Season 2 Episode 81: Military Transition Q&A with Tyler Burkholder

Tyler Burkholder recently began a 6-month SkillBridge program with Optum after deliberate planning and networking. As a loyal follower of the Lessons Learned for Vets Podcast, Tyler has used previous podcast discussions to his advantage while building a strong network on LinkedIn. In this Military Q&A session, Tyler reflects on his transition process and looks ahead to learn how to best serve those who will transition after him. 

How can vets do a better job supporting each other? 

 This very question is why I started the Lessons Learned for Vets Podcast. I wanted to provide a platform for veterans to share their stories. While each veteran has a unique transition journey, the feelings of struggle and victory are universal.

Your story is worth telling and someone will benefit from it. Get involved and give back through organizations like Veterati, ACP, Vets2Industry and the KEY group. 

With TAP just 5 days long, what is the best way to get information to those transitioning since not every person sees the value in social media?

Though many veterans are against social media, LinkedIn is different than other platforms. Creating a LI profile is as important as creating your resume and the information you provide is as important as the answers you give during a job interview.

You often use the term focus: For those who lack a focus on what they want to do next, what are options that people could use to assist them in finding that focus?

Two books I recommend are Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type and Now, Discover Your Strengths

Paint a picture of four concentric circles in your head. 

1 – Values and Preferences. Focus on what you love to do.

2 – Marketability. Does the world need what you have? Is there a market for what you do?

3 – Salary Needs. Can you get paid for what you love?

4 – Transferable skills. Are you good at it? Do you have the required qualifications? 

At the center of these four circles – where they overlap – is your career focus.

>  There is an overlap between Values/Preferences and Marketability. This overlap is your company research where you see if your values align with the market research of the industry to identify the best companies to target.

>  The overlap between Marketability and Salary Needs is where you conduct career and industry research. Does your target role pay what you need, and is it located where you want to live?

>  Between Salary Needs and Transferable Skills, this overlap is where we start to learn to market ourselves, translate our military skills and showcase the value we bring an organization.

>  Lastly, overlap between Transferable Skills and Values/Preferences help ensure you love what you do.

What are some ways for people to regain, or relearn, their worth after being told or shown, or both, that their life means nothing?

First, your life has meaning. You were put on this earth for a purpose. Although you may not understand your purpose yet, you will figure it out. In terms of finding your value in the workplace, I suggest doing an assessment of your transferable skills. Write out a list of all the things you CAN DO. Put a star next to the things you WANT or LIKE to do. Then write a story that showcases a situation where you used that skill to benefit or add value to the Navy. 

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You can connect with Tyler Burkholder on LinkedIn at

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