Leaving the military can be a significant transition, whether you’ve been in the service for years or decades. It is crucial to prepare properly and ensure the best chances of success when transitioning to civilian life again. You should ensure you have a good support system in place and that you’re making the choice for the right reasons.
You will also need to consider what your life will look like when you’re no longer part of the military. Here are some of the best steps to take to make the transition straightforward.
Decide What Work You Want To Do
Consider your strengths to find what kind of employment you would excel in. Security and police work are common career choices for vets, as their time in the military gives them a lot of experience in handling high-stress situations. Healthcare is another popular choice.
Have A Full Physical
Get a comprehensive overview of your physical health. Have a physical before you leave the military, so you know what to expect once you’re out, particularly if you have been injured during your service. Ensure you take care of your physical health, stay active once you leave, and eat a balanced, healthy diet.
Start building your savings before you leave the military. Ensure you have a healthy cushion to live on while transitioning back to civilian life. When you find employment, save as much as you can.
Buy A Home
Leaving the military allows you to put down roots. Buy a home to set up a permanent base for you and your family. There are home loan providers who offer loans to veterans to help them onto the property ladder, even if they haven’t got much of a down payment. Check out Hero Loan for more information.
Join In Civilian Life
Reconnect with civilian life and immerse yourself in the wider world. Attend different events and get used to the ‘civilian’ language again.
Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Talk to a counsellor or therapist to help you through the transition. Moving from military to civilian life can be a significant change, and having the help of a mental health professional to work through your feelings and concerns can be invaluable. If you’re affected by PTSD or any other mental health condition related to your service, seeking mental health care is crucial.
Consider Returning To Education
Many educational institutions offer discounted or free training, college degrees and upskilling to veterans. Research local schools to see what they offer. Take advantage of the transitional training provided by the military.
Prepare Your Family For The Transition
The transition can be hard on all members of the family. Discuss your decision with your partner and children and explain why you’ve decided to leave the service. Let them know what your next steps will be, and let them have input.
Gather Memories Of Your Time Serving
Keep your uniform, photos, medals, and other memorabilia safe for the future. The military is an integral part of many serving and former personnel, so keep the memories you have safe. Take photos in your last months in the service to show your kids and grandkids and to keep the memories fresh.