The military Transition Assistance Program is often referred to as the class where you learn about the stuff you should have already done. In order to avoid this feeling those of us that know we will be leaving the military need to start working on these skills well in advance. One website I recently discovered that looks to have a ton of information to assist in the transition process was put together by Accenture, a Fortune 500 Management Consulting Firm.
The Career Coach website is certainly extensive. The information is broken down into ten categories and in each category content is provided through both print and video methods. It’s a wealth of information, but much like TAP Class, it’s the kind of stuff that will seem overwhelming if you wait too long to access it.
The first three topics: Planning, Networking, and Building Your Online Brand are particularly relevant for those of us still a ways out from retirement/separation. Here, for example, you will find information about how to set up, and effectively use, LinkedIn to build a network.
Think of this as predeployment training plan for the next stage of your life. Just as no unit should go into harms way without an extensive “work up period”, we should not move from one career to next without doing the same. To paraphrase our old boss Donald Rumsfeld; You retire with the network you have, not the network you wish you had.
One of the advantages of retiring from the military is that you can network and look for new jobs without having to hide it from your current employer (an issue for those in the civilian world). Starting early and putting in the work bit by bit are keys to success. We must remember that in terms of transitioning; slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. Accenture’s Career Coach is an excellent road map for success. Kudos to them for developing this tool.
NOTE: Accenture’s Military Career Coach, along with the social networkings site Rally Point was recently featured in a FoxNews story.