Season 2 Episode 84: Common Military Transition Lessons Learned with Lucas Connolly

When Lucas Connolly retired after a 20-year career in the US Army as a Field Artillery Officer, he accepted a position at a Fortune 500 company. After reevaluating his career goals and values, Lucas made the decision to rejoin the military community working first as a TAP counselor and then TAP Program Manager at Fort Drum, New York. Today he continues serving the needs of transitioning service members working for RecruitMilitary as their DOD Skillbridge Program Manager.

Part of Lucas’ transition journey was the realization that the Fortune 500 job he accepted not only came with a sizeable paycheck but also a sizeable work and time commitment. The late nights and early mornings turned into consistent 60 – 70-hour work weeks with little time for family.

Today, Lucas encourages people to set goals and articulate how they want to get there. An important question to honestly answer is “Do my goals align with my values?” At RecruitMilitary, Lucas provides employment services and uses his own experiences to help those currently transitioning.

This week’s podcast focuses on the most common lessons we have learned through the last 80+ episodes of the show with added insights from Lucas.

Start Early. Consider at least 18-24 months out if you are retiring and 12 months out if you are separating. Lucas discusses the importance of establishing a goal and then working backward. When a service member joins the military, they should always be asking themselves what they are doing to set themselves up for success after the military. As your end date draws near, it is crucial to communicate to leadership your transition needs. There are times you will need to say “I can’t” or “I won’t” in order to focus on your transition. Take the time you need to execute your plan.

Write your resume only after you have a focus.
Sending out a stock resume to 100 employers is a recipe for failure. Instead, Lucas encourages a person to focus on 3-4 companies they want to work for and then find 5-10 jobs within these companies. Target and tailor your resume for each job after researching the company and networking with current employees. Generic resumes that try to appeal to everyone appeal to no one.

Build your network BEFORE you need it.
There are many ways to build your network, but LinkedIn is the best for online networking. Start building your network long before you transition. Consider a spider starting its web. It starts small, in the center, and then gradually spins its web out. First, connect with people you already know such as family, friends, work colleagues, those who are willing to write you a recommendation, TAP counselors and job fair connections.  

Get on LinkedIn NOW.
LinkedIn is a professional network that allows people to search you and learn about your skills. Make sure to include keywords in your profile and be strategic with your connection requests. Think about LinkedIn as a tool in your toolkit. Just like a hammer isn’t useful unless it’s picked up and used, LinkedIn is only as useful as the content you provide and the network you build.

Transition is more than finding a job.
Transition isn’t just accepting a job and checking the transition box. It’s all encompassing. You are going from one life to another. From one culture to another. And it’s not just about you - your family is also transitioning with you.

Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets brand new YouTube channel at to hear Lucas give a BONUS piece of advice to those transitioning.

You can connect with Lucas Connolly on LinkedIn at

You can learn more about RecruitMilitary by clicking here.

SUBSCRIBE & LEAVE A FIVE-STAR REVIEW and share this to other veterans who might need help as they transition from the military!

Connect with me on Facebook and LinkedIn! Or check out our website at and listen to the previous episodes here!

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Click to Subscribe!

Subscribe on Spotify

Click to Subscribe!

Subscribe on Pandora

Click to Subscribe!

Subscribe on Amazon Music

Click to Subscribe!

Subscribe on Stitcher

Click to Subscribe!

Are You Struggling to Write Your Resume?

I created the Veteran Resume Self-inspection Checklist to lessen the resume writing struggle for veterans. This 11-item checklist will educate you in resume best practices while giving veterans a guide to assess their resume and determine if it's ready to send to  employers. 

Download Your Checklist Here