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The next Chapter: An open letter to those Getting out

Dear Friends and fellow listeners,

The next phase of our journey may seem daunting and filled with uncertainty, but know this, YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH WORSE. This is just another mission, and like any other mission, how do we succeed? By planning, preparing, and rehearsing the FUCK out of it. Even when the time is limited, we always develop a plan. Time constricted mission planning is nothing foreign to us!

“Give us an hour, we can get the job done. Give us a day and we’ll take over the entire fucking district.” – SF dudes Circa always.

I am not typing this as someone without any skin in the game. I’m in the same fight and next to you in the same fighting position. It’s easy to say “ Screw it, let’s find the easy way out.”, but we all know this is not who were are. So since that is not an option, let’s roll up our sleeves and start putting in the work on what our next chapter is going to look like.

STEP 1. Gather the Intel.

The civilian market is filled with opportunities and resources for those seeking employment. The keyword here is SEEKING. A great place to start is by finding out what you are interested in, what your strengths are, and what you are passionate about. Why apply to the Hot Dog factory as a meat sorter when you have zero drive or desire to make hot dogs? DO NOT SETTLE!

"Where there is a will, there is a way." - Bert Stein

Start by going to the following sites and search out what you’re interested in.

STEP 2. Build your Resumes

You will need to develop two resumes, at a minimum, to start out with. Your civilian resume and a Federal resume. They are very distinct in how they look and what they contain. Your civilian resume can have some “Flare” but don’t go overboard. Your Federal resume however, has to be more formal. Think NCOER, format and content, that’s it. Writing your first resume can seem overwhelming at first, but you have done this before! You’ve written reports, NCOERS, evaluations, and countless other documents for the Military, you just need the guidelines and information for what you have to write. The links listed below will help you build a great resume from scratch. There are numerous sites and organizations that will help you build an amazing product, but please, do yourself a favor and do not pay for someone to build a resume for you. If you need a template and want a specific look there are many sites that offer that as well. I bought my resume template from I highly recommend you do the same. There, you can choose your own template and style for your civilian resume. The links below will take you to some great resume building sources.

For your Federal Resume go to USAJOBS.COM

STEP 3. Network!

One of the most powerful tools available to us is our network of Military professionals. We just have to learn how to use it. The best place to start is LinkedIn. Click here and gain access to a year of LinkedIn Premium for free.

LinkedIn is more than just a networking site, it’s also a powerful “multi tool” that we should utilize to its fullest capacity when looking for our next career. LinkedIn has a great job search tool that allows you to search for openings in various industries. You can also use it to research jobs and industries that interest you. All while gaining vital exposure to hiring managers and recruiters, and most importantly gathering additional and extremely useful information on how the civilian job market works. Intelligence and gathering relevant data was always a very important aspect of our mission planning, when it comes to searching for our next career this is still one of most important factors of our planning. Setting up a LinkedIn account is easy and it only takes a few seconds to do. This is a simple and effective step to take in order to find a great career.

STEP 4. Take advantage of every resource!

As a Service member you have access to an endless catalog of free resources at your disposal, all you have to do is RESEARCH! This is YOUR OPERATION! You don’t have a team, ODA, platoon, squad, or section to plan and execute this operation, but that doesn’t mean that you are alone. The support is out there, but you have to search for it and in some cases, apply for it. The links below are just some of the ones that I have used or have found during my own research and planning. Keep searching and adding to this list of resources and USE EVERY AVAILABLE RESOURCE! You wouldn’t turn down an additional asset in combat, would you? Of course not, so if the resource is available TAKE IT! Maximize your potential for success and capitalize on the resources you have at your disposal.

STEP 5. Follow through and execute your plan.

You’ve done the research, built a network, and have a great resume. Now it’s time to develop your cover letter, submit some resumes and prepare for interviews. It also helps to work on an “elevator pitch”. A quick and powerful sales pitch on why you are an amazing asset that can’t be passed up.

This is by no means THE ONLY WAY to succeed, but if you’re struggling and feeling like you don’t have a solid heading, this is a great place to start. Remember, you succeeded in what was arguably the hardest profession. It's time for you to find and pursue your true calling. Remember we are meant to thrive, NOT JUST SURVIVE.



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