Top Seven Tips for Life After Military Service

With my coaching clients I’m often asked for a summation of tips or hacks for men and women leaving the military. In my practice I help highly driven people in high stress/high danger occupations who are seeking significance through a second career. I do this by hacking and attacking the learning process toward action rather than numbing introspection. Through this my clients are empowered to live their dreams and embark on new adventures.

Because of my military and public safety experience I understand the effects of losing that adrenaline rush, the desire to be in a uniform of some kind, the need for structure and order, and even potential complications of PTSD.


Here are my top seven tips for life after military service…

  1. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Almost all military personnel know when their date of separation is. The sad truth is that many wait until they are separated to figure out what they want to do after their service is over. Start planning at least a year or even sooner for what you will do after you hang up your uniform.
  2. Pick a people, place, or position. If you don’t narrow down your options, it can be quite overwhelming. You should narrow it down somehow by choosing a group of people you want to work with, a geographical place you’d like to live and work, or a particular position and occupation you want to pursue. This will greatly help your search for your new future.
  3. Polish up your resume. This is the place where you list all the cool stuff you’ve done and things you’ve learned. At first just list everything. Then you can whittle it down as needed each time you apply for a job. You’ll be amazed when you see a long list of accomplishments. Be proud of that. For examples, just search online.
  4. Don’t forget your family. Sometimes in all the planning for a place to live, a new job, a business start up and more, it’s easy to forget your spouse and kids. Be sure to think about them with every choice you make. Include them in the decision-making process. It’s not just about you.
  5. Use all available resources. You’ll find that there are a great many resources available to you both in the veteran sector and out in the civilian world. Be sure you take advantage of them.
  6. Assemble a team. Find people who can help you in all facets of your separation from military service. I’m talking about everything from a business minded person who can proof your resume to a cheerleader who will motivate you when things get tough. Find a mentor in your future profession. Find a friend who’s already exited into the civilian world. Make your team as big as it needs to be to succeed.
  7. Get an honest assessment of your finances. Go boldly into this new venture debt free if at all possible. Everything in life is easier without that hanging over your shoulder. You have a year to prepare, sell things, make lifestyle changes, and anything else necessary to erase your debts.

I hope this helps. Bear in mind, there are only seven tips here, and this list is by no means exhaustive. It only scratches the surface. be sure you get help to continue on through this process. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like for me to help you.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!

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