Finding Fulfillment in the Civilian Workplace

Finding Fulfillment in the Civilian Workplace

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Finding Fulfillment in the Civilian Workplace

Taylor Karl
/ Categories: Program, IT Career, Veterans

Finding your place in the world is hard to begin with. After serving in the military finding a sense of purpose can feel like you’re climbing a mountain without gear. Sending emails and replying to calendar invitations seem like menial tasks when you were once responsible for other people’s lives and millions of dollars of equipment. As hard as it may seem, it is possible to feel satisfied doing a civilian job.

Remember Your Value

Serving in the armed forces is not easy. You picked your job at 17, trained for combat and the art of war at 18 and entered your job not long after that. You have become the picture of adaptability and loyalty. These are some of the most sought-after qualities in an employee in today’s workforce. All that said, remember how valuable your skills are, it may not seem easy to do now but in the end, it will put you in a better mindset for job searching. You can disassemble and reassemble a gun under pressure after all!

Candor, Stupor and Inspirator

Having a support system can be critical to daily life and if you are struggling at finding purpose in civilian life, try and find someone to help mentor you. Maybe it's someone you met while serving who is now in the workforce or someone you met at a conference. Find someone who can be honest and transparent, determined to snap you out of your state of insensibility and moving. Someone else’s experience and guidance can help with your own journey.

Bills, Bills, Bills

Everyone has financial obligations, utilities, car insurance, cell phone, or rent, bills add up quick. Sometimes after leaving the military, you can feel like you are drowning but take a second to evaluate and give yourself grace. Remember that jobs are what we do to pay the bills. Maybe you can’t figure out what you really want to do and that’s fine! Holding a job to adhere to your financial obligations is nothing to be ashamed about. People have jobs to get them through college and in gaps where they may want to switch paths. Your career is a long-term venture that you build towards and work on every day. Having a career is the end goal jobs are the stepping stones to get you there.

Keep an Open Mind

Being in the military can give you so much hands-on experience with a variety of different industries. Maybe you have a ton of different skill sets but you don’t have any formal training. You have all these pieces and no directions on what the puzzle looks like. It can feel really overwhelming so try writing down some of the industries you would like to enter and the skills you have in your toolbox to help your growth. Even if you don’t have ANY, you have to start somewhere. Once you’ve completed this, you can see the different directions you may want to look toward. What if you have little or no skills to translate to the industry you are interested in? Do not be afraid to get trained. Certifications and career training can help you grow your skills AND give you credibility to stand on.

Closing Thoughts

You served in the United States Armed Forces. You represent 7% of the U.S. population. Finding your purpose out of the military can be overwhelming but just like anything you must take it one step at a time and the first step is always the most important.

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