Shining through the storm of military transition. Published on July 8, 2016 By
Enrique Acosta Gonzalez, BA Founder/CEO Military Transition Sponsorship Network (MTSN), MBA s
I want to begin by saying that this post in no way, shape or form represents the results of every transitioning service member. This is my account as to how the transition from military to civilian resulted for me. There are some things that I will tell you are a must when facing any exit from military service.
I retired in Nov 2015 and I will say that the financial training the military provided for me helped but i believe the most effective financial plan is the one your whole family agrees on and are willing to adhere to. The Transition Goals, Plans, Success (Transition GPS) program was ok but not great. I don't believe it was the intent of the program nor the content, i think it was the way service members approached the whole process. Some truly invest the time to get all they can out of it and some see it as and intrusion into their private life and even others as a way out of work. I heard comments ranging from I'm two years out and want to be ready, to I'm just here because I leave on Friday. No matter why you were attending, the facilitators could only do but so much for those who waited until the last minute and unfortunately it boiled down to you need this because it is the law. I went early and sought out all the resources and it still took me 8 months to arrive where i believe is a good place in life after the military.
Here is a list of what I think is important before you leave your dress uniform behind and replace it with the suit.
1. Finances: Get your house in order and do not come out in debt because you will need the funds. Free yourself from the pressures of reacting due to no finances.
2. Degree: Get one, get two but do not leave without any. The competition is steep and without it conversations will be few. You have experience but it doesn't translate until you are on equal playing fields.
3. Certifications: The services are paying for them. They must be what the outside is looking for (PMP, SHRM, CISSP) and what you want to do.
4. Network: If you know where you are going to make your home, contact the city's veteran counsel, local service leagues/organizations, local disability chamber of commerce. Your brothers and Sisters want to help but you have to meet them first.
5. Resume: Its your story so tell it right, to the right company. Be ready to adjust it and often but don't shortchange yourself or your abilities.
6. Patience: Unless you got a job and are starting the day after separation/retirement, you will be waiting or taking anything that comes your way. Use this time to continue networking and refining your resume. Invest in yourself by attending local veteran events and enrichment programs because you never know who you will meet.
This is what I have done since my arrival in Central Florida and I have a job i love, a strong network, I'm instructing veterans at the local chamber, and just got a full scholarship for my MBA (graduating Oct 2017). All things are possible but like I used to tell Sailors "Preparation meets Opportunity".
If you need any help or further guidance send me a message and I will be happy to assist in any way I can.
Thanks for sharing one transitioning soldiers story and advice COL Mikel Burroughs. I am glad that Enrique Acosta Gonzalez, BA caveated his post to remind us that his story and approach helped him and MAY help others.