Tips for Transitioning into a Civilian Career

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Tips for Transitioning into a Civilian Career


Half of those who eventually find a job in a civilian career is said to leave it within the first year. Why is this?

Well, the reality is, the transition is far from easy, affecting all aspects of life, whether that be your work, home life or finances.

Not only can it be hard to land that first position (despite many saying it’s not) actually, just the prospect of knowing what to do post-service can be daunting enough.

Although there’s certainly no perfect set of instructions for making a seamless transition, here are some of our top tips that might make it a bit easier:


Think About What You Enjoy

Strengths are important, of course, but considering a career that is fulfilling and offers enjoyment should also be a priority. In fact, what you enjoy can be a strength within itself. If you enjoy a job, you are far more likely to succeed in it.


Be Open-Minded

As a veteran, you quickly adapt to the military way of thinking, becoming proficient in that job, but that doesn’t mean you have to find another career that needs those skills in the same way. Your skills are more adaptable than you think, perhaps even in an environment, you have never considered before.



Narrow down your career prospects by doing some research. Are the industries you are looking at thriving? Is the market competitive? What is the standard pay rate? What education and experience are required? How do you go about upskilling yourself for those markets? Do you have veteran education benefits that can cover the cost?


Be Realistic

Be realistic, especially regarding salary. Striving for a higher figure income will require a compelling case to the hiring manager on why they should hire you. It may also require you to obtain further education, experience, and skills to warrant that salary, which could cost you more time and money.


Spend Time on Your Resumé

You need to invest some time and effort into your resumé because if it’s weak, the chances are you won’t even be invited to the interview stage. Make sure it’s unique to you and your experiences. Use your military life to stand out from the crowd. And get feedback! Whether it’s an ex-colleague or family, use it as a second opinion to make the necessary changes you need to strengthen it.



Networking is important, especially when entering new markets. The more dedicated you are to the process and the stronger your network, the easier it will be. From free workshops to veteran-specific networking events, explore opportunities in your community. There are lots of organisations, like us who are dedicated to helping veterans make this transition. Putting yourself into wider communities, may not always appear useful initially, but it might well in the future.


Need further help in your transition? Check our career advice section.