When being tough just isn’t enough…
They think there’s something wrong with you.
They just don’t understand why it’s so hard for you to find a job, or keep one when you find one.
They think you joined the military and got messed up, even if you seem perfectly normal on the outside.
They think you can maybe be “fixed” with drugs or counseling.
But all too often, you know the problem isn’t you.
You got along just fine in a military environment; even prospered and thrived under immense pressure and high expectations - much higher than in the civilian world.
You know it’s not you who’s out of whack, it’s the world around you. It seems like people live by a completely different set of values and priorities than you do.
It seems that way, because they do.
Luckily, for the vast majority of veterans, there are only two things standing in your way. They are 1) learning the rules of civilian life that you were never taught, and 2) neutralizing the power of bad memories. Both issues can be dealt with swiftly and efficiently, but only if you have the right information.
You’re not defective, you’re a dolphin trying to learn how to climb a tree. You literally have to get your legs underneath you, and you’ll be fine. You just need someone to show you what you need to know.
And nobody, but nobody really understands that struggle except another veteran who’s been through it successfully.
Whether you’ve been out for 2 days or 40 years, there’s one thing we all come to realize eventually: becoming re-civilianized doesn’t just happen naturally. It took a boot camp to get you into the military mindset, and it’s going to take a boot camp to help you get out of it. How long or short that process takes is up to you.
You’ll never stop being who you are - and that should be your greatest asset, not a liability you spend your life trying to “cope” with. Re-civilianizing is a process that far too many of us never fully accomplish. The military can’t get you there, and it’s not their job anyway. Civilians can help, but only so far. I encourage you to seek the company and assistance of successful veterans as quickly as you can, and find out how they did it. It’s the fastest way to a balanced life, and you’ll be glad you did.
Lance T. Walker is a proud USAF veteran, coach, and marketing specialist who is dedicated to helping others, especially veterans, successfully navigate major life and career transitions. His team operates two online vehicles for this purpose; WeHireHeroes.US and CivilianBootCamp.com.