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The Now, The New & The Next in Careers

Start Your Civilian Career Long Before You Leave the Service

28 Jul 2011 3:36 PM | Anonymous

By Don Orlando

On active duty, the mission is everything. And the tempo of operations can be fast enough to banish all thoughts of your second military career. But even if you stay for 20 years, you’ll have lots of years ahead of you for your second civilian career. So now is the time to capture the problems you solved, how you solved them, the results you help delivered.

If you can quantify those results, compare them to previous performance, and put them in context, so much the better. I encourage you to document what you do every week without fail. Don’t worry about format or even spelling. Just capture your worth before you forget. I’m not suggesting you “sell yourself.”

That’s demeaning. You have excellence that others need. But they’ll never know how you can help them if you don’t capture your proven abilities. You may want to use your notes to help your superior prepare your performance review. And you’ll certainly find those examples priceless when it comes to competing in the civilian marketplace.

When there is talk of cutbacks in military personnel and programs, it may be harder to remain on active duty status. But if you make it a habit of preserving your examples of excellence, you’ll have the edge when you start on that unavoidable, second, civilian career.

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Hi, I’m Marie Zimenoff,

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I’m a passionate advocate for career industry professionals and a decades-long practicing career coach myself.

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