EAS: 3 Years Later

EAS: 3 Years LaterAfter exiting active service from the Marine Corps in July 2013, I’ve found most if not all of the lessons learned while in uniform apply to the CIVDIV as well. I feel it’s important to emphasize this point because Veterans sometimes drop the characteristics that ensured a successful enlistment. We must carry on our adaptive, inquisitive, and probing nature as the arduous task of transitioning from the military becomes more and more competitive.

To be sure, this list could be a heck of a lot longer, but here are several tips worth highlighting:

Find Mentors

It goes without saying, but two heads are better than one and learning from someone who has lived through experiences you’re about to tackle will save time and headaches. Additionally, you’ll expand your network and tap into new opportunities that would likely have passed you by. Find an expert, learn from the expert, become the expert! We’re privileged today because of the sheer amount of resources and information at our fingertips, so make sure you use it. LinkedIn carries numerous features and Veteran related groups that can assist with just about any task or question.

Ask Questions

I can’t stress this one enough, “when in doubt, whip it out!” You probably heard this one in Boot Camp if you’re a Veteran, simply meaning if you’re unsure whether to salute for one reason or another, it’s better to err on the side of caution. The same applies to asking questions. I’ve personally reached out to dozens of contacts from LinkedIn for informational interviews, industry insight, and thoughts on all things veteran transition; not one individual ever shot me down and most enjoy sharing their wisdom, so shoot!

Continue Volunteering

Studies have shown a correlation between positive health effects and volunteering. Although you may have taken the uniform off for good, there are still many ways to impact and help individuals, families, and communities closer to home. If you’re attending college, I’d recommend joining or starting a Student Veterans of America chapter. You’ll have the opportunity to work on fantastic projects and develop a Veteran community with your school. The Mission Continues is another great Veteran organization that gives back to local communities. Again, you’ll have the opportunity to plan and lead efforts, while expanding your network including vets and civilians.

Summary

There you have it:
FAC – Find Mentors, Ask Questions, and Continue Volunteering

I’ve seen both personal and professional opportunities develop for individuals (including myself) that utilized the strategies above for successful transitions. Just as you’d apply FAC while in service, continue making use upon your EAS.

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