A solid transition plan starts with actually knowing why you are leaving service. Bad leadership? Burnt out? Need a Change? Money? What we don't realize is that our problems don't just go away because we leave service, and most people see the grass greener on the other side. The truth is, bad leaders exist in the civilian world too. How can we better mentor our veterans?
Posted >1 y ago
I am still asked 10 years later why I got out with 9 years. I had several reasons for getting out. part of it was a bad command climate. Part of it was being burned out from the OPTEMPO. Most importantly, I got to a point where I dreaded going to work. I wasn't enjoying it anymore. So I got out. The grass is definitely greener on the civilian side for me. However, it is not rainbows and unicorns. I worked long and hard to achieve what I have. I think vets need a more realistic presentation of the civilian world prior to getting out. I had several NCOs ask me if I was going to flip burgers. Funny a few years later, those same NCOs were asking me how I got my Federal job and how they could do it lol.
My First Sergeant plainly told me that I couldn't get a job outside the AF and said I would be homeless in 30 days. I got out because I couldn't picture myself staying in. As a 24 yo, I looked at all my leadership and thought I would become a crusty, bitter divorcee like them. It wasn't until I matured a bit, that I realized they let that happen. Fortunately, with hard work and a little luck, my civilian career has been great. However, after several years passed, I realized that I missed the AF so I joined Guard. Now people wonder why I stay in the Guard because it is a burden at times. I really can't explain why I stay in the Guard. Deep down, I like the deployments, TDYs and drill weekends. Although, if I had stayed in, I could be retired by now :)
I served for almost 10 years and ETS'D with a solid plan and currently working it out now. I had many senior leaders and close friends talk to me about separation. I left for the right reasons and I believe that most job related issues leading a service member to want to separate is a very important topic for leaders to think about. All too often ypu see younger soldiers expressing to peers or one above about the frustration with the "job" and inclination to ETS the next chance they get. These are important service members to speak to. Try and understand at what professional level of maturity are they on. Do these soldiers have prior civilian life experience living on their own? Do they understand the job market in the area they wish to leave to? How about real no baloney job related experience? Telling a younger soldier he will be ok because he learned an mos and sending him or her on their way is poor leadership. Let's insure that our service members are leaving for the right reason and financially/mentally prepared to do so.
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