For those who've served our country and enjoyed the high stress, adrenalin surge required to be successful, the transition to civilian work can be a difficult journey. Two examples are: the flight deck of an aircraft carrier ( Navy aircraft carrier ) or a search and rescue helicopter ( Coast Guard Search and Rescue ). There are few jobs in the civilian world that require that intense, life or death decision making capability. I frequently hear former military professionals say they are prepared for the difference, but only rarely has that proved to be an easy statement to implement.
I remember a former first sergeant who was amazed at how few people he would be required to manage during an eight hour shift. And equally amazed when he realized he would not be responsible for them once they left work. Likewise, young professionals who enjoyed their service with the Third Herd, as a battalion leader, helicopter repair technician. They greatly missed the feeling of success and contribution to a mission in defense o their country.
Twenty plus year ago, I remember the look of shock on a former fighter pilot's face when I told him we have nothing in the civilian world that equals flying a multi-million dollar aircraft in support of your country. His transition took quite awhile and he always admitted he missed the camaraderie of military life and the importance of a "mission".
Careers as civilians who work in Emergency Rooms, as firemen, policemen or for the highway patrol will come close - - but it won't be quite the same. Gone will be the sense of mission, the close-knit relationships developed under incredible stress.
Employers who realize the significance of the discipline and training that are a part of a former military professional and hire them - - they will be amazed. It will take a time of transition and collaboration, but the end result will be an employee who takes pride in their work, gets the job done and handles stress very well.