Life After the Military can sometimes be a hard adjustment. When some people leave the military, it is after 4 or 5 years of service. For many, the military is the first real job they have ever had or known. This means they came in either right out of high school or after college. Life outside the military means starting over and finding a new job and career. For others who’ve served, they retire from the military after 20 years or more of service, and they will find it an even greater challenge to leave the military lifestyle and become a civilian. I suggest that all veterans try to find some connection or way to stay involved with the military even as civilians.
What to Look for in a Civilian Employer
One of things a veteran can do is seek employment with companies that hire a lot of veterans. It is very difficult for veterans to acclimate themselves to civilian employers and the different ways they do things. It can also be a challenge for veterans to deal with the employees. Civilian employees, especially those who have never served in the military, are far less disciplined and loyal than service members. I am not saying this about every civilian employee who works there, just a majority. It seems that most people today work to just have a job and are not very dedicated to the success of the company they work for. When you search for a job, you should also look for employers that give preference to veterans as this will also make it easier to find employment.
Adjusting to the Civilian Way of Life
Those having to work with or deal with civilians all day know how difficult it can be for a veteran coming from, say, an infantry unit to deal with civilians on a daily basis because it is far different than being on base around military members all day. As a veteran, you’re probably not used to driving to work in traffic and being one second away from road rage all day with the way people drive. You’re probably not used to seeing the person driving in front of you eat cereal while they drive or the lady beside you put her make up on while she drives. It can be quite a challenge. In the military, you’re taught to move with a purpose, but for most civilians, they only move with a purpose when the boss says it’s time to leave for the day and they run for the door. It will take a veteran quite a long time to acclimate themselves to civilian life, and the longer you were in the military, the longer it will take for you to become accustomed to the differences.
How to Deal with Life After the Military
I believe one of the easiest ways to deal with life after the military is by finding things to do in the community that have nothing to do with the military. The things you learned in the military will always be with you, so don’t try to get rid of them. You can take yourself out of the military, but you won’t take the military out of you. It is true that most should try to keep some type of relationship with the military; it is a great place to meet people and find opportunities, so do not burn that bridge when you get out. If you can, try to volunteer to help service members and their families give back to those serving just as people did when you were serving.