Your job search starts off strong, empowered with the tools and skills you learned during TAP. You put on actual pants every morning. You are the picture of motivation and efficiency.
Ok, time to find the perfect job. I mean you can do anything, right? You’re a leader! You managed multi-million dollar assets! You’re combat-tested!
Oh...wait. All these jobs want 7 years of industry experience. And a certification. Uh oh. You figure out that despite your experience and skills, your qualifications—on paper—may not cut it.
Ok, so maybe what your TAP instructor and parents and DVOP told you is true. People get jobs through networking. Time to practice your handshake and your not-swearing-in-work-environments.
You’re still applying for jobs, but haven’t been hired for any of the ones you want (and you’re not excited about any of the ones recruiters are contacting you about). RIP, wearing pants every day.
Without your old routine, or the sense of purpose the military gave you, you’re starting to wonder: “Who am if I’m not what I do for a living? And what do I really want to do?”
Maybe it’s the half dozen major life changes or the low-grade depression you ignored the last few years you were on active duty, or maybe the less-than-healthy coping mechanisms you developed to help you get through the tougher times, but you’re feeling...low.
You decide to talk to a pro. It’s not magic, but it starts to help.
Therapy is validating, and soon you’ve got some insight about what you want. Oh, you’re actually less stressed in high-stress situations? Good to know. You’ve got zero work-life boundaries? Hmmmm, tell me more.
With new tools in your toolkit, you approach job search with renewed vigor. Soon, a job catches your eye, and it’s perfect for you.
You apply and cross your fingers for a call.
Holy smokes, you got the interview! You practice articulating your skills, and explaining your experience without acronyms.
Turns out the team thinks you’re perfect for the job. They’re ready to make an offer, and you’re ready to commit. Hooray!
Continue to Part IV: Hitting Your Stride