In this video, Spencer Milo talks about setting realistic expectations as you transition out of the military. One way to set realistic expectations is by determining what you financially need to survive. Learn to be open to new levels of responsibility—managers in the military do not need to transition into managers in the civilian world. Discover how a job candidates exposure to company culture as well as meeting the basic qualifications makes them a better job candidate.
- I think one of the big challenges that veterans have, that I can relate to, in a sense, is the unrealistic expectations of getting out and getting into the civilian workforce. I think, for some reason, that a lot of us think that civilians make way more than we do, just because. It's not really true. And I think, sometimes, when you're getting ready to transition, you forget that as soon as you are out, the first and 15th, that's no more. You no longer are getting your paycheck the first and 15th. Your healthcare is no longer covered immediately.
And that can be a lot to take. - Start out with finances, understanding what it is you actually need to survive, to main your existing quality of life, to maintain what it is with your family, with your children, and for you. Sometimes that priority's going to be where you physically want to be. Being more close to family, being close to a support network. Sometimes it's about a certain amount of money that you need because you have mortgage to pay, you have kids that you got to go to school, you may have special needs in your family somewhere. Understanding those things, and creating that baseline will help you in defining what's next.
Because if you need a certain amount of revenue, to pay a certain amount of bills, then you may have to make the decision that I have to cut some of those bills. Or, I can only do certain types of career fields. And that honest reflection, that honest first assessment, that PCI of what you have in your inventory is critical if you want to successfully transition out of the military. - You really need to identify what type of money you're making now. By that, I mean, your BH, the BAS, which are tax free, your medical, which is free, and then your base pay.
Put those numbers together. Go on your MyPay, we all have MyPay. Go into your MyPay, and there's a button up there that calculates what your true salary is when combining all those perks. And when you're thinking about making that transition, determining readiness, you need to have that number in mind. Because that is the number that you've been living with and by, together as a family. You need to start thinking about where that number fits in your future.
Potentially, you're going to move to place where you need about $10,000 to $15,000 less because the way of life is a little bit cheaper, and you're going to be okay with. Or maybe you're going to move to an area such as Washington D.C. or San Francisco, or New York, where you're going to need about $30,000 to $40,000 more. So that sets you up when you're looking at different positions, your different career fields. You have to have that number set in mind. You have to be ready with it. And you have to understand how those perks that you receive in the military transfer into the civilian world.
- The same thing goes for responsibility. I talk to a lot of people in the military, and not just the senior people. I talk to some lower-end people too that are convinced that because they were a manager at some point that they need to immediately go get taken in as a manager, or I immediately need to go be a director, or a CEO, or a senior operations manager. Well, that's not exactly the case. Everybody that joined the military, you came in as a private, or you came in as, you know, as a butter bar LT. You had to work your way up.
You got promoted from within in the military. The civilian world is not that different. They like to promote from within too. It's that simple. I tell folks all the time, you may have some great operational experience. You may have a degree. You may have all this going for you, but what you may not have is you may not already be involved in that company's culture. So if I can hire one of two people, I've got military person's got the same degree, they've got operational experience.
They're good people, I know they're going to work hard. But then I've got the same person, a civilian, on the other side that has all the same qualities, but has been here for 10 years. It would be foolish to not go with the person that you already have. The turnaround is going to be so much less. It's going to take two weeks to flip them, and to get them moving in the next job, whereas, not every company can afford, you know, a two month, three month, however fast you may be able to get on board, they can't always afford that. So you need to understand that sometimes, rather than coming in as the director, maybe you come in as a manger, and work your way up, prove what you're worth.
And I guarantee you, nine times out of 10, you're going to get promoted. You're going to move up the ladder. But you have to be willing to get your foot in the door and start. That's just what you have to do. Don't be afraid to start off small and just move forward. You know, you have to work your way up. You had to do it in the military, don't be afraid to do it again.
Discover how to understand your strengths and value, where your skills fit into today's job market, and how to translate your experience into a solid resume. Learn how a mentor can help you navigate the transition and open up new opportunities. With Flo's advice, you can find a new purpose and continue the journey you started in the military—bringing your talents to bear on a whole new mission in life.
- Taking initiative
- Understanding your value
- Translating your experiences
- Building your resume
- Using a mentor
- Setting realistic expectations
- Building a network
- Transitioning into a new job
- Bonus videos featuring stories of transition from veterans