About 1,300 military service members, spouses, and children transition to civilian life each day, according to the Department of Defense.
While most look back at their time in service favorably, the majority of veterans also report having trouble making the transition from military to civilian life, according to the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, which has been studying veterans transitioning to civilian life since 2013.
If you are preparing to separate from the service and move into civilian life, take advantage of all the resources and support available through the Department of Defense. Support after separation is also available through Veterans Affairs.
Each veteran’s challenges are unique, with age, location, type of service, family, and other issues playing roles. However, some challenges are more common. We’ll discuss a few of those here.
Whether you’ve been deployed overseas for long tours or had to work long or odd hours on-base, your family life is about to get quite different. Your environment will be different, as you will no longer be in military housing or in the military community. Domestic responsibilities will shift. If you have children, there will be adjustments in your parenting role as well as your relationship with them. Focus on open communication and remember, this is going to take time for your family as well as yourself to adjust to this new life and relationship with you.
The civilian workforce is quite a different experience than what you have done while in service. In the military, there are strict rules and a clear chain of command. That’s not as true in many civilian jobs, which can also be more competitive compared with the collaborative, mission-focused military environment.
Many of the qualities you developed in the military — such as being mission-driven and service-focused and working well with a team —are valued and sought in the propane industry. Training at NC-TEC can help you prepare for a career where you feel at home, that you can find work wherever you live, and with opportunities for advancement.
In the service, housing, food, clothing, and more are provided to you. You didn’t have to think about these things, but you also did not have a choice about them. In civilian life, there are abundant options for these necessities. Having to make choices about everything from buying groceries to buying a house can be overwhelming as you make the transition.
The military not only provided you with work, but it also provided you and your family with a community wherever you were stationed. Now, you must find your place in the civilian community you are living in. Having family and friends nearby helps, but if you have decided to settle away from your hometown, you will need to find your own way to connect with neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and other people in your and your family’s new community.
NC-TEC can help start your civilian life with training for a career in propane. Get in touch with us to learn more.