Military Transition – Your Next Mission

What’s Your Next Mission?

This is going to be a short post to introduce the military transition portion of the website. When I started this website, I was really expecting primarily to help military learn from my money mistakes and hopefully rapidly learn about personal finance/investing and begin wealth building. Having transitioned from the military to the private sector, in the last 3 years I’ve realized my other passion aside from helping middle class build wealth and achieve financial freedom is helping military and spouses successfully transition to the private sector. Transition from the military is an incredibly challenging experience whether one has served one tour of duty or a 20+ year career. Hopefully, this will help your transition to the right next career while you’re completing your path to Financial Freedom.

We’ll delve into various aspects of transition, but one of the first steps is to figure out your next mission – and that was one of the biggest challenges for me. I wished I had a singular focus and knew exactly what I wanted to do, but my interests are all over the place…ok, probably self-diagnosing my own ADHD right now, but guessing many of you are in the same boat.  How many of you have heard one of the following, “Your first career out of the service won’t be your last”, and “Everyone changes jobs within a year”, etc.?  Personally, I’d rather find a career/industry/company I truly enjoy and can grow immediately instead of bouncing around always looking for where the grass is greener.

Paralysis By Analysis

It was pretty overwhelming wondering where to start, what industries / companies to research…holy crap, there are so many companies just in Greater San Diego! The sad thing is that this overwhelm can easily lead to taking no action instead of making small steps in the right direction. What helped me narrow down my focus and get out of Paralysis by Analysis was to prioritize what mattered for me in my next career.

What are your priorities?

I recommend reading:

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2021: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Meaningful Work and Career Success

and specifically completing the exercise in Chapter 7. It helped remind me of what is important to me, along with what I really hate…which is often more important than what I love.

My Mission and Priorities

First, my next industry/company had to be in a mission I could support. That actually narrowed down my search pretty quickly by dropping off an industry I was initially considering, when I realized the values and mission were not aligned with what I desired.  Location was important for me staying in the San Diego area and not having too long of a commute. After those initial concerns, I had the following priorities for my next company in order:

  1. Good Company Culture
  2. Room for Growth
  3. Fair Compensation

Why that order? Well, I knew if I didn’t like the people I worked with then I wouldn’t last long even if the salary was incredible. A growing company was key to longer term career aspirations – as I said, I would rather not bounce around, but find a company I love and progress there if possible. Salary is important, but not the number one priority, and assumed it would work out well if the other higher priorities were met. Below is a little graphic I made to explain my approach and some key things that helped in my search.

Free Resources

I’ve provided resources that will hopefully assist you with your transition. I found I kept emailing the same things to transitioning military and spouses frequently, so it would better to simply provide a location online and I could likely help a larger audience. More will be coming soon, and let me know in the comments how to improve these resources or if there are specific items you would like to see made available.

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