Getting Out of the Military But Don't Know What's Next? Here's What … – ClearanceJobs

Switching gears to a different pace – and maybe even a new place – is hard to do. While you don’t have to figure everything out right away, it’s normal to face some anxiety over finding a job to at least pay the bills. But aside from making ends meet, how do you figure out what you actually want to do when you transition out of the military?
A recent Reddit poster shared these exact concerns:
Currently in the Coast Guard as an IT. Getting out in 2.5 years. Have my secret clearance. My job consists of everything IT related: working on switches, routers, sys admin, computers, printers, peripherals ect.
While I’m in, I already got an associates in Information Systems. Don’t think I wanna go after a bachelors tho. Would much rather focus on certs. Job pays for them.
Just don’t know which path to go down. Cloud AWS, sysadmin, networking, too many to chose. I know it’s a personal choice. But money isn’t a big thing to me. Just want a semi chill job in a field that is pretty strong regardless of the eco mix state of the US. Asking for too much there?? Lol
The good news is that you’re not alone. Many have made this transition, and there are so many great resources and tools available. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of knowing where to start.
Anytime you are looking to switch gears, you have to look at all of your current skills. List them all out – leave nothing off the paper. Part of the brainstorming process is getting all the ideas out there. You might be surprised that when you list everything out, some of your skills might resonate with you a little more.
But just because you’re good at a lot of things, it doesn’t mean that you want to do them all the time in your job. Take some time to think about the jobs that you liked best. Or take some tests to see which jobs resonate. The key is finding the overlap between your skills and different jobs. Where your skills intersect with jobs that you might like, build the resume from there for that position. Take whatever you can from your past to transition it to your future.
This step is easy to overlook. But if you hate where you live, chances are, you won’t enjoy your job. While you may not get to the right destination immediately, keep your preferred location at the top of the list. You also want to go where there are multiple opportunities. Feeling stuck isn’t helpful to career growth.
It’s all about expectations. Not all jobs pay the same, so if you’re stuck between two different types of jobs, check out compensation differences. And if you’re in a location that has a higher cost of living, you’ll want to aim for a higher salary. Money isn’t everything, but it is a component of job satisfaction.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you to one of your best tools for clearance holders. The reality is that your clearance is a valuable ticket to employment for a limited period of time post transition. Use it for as long as it makes sense for your life – before you lose it. It’s harder to get it back, so you may want to just see what’s possible in the world of national security. So, make sure your profile is in a place where it’s going to get noticed by cleared recruiters.
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