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Military Transition to Civilian Employment: Expectations vs Reality


While serving in the military, I ummmmm… I don’t have my coffee be right back That’s better While serving in the military, I would often think to myself. I can’t wait to be a civilian and work with adults Not saying the military acts like children, but if you’ve ever been in any leadership positions, you know what I’m talking about To say the least. I was sorely disappointed on my arrival to my first civilian project The only difference now is I don’t get in trouble for my co-workers childish behavior. In this video, I’m going to talk about Expectations vs. Realities transitioning out of the military Real quick I want to let you know that I release a new video at least weekly So please like subscribe and hit the bell to be notified for new videos. In this video I’m gonna go over experiences concerning my personal transitions expectations versus realities One thing that varied from my expectations that I already mentioned briefly Is that I expected everyone at my civilian job to act like adults. I figured those who didn’t adult would be let go Unfortunately, that’s not the case. When I say act like adults. I’m referring to showing up to work on time Having a decent work work ethic Being competent in their job duties or at the very least have a desire and ability to learn their job duties If you think I’m being a little salty about this one, that’s because I am I set my expectations way too high a Quick story about this is I had a job interview for a network operations lead at a major military command One of my interview questions was how would I handle an employee with poor personal hygiene? This tells me that this has been an issue in the past or when they’re currently dealing with Now keep in mind the people I would be supervising are salaried around $75,000 a year, we’re not talking an entry-level job. My mind was blown that this would be an issue in a professional environment Another expectation I had was that my rank and MOS I had would help me as a contractor, especially since I’d be working on army bases the reality was nobody cared. That one stung a little bit when I try to use it to gain influence and Zero fucks were given. Sooooo I had assumed civilians had a general respect for those in management positions much like the military does. The reality is there isn’t. A couple examples of this that I see often our Employees arguing with their bosses about stupid stuff that doesn’t matter except to them personally in Addition they want to battle about everything I feel those in the military are a lot better about picking which battles to fight in the workplace Even though I stayed in my same industry that my military job was in I thought there would be a steep learning curve. I Found out that I knew a lot more than I thought I did I’m not just talking about job specific stuff. for anyone that’s spent five or more years in the military I think you’ll find that you have way more practical experience in personnel management time management leadership prioritization and delegation than your civilian counterparts You’ll find there are a lot of grown adults who’ve never had experience with the stuff before. the last topic I’m going to talk about is pay Pay in the civilian sector is a tough one. In the military, We wear our pay grades on our uniform There’s no question how much money everyone makes. money is already a taboo subject in our society and most if not all Civilians are not supposed to disclose salary or wage due to company policy You can try to estimate using BLS.gov or glassdoor.com But I didn’t find those websites to be very helpful the estimated salaries between low and high Usually have a big spread and a couple of factors that are not On those websites are the current demand in the specific industry and salary based on geographical location I normally expect the worst and hope for the best So I set my expectations low when it came to pay luckily the pay in my industry was better than expected Talking to other veterans my circumstances were rare and pay is usually lower than expected in most industries My advice is to do as much research as you can Ask people in the industry what to expect and anticipate the low end of the ranges Also find a few resources on salary negotiations. The most helpful one I found was a three-part series podcast on the Jordan Harbinger on the Jordan Harbinger show I will leave a link for the first part in this series in the description below That’s it for my personal experiences with civilian transitions expectations vs Realities. I have more that other veterans have shared that I didn’t personally deal with but I plan on making a video covering their experiences Let me know in the comments if you had a reality check when getting your first civilian job Like this video you found the content was valuable dislike if it was crap, subscribe and share if you found this helpful Follow me on Instagram leave any questions and video requests in the comments and remember to thank your recruiter

6 Replies to “Military Transition to Civilian Employment: Expectations vs Reality”

  • Jason, Good content but why record yourself if you are only going to read off of a prompt. This reminds me of a powerpoint presentation at a safety stand down. I would have enjoyed it more if you expressed who YOU are; get rid of the prompt and put your emotions/attitude in your speech. Good luck!

  • New subscriber. Loving your insight and experience, because it's exactly how I feel transitioning back to the civilian world.

  • Sounds like you’re talking about civilian jobs with the military so… probably a lot of retired military and veterans still working in the same environment. Probably not much different minus a uniform

  • Job interviews are the worst. "Well tell me about yourself?" "You first." "Well i went to so and so college and did this and that." "Have you ever jumped into water from a moving chopper and swam to shore with your weapon and a full pack hunting people that were trying to kill you?" "No! God No!" "Next question." Civilian life is a suck fest and they have no clue how much explaining you to them off of some corporate questionnaire feels. " Tell me how you saved an employer money and liability or improved profitability thru your actions?" "Ya, I didn't die."

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