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10 Steps to a Government Job - For Military Service Members

10 Steps to a Government Job - For Military Service Members

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Step 9: Common Hurdles Faced by Veterans

If you’re like most military service members, you’ve spent your entire working career in the military. You know how it works and you know how to work with it. Getting out and entering the civilian world can be daunting to think about. You’ll hit your fair share of hurdles along the way. As long as you expect them, they should be easier to overcome.

Avoiding Transition-Related Stress

Get going: It is your transition; no one can do it for you. Work through the transition process and do not procrastinate. Put your situation in perspective and get on with your life.

Sell yourself: Now is not the time to be modest about your accomplishments. No one will come looking for you unless they know you are available. Once you let them know, you will find many people who will help you.

Network: Chat with other government workers on GovCentral who have made the transition themselves. They are easy to spot and always willing to offer advice.

Work at it: Work at planning your transition as if it were a job. However, if you spend every waking hour working on it, you will burn out. Take time for yourself and your family.

Lighten up: This is probably the most important piece of advice. Do not lose your sense of humor. An upbeat disposition will see you through.

Keep your family involved: Your family has a large stake in your transition. They are experiencing many of the same feelings, worries, and uncertainties as you are. Do not keep your plans to yourself; get your family involved in this process. Let them in on your plans and ask for their input throughout the process. It’s their life too.

Take a change management course: Consider taking a change management course before stress appears, or at the first signs of stress.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is one of those things that people often don’t want to talk about. If you served in a combat zone or otherwise feel that you could be suffering from PTSD, seek help. Don’t be ashamed about it. It can be overcome, but not if you refuse to do anything about it. has pulled together a lot of great resources about combat zone PTSD that can help you find the treatment you may need.

Learn Humility
As a new government employee you are expected to take orders, not give them. Humility is an extremely important quality to for you to possess. You may be subjected to additional interviews or monitoring if you’ve served in a combat zone. Don’t take it personally, and do what you can to alleviate any concerns.

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