TRANSITION GUIDE “Having an elevator speech, also known as

a ‘30-second commercial,’ permits you to con- sistently and confi dently off er pertinent infor- mation to introduce yourself, deliver a quick summary of your skills and qualifi cations, and articulate how you can be a value-added resource to a potential employer,” Anderson says. Putting together an elevator speech is actually

pretty easy, Anderson says. Consider what you have to off er and what you want others to know about you. What are your key strengths? How can you be a valuable asset to an employer? Start with bullet points and expand them into

a sentence, then review what you’ve written to ensure it fl ows. Be sure to cut any unnecessary words and keep the speech conversational, and re- member to stay within about a minute in duration. “It’s a great investment of your time that will

signifi cantly boost your confi dence and positive- ly infl uence your networking eff ectiveness,” says Anderson. “You have to know who you are, you have to

know what you want to do, and you have to know what industry you want to serve,” Meyer says. Find your passion and come up with a clear way to present it to others.

4. GET A JOB WHILE FINDING YOUR CAREER. Thinking about landing the perfect job you’ll stay in until you retire might be daunting. If you need some income but still aren’t sure what you want to do long-term, Meyer suggests fi nding something short-term to fi ll the gap. “You can get a job to tide you over in search of

a career,” Meyer says. “Don’t ever presume the fi rst job you get out of the military is going to be your career.”

5. ASK FOR HELP. “[Transition] sucks. There’s no two ways about it,” Meyer says. “Don’t feel too afraid to ever ask for assistance.” Anderson recommends connecting with your

local installation’s family transition assistance program, the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment Services, the local VA offi ce, your professional and personal network, and military

58 | MILITARY OFFICER | January 2018

‘For most of us, civilian employment is unlike anything we experienced in the military, where our career path was well- defi ned as we awaited orders to our next duty

assignment.’ — Col. Brian Anderson,

USAF (Ret)

and veterans service organizations. MOAA has successfully assisted thousands of offi cers in making the transition from military service to civilian career. “We off er a full suite of career-transition tools, including résumé development assistance, in- terview preparation tools, a nationwide job bank, focused career seminars, and experienced career management consultants to help guide and moni- tor your progress,” Anderson says. (For more infor- mation about MOAA’s services, see page 59.) The bottom line is to stay focused and remain

positive. If for whatever reason you do not get the job you applied or interviewed for, move on to the next opportunity with enthusiasm.

6. PREPARE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Whether making the decision to separate from the military or just exploring new opportunities in your second career, the path ahead might not be as clear as you would like. It requires some thought and planning. “For most of us, civilian employment is unlike

anything we experienced in the military, where our career path was well defi ned as we awaited orders to our next duty assignment,” Anderson says. In the civilian world, there is much more ambiguity about what is next and when to make the move as you are forced to deal with situations such as economic swings, organizational force reductions, and a possible lack of career progres- sion opportunities. To help posture yourself for a change, Anderson suggests keeping the following in mind to prepare

for whatever comes next: QKeep your résumé current. QStay connected with your extended network. QMaintain your professional associations, certi-

fi cations, and affi liations. QBe visible inside and outside your organization. Q Continually review and refine your career goals.

When you fully embrace the possibilities of a

change in your employment status as a signifi cant life event for which you must be prepared, you can confi dently meet the challenges you encounter along the way.


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