Preparing for Post-military Culture Shock with Ryan Thuyns
After serving in IT and telecommunications roles for 25 years in the Air Force, Ryan Thuyns and his family decided to make their next move toward post-military life. Ryan eagerly leaned into mentorship and grew his LinkedIn community from about 100 connections to 500+ in 6 weeks. Through those connections, he received an opportunity to work at his desired location in his desired company. Even better, his new employer held the role for him for 7 months. Toward the end of the episode, Ryan shares his perspective of the differences between military and post-military life and gives you a few ideas to ponder and prepare.
- Sometimes, challenges present helpful opportunities, such as the relative ease of networking digitally during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Prioritize your transition; do not work up until your retirement ceremony.
- Wondering how to grow your LinkedIn network quickly?
- Spend 30-60 minutes each day in researching different businesses or areas of interest and reaching out to new people.
- Use the LinkedIn tools to make new connections:
- Diversify your network to include former/current military personnel as well as civilian professionals in your desired industry.
- Look at what connections of connections post; respond to their intriguing content; and send them a connection request.
- When people start finding you and asking you to connect out of the blue—you’ve arrived.
- After you hit 500 connections, your LinkedIn metrics expand, increasing the number of times your name/profile is searched and found and engaging more people with your content.
- If it helps, treat LinkedIn like a game or a competition—one that everyone actually wins when you are engaged.
- Remember that 500 quality connections are better than 5,000 loosely related ones.
- If you want more people to see what you post on LinkedIn, then be consistent with posting content and ensure that you have a network of quality over quantity.
- LinkedIn is not the same as Facebook. It gives you insight into other industries, what leaders are thinking and talking about and allows you to network “on-demand.”
- Every time you offer a resource, idea or encouragement to someone else (whether on LinkedIn, other media or even in real life), you are serving that person. Your service can continue beyond the uniform.
- Timing can work for or against you. Sometimes, you’re too early to the game, but you will still learn at least something and potentially make a connection that will help you at the right moment.
- You may underestimate the culture shock of the transition out of your military career. Consider:
- What does it look like to be home so much more?
- What does it mean to your family for you to be home so much?
- How do you keep your desired level of fitness?
- How do you define your sense of purpose?
- You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn at:
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