Remember the day you first arrived at a new duty station?

You probably didn't know many people, did you?

You most likely got some sort of Welcome Packet and then assigned a Sponsor, and both helped answer some of your questions about this new, unknown place.

Then, you gradually started meeting a bunch of people who hopefully steered you in the right direction. In a very short time, your familiarity with your new surroundings became second nature to you.

Now think about the here & now.

Where did you go today? Did you find yourself traveling around the same roads, talking to the same group of people, and maintaining a predictable routine?

Did any of today's activities draw you closer to making a successful military-to-civilian career transition?

Getting out of your normal routine and making some new contacts is essential! It's all about getting a bit out of your comfort zone and mastering the skills required in networking.

Networking is not as hard as it may seem.

You see, you've done this before!

Here are a few tips & tricks designed to help you develop a civilian network:

Make some new Friends

Unless your current circle of friends and co-workers can help you during transition, you might consider making a few new friends that work at companies or industries you're interested in.

Instead of hanging out with your military neighbors and friends 24/7, take a day off and travel to an area you plan to work in. This doesn't necessarily mean an out-of-town trip. Most major companies have a corporate presence in cities across the US and the world. You can meet people that already work for the company you're interested in. These people can look out for you and your goal of Going Civilian.

Join a civic organization or club such as; The Lions Club, Rotary Club, VFW Post, etc. The people in these groups have their fingers on the pulse of employment opportunities. They know people. They can be your eyes and ears helping you find job openings.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking websites can instantly connect you with people who know what career opportunities exist out there. Get back in touch with those you know who made the military-to-civilian career transition. Ask questions about specific cities, job openings, or companies. Leverage the power of social media, and old friendships in order to know exactly what's going on job-wise rather than guessing.

Here's another neat thing you can do:

Sign up for Google Alerts. This unique service allows you to set-up automatic research. You simply enter your email address and type in the Keywords or topics you wish to learn more about.

For example, you can spend your time searching multiple corporate websites to try to find information that might be helpful for preparing for an interview. Or, you can setup a Google Alert with the Keyword: Company X. Then, all the articles related to Company X come directly to your email box.

I don't know about you, but why search for hours on the Internet when what you're searching for can come straight to you?

You can also set the frequency at which alerts come to you.

As busy as life is these days, you owe it to yourself to find new and effective ways to get the career you deserve.

By changing your routine, you can discover new opportunities, make some new friends, and ultimately, start a new and rewarding career!