Season 3 Episode 130: Lessons Learned for Military Transition with Charlie Martinez and Donald Thompson

On this episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, we are sharing a LIVE LinkedIn event we did a few months ago. Over the past 3 seasons, our podcasts have helped thousands of transitioning service members successfully navigate the unknown. During this event, we spoke with Charlie Martinez and Donald Thompson. Charlie’s career in the Air Force included human resources and operations management. Working in talent acquisition and recruiting for both large and small companies, Charlie currently works for Siemens. Donald retired from the Air Force after a career that focused on human resources and recruiting. He currently works for Intel in the talent acquisition department. This military transition roundtable focuses on the Top Lessons Learned for the Military Transition.

Lesson 1: You must have a focus. Without a focus, writing a resume, optimizing your LinkedIn profile and networking becomes very difficult. Think of 4 concentric circles. In the first circle, write down your values and preferences. What do you want to do? What do you like to do? The next circle is your marketability. Does the world need this? Another circle is your salary needs. How much do you need to make? The last circle is for your transferable skills. Do you have the critical skills you need? Where the circles meet is your starting point. Begin this process 12-24 months out and take advantage of any certifications that fit your areas of interest.

Lesson 2: Explore your options. Do this early because you don’t know what you don’t know. Conduct informational interviews and research industries. Identify your strong skill sets, hard and soft, and narrow down your research to a few areas that you can see yourself as a good fit for a company, whether it be as an individual contributor, helping other employees or focusing on the company’s bottom line. Look at job postings and find out what the qualifications are for your next career. Once you are settled into your next career, continue to focus on your goals and make sure your situation aligns with them. It’s okay to reassess and pivot if necessary. The average adult will change careers between 7-9 times in their lifetime.

Lesson 3: Be financially prepared. Have 6 months of savings and be ready to take that next step. This will mean different things to different people. You must know how much money you will need to make in your next career to sustain the lifestyle you want. Having a financial cushion will take desperation out of the job search process and allow you to make smart choices.

Lesson 4: Be proactive and get prepared. Realize that the military will roll on without you. Be a little bit selfish and be willing to step away from your duties and focus on yourself. Start offloading some of your responsibilities to make time for your exploration and networking. Attend TAP early and take advantage of resources. Build your LinkedIn profile and network on the platform well before you transition. Remember, the transition is more than just getting a job. 

Lesson 5: Don’t do the transition alone. You don’t have to. The veteran community is the largest alumni group, and people want to help. Take advantage of learning from those who have gone before you.

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Are You Struggling to Write Your Resume?

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