From Active Duty To Active Employee

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The experience embedded into you by the military – order and discipline, once key to a successful mission, can now also hurt you. Yes sir, no sir, and parade rest are commands hard to be abandoned by a seasoned member of the Armed Forces. That mindset unfortunately puts one at a disadvantage because it might take some time to re-calibrate to the civilian world, but don’t let that discourage you. Our pervious articles explained what to expect before and during your discharge and what to expect in your new endeavors when searching for a new career. The following article advises you on issues you will now have to face once you are hired and some suggestions to help improve your growth.

To begin with, I will mention that you will no longer receive quarterly proficiency and conduct marks, but instead will receive evaluations. These evaluations will be based on your growth in the company. Previously your occupational education, physical fitness, and time in-service would guarantee potential promotion. Now, you must learn to get that out of your head! Now you face the real world. The real world has many different factors and issues you will need to learn how to deal with. In this world you can be good at what you do, yet remain in the same position for years with no advancement. Statistically you will move to three different companies before you find your ideal employment. Now you will need to prove your worth in order to receive your due acknowledgements. You also have to be concerned with life beyond your work place because it may not be as flexible as you are accustomed to in the military. There’s not Family Readiness officer (FRO) or a readily available network of similarly-minded individuals.

It might take time to reach stability, but the sooner you start pushing for an increase of growth in your personal life, the more you will enjoy it. Here are some additional functions you will have to look forward to. Keep in mind: you will not have your superiors to help guide you in these activities anymore. Now, you will turn to your freedom of information and a good mentor to help you process all these and guide you through the process.

  • During your time in the military you may have invested into the Thrift Savings Plan or any other program of investment. Now that you’re discharged, you need to take out that investment and move it into a 401K or other investment; consider getting a financial consultant

The following can be explained by your location Veteran Affairs (VA) representative:

  • Depending on your status in the military – combat Veterans receive 5 years of medical coverage upon discharge. Depending on other factors you will be placed into categories at the Veteran Affairs, which determine your co-payments and services.
  • If you rate disability compensation you can apply while in service and be compensated for those injuries; the purpose of the compensation is for health reasons, such as medical coverage and insurance. The compensation will be paid out after you are discharged, but it never hurts to start the process beforehand.
  • Dental is available at the VA but will depend on your VA category. This will determine your payment option if any and services they will provide.
  • The new GI Bill and your status while in-service will determine your eligibility. A combat Veteran with honorable discharge will receive 100% VA compensation based on state and per diem rates. Education is key and goes hand in hand with progress in any occupation.

With all these factors you have to realize one important factor. Your freedom gives you the ability to focus on what you want. Do you want to get a mediocre job so you can focus on your education? Do you want a job to build experience each step of the way? If you are given a position of supervision, will your adjustment fit in with the rest of your co-workers? These answers can only be decided once you are confronted with them. The best thing to remember is that you can up and leave – just make sure you have a backup beforehand. For example: there’s nothing illegal about looking for a job while you work for another company. Taking care of these VA situations is key and will give you a clearer mind. Have faith that others want you to succeed.

Devil Dog USA Inc.’s goal is to help you through get to these networks and venues, and to match you with the organization that fits you. We are Veterans, who through trial and error have collected knowledge, which in turn will hopefully make it an easier transition for you.

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