After having spent so many years in the military, thinking about what comes afterwards can potentially be stressful and induce anxiety or fear. Preparation can make this anxiety more bearable and can make the transition process much easier. It’s a good idea to start thinking about post-military life about six months before you leave.

Veteran Melody Fugazzotto has a several suggestions for post-military preparation, which are summarized below.

First, you want to keep important documents inside acid-free page protectors. These files can help you fill out your DD-214, the most important document you get when leaving the military. In this binder you can keep a list of your duty stations and addresses along with your CV, cover letter, letters of recommendation, training certificates, and awards. It’s also a good idea to keep detailed records of your accomplishments and military training. Important documents should be scanned and/or copied whenever possible, just in case.

Next you want to start building your online presence. Create a LinkedIn account so that it will be easier for employers to find you. Begin to manage your social media accounts and activities. Now is probably a good time to check on your privacy settings and delete any controversial photos or statements. Remember that once something is on the Internet, it’s there forever. So make sure that you’re okay with anything that your employer might find about you.

Be sure to keep in touch with people you worked with in the military, as they will be able to help advocate for you in your next chapter. And start building connections with people you might want to work with. Set up informational interviews and learn as much as you can about the opportunities out there.

And while you’re still in the military, be sure to take advantage of any free or subsidized training.

If you’re seeking any post-military training opportunities, the Blackfox Training Institute is approved for the training of veterans and eligible persons under the provisions of Title 38, United States Code, and is recognized by the State of Colorado as an Approved Private Occupational School. These credentials qualify Blackfox as an approved technical training center for eligible veterans wanting to use their GI Bill for education benefits.

This is the first program of its kind to provide veterans with little to no industry experience with the skills to grow their careers in the electronic assembly industry. Upon completion of the course, veterans can qualify for employment in aerospace, defense, medical, and electronic contract manufacturing.

Receive your trade school certificate and watch your career blossom. Learn more about the Veteran’s Training Program today. Click here to register for the next training session.

Source: Fugazzoto, Melody. (2015). 10 Ways To Get Ready For Life After The Military. Task & Purpose.