There comes a time in any career, job, or company when it is time to move on. This concept can be hard to grasp for some and easier for others. For example, the “vagabond lifestyle” found in military life might make it easy for you to transition from one unit to another, you kind of get used to the idea of being in a specific duty assignment for a relatively predictable period of time. You have a pretty good idea when you’ll make a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move.
On the other hand, leaving the Military and making the Military-to-Civilian career transition can be tough for many reasons. Depending on your route out of the military, you may not have had time to adequately prepare. You may have had time to make the physical transition, but the mental transition and shift to civilian-hood may be tough for you. Now that you've arrived in the civilian work world, how are you doing?
As time passes, you now find yourself completely immersed in the civilian world. Your language has changed, your demeanor has changed, you’ve adjusted somewhat to these non-military surroundings, yet you still have some of that Gung-Ho, Hoo-Ah, Esprit de Corps in you. What’s different now is that you don’t have a PCS move coming. You don’t have a new duty assignment at a predictable timeframe. Life is different as a Civilian and you’ve finally realized this fact.
Then you look at where you work. You had expectations coming in. You had goals set. You anticipated great things. You did your job well. You even won some awards, received outstanding evaluations, and even got promoted.
But deep down inside, you feel like there’s got to be more out there. You feel stuck. You feel like you’re burned out. You no longer feel that rush or runner’s high when it’s time to go to work. And as one of my good Friends once put it, “I just feel like I hit a wall!” I’m talking about the instant you come to the realization that you’re stuck!
Before you let things get so bad that your attitude suffers, or before you make a bad decision based on emotion, it might be a good idea to take a deep breath and assess the situation in its entirety. Maybe it’s time to consider a new opportunity. Maybe it’s time to dust off your old resume and upgrade it. Maybe it’s time to revisit with all the people who helped you get to where you are today and do, “a gut check”. You might find out you just need a vacation, some redirection and new goals, OR discover you need a brand new place to work.
Here’s a short list of things to consider BEFORE you make that move – if you in fact decide making a move is the right thing to do:
• Do the things that got you excited the day you got hired still exist?
• Have you explored opportunities within your current company that might motivate you more?
• What’s on the horizon at your current company? Is there a new opportunity with your name written all over it?
• Have you taken advantage of all the training opportunities available through your employer?
• Compared to those getting promoted, do you have the same qualifications and certifications as the people you see climbing up the organization chart?
• How do your performance evaluations look over time? Can you graph your progress from Day 1 to Today? What trends do you see in your individual performance?
• When was the last time you spoke to your Mentor? Did you heed his/her advice?
• Have you exhausted each and every option available at your current company?
• What would be the ideal work situation for you?
• What companies appear to provide the best opportunities for you long-term?
The answers to these questions will hopefully help you sort out what’s troubling you and get you back on track. After you’ve had a chance to seriously consider all avenues and possibilities, put a plan together to get back in the game!
And please don’t try to do this alone, find someone you know and trust to help guide you through this journey on the road to your future success!
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