian career, including best practices and things to avoid.

Participate and be proactive.
One of the biggest things to remember is that you were "hired for a reason," Adam stated. Ask questions, and don't be afraid to take notes.

Be on time for meetings, but not "too" early.
In the military, Adam stated, being 15 minutes early to a meeting was considered on time. However, in the civilian workplace, being very early to a meeting is considered wasting time, which could be spent finishing up a project, sending a quick email, etc., Adam noted. Being prompt is better for productivity than being exceedingly early.

Be mindful of how others may perceive you.
There is still a certain stigma within the civilian workforce that military personnel are aggressive and abrasive. Be aware of the fact that there may be a preconceived notion of you as an individual, and you may have to work to dispel that attitude, Adam cautioned.

While this is important for those who are looking for a military technician career or jobs for junior military officers, it is also important once a civilian career is secured. In the civilian world, your career path and growth is undefined, which is unnatural to military veterans. "You really have to push yourself," Adam stated.

Adam also highlighted some tips on what to avoid in the workplace, including being too blunt, being too much of a team player, and knowing when to use a certain form of communication (i.e. email, phone call, or in-person).

Most importantly, Adam reminded listeners that for those who are looking for jobs for junior military officers (JMOs), the best jobs for military officers, or military technician careers, companies are going to hire you for what YOU bring to the company, which includes your military background and skill set. "Don't try to change who you are," Adam stated.