What Should I Do After Leaving a Life in Uniform?

With my coaching clients I’m often asked this question…what should I do after leaving a life in uniform? It doesn’t matter if you leave for retirement, voluntary separation, an injury, or even a disciplinary proceeding, you still face that question and its ramifications.

If you’re wondering what uniform I’m talking about, I’m talking about the military, police, fire, and EMS. Sure, I work with others on occasion, but it’s these folks I have a heart for and work with.

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.

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So, here we go with a few ideas on what to do after hanging up your uniform…

  1. Find another way to serve your employer. Doing what you’ve always done isn’t the only way to serve. Many employers have positions other than uniformed service, such as support staff or independent contractors.
  2. Find another uniform to wear. Just because you hung up one uniform doesn’t mean you can never wear one again. You can find another place to work or pursue a different career and still find the thrill you seek in uniformed service.
  3. Find a line of work completely opposite of what you did before. Some people leave uniformed service and never want to look back. You’ll need to decide if this is for you too.
  4. Find a way to help those still in uniformed service. There are many ways to do this, so, if you choose this route, you will have to find the one that suits your personality and goals.

When I left uniformed service after over twenty years in the military, Federal service, and EMS I chose number four. That’s what I do now. I speak at EMS conferences, I train civilians in emergency preparedness, and I work with my former colleagues as a coach. If I can be of any service to you or your team in this capacity, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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

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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.

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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 www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

What Would You Do if Your Employer Closed Their Doors Forever?

A local Fujifilm plant in Dayton TN is shuttering its doors and shifting production to other plants. You can reference an article about it HERE. As I read the article I could see the writing on the wall regarding this event. I’m not talking about a sudden thing either. I’m talking about a decades long build up to this event. Is it any surprise to anyone that the film industry has given up the ghost to go digital? As further evidence that this was coming, Fujifilm employees only needed to look a few miles north to the Eastman Kodak plant in Kingsport TN where the downward slide has been going on for a long time.

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So, now 84 employees will be out of a job next year, although the newspaper was kind enough to use the term ‘idle’.

My question to you is, what would you do if the business you worked for rendered you idle? To help you answer that, I’d like to ask you a few more questions and then offer some hope.

  • Are you working in a field that is quickly becoming useless on a large scale?
  • Do you have a plan to either transition out of it or become a linchpin in that field as it shrinks?
  • Can the particular skill you do become useful in another business?
  • Is it time for you to finally stop doing a J-O-B for a living and do something that makes you happy?
  • Are you blaming someone else for this predicament or taking action to move out of it?

I hope those questions raise larger ones in your life. It’s okay if you can’t answer all of them or even if your answers are “No” or “I don’t know”. It’s my job to folks just like you through career transition and periods of ‘idle’ time. I’d love to help, so here’s how I can do it…

  1. You can hire me individually for career transition coaching. Normally, I only work with people in high stress/high risk occupations like police, firefighters, and the military, but the devastation of large plant closings really bother me.
  2. You can tell your boss that you want them to hire me to help all the employees during this time. They’ll be paying for career transition services in some way, but seldom as good and useful as what I offer.
  3. You can try it on your own using resources. If you do, I highly recommend the 48 Days to the Work You Love Career Kit by my friend Dan Miller.

The Fujifilm folks have until next year to find new work. What about you? Do you need to make changes now as well.

48 Days whats-your-plan

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

Links-

Fujufilm plant closing article

48 days to the Work You Love Kit

More information about the 48 Days plan