A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

It’s A Jumping Off A Cliff Feeling For Most Folks

Our special series recorded on the USS Midway continues with Kevin Burke, Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton; Bonnie Amos, Hiring Our Heroes and Toyota Personal Branding Ambassador; Elizabeth O’Brien, Director of Military Spouse Programs at Hiring Our Heroes; and Andrea Hutchins, Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications at Hiring Our Heroes. Listen in as this week’s guests discuss why service members need to make a plan to leave the military before they want to leave the military and why the transition from military service to a civilian career may feel like you’re jumping off a cliff. 

Top Takeaways from It’s A Jumping Off A Cliff Feeling For Most Folks:

1. There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about the transition from the battlefield to a corporate office.

“It is absolutely different, but it’s so much the same at the same time. It’s a journey that they’ll have to go through to understand what is the same and what is different and be able to bring what is good from their backgrounds forward and leave behind the things that aren’t necessarily going to be helpful for them or needed to make that transition smoothly. It’s a crazy thing. It’s a jumping off a cliff kind of feeling for most folks.” –Kevin Burke, Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton

2. A successful transition starts before the service member submits his or her paperwork to leave military service.

“When I made that decision (to transition out of the Navy), there was still quite a bit of time ahead while I was still in uniform. So I made use of (that time) in my off-hours. It (transition) was like a second job. I treated it like a second job to learn about the industries and companies that I was interested in.” –Kevin Burke, Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton

3. Finding a job is work.

“It’s not an automatic. You don’t step out of a uniform and into a job just because you say ‘I’m no longer a Marine, sailor, airman, soldier or Coast Guardsman.’…It is a job finding a job and it’s a full-time job.” –Bonnie Amos, Toyota Personal Branding Ambassador

4. On average, military couples have $5,000 in their bank accounts when they separate from the military.

“This is really an important decision and it’s really important that you end up with the right company when you transition out. So, what we know is that if a spouse has a job before the service member separates, the service member is more likely to find that first right job.” –Elizabeth O’Brien, Director of Military Spouse Programs at Hiring Our Heroes

5. Transition is a time for service members and their spouses to plan their post-military goals, dreams and aspirations together.

“You don’t want that transition to be yet one more time that the spouse does whatever is needed to support you (the service member).” –Kevin Burke, Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton

The HOH Sitrep podcast is the official podcast of the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative. Subscribe to the HOH Sitrep podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcast service and never miss an episode!

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A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

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