The military does a great job providing an integrated support network for all the resources you need; whether its fellow soldiers supporting each other, groups for spouses, deployment support groups, groups that provide dependents support, etc. This becomes a way of life for those in the military and you become accustomed to this level of support. These types of groups exist outside the military but don't carry the same level of camaraderie and understanding that exists in the military support networks. This can become an eye opening experience for those who have been in for some time or have been deployed for numerous deployments.
When transitioning out of the military it is very important to write down the support network that you currently have that is making you successful. As part of this process identify where you believe you could use stronger support to bolster those areas that are more challenging for you.
Some of the basic areas to consider for establishing a post-transition support network include, but are not limited to:
- Other transitioning Veterans
- Career field based
- Hobby related
- Social media Groups
For each of the areas above identify a minimum of one to two people that you know you can lean on when needed for support. Be sure to reach out to them and have a conversation about where you are at with your transition and how you believe they could be of great help in this process. Most people are honored to provide whatever support they can for someone they know that has served our great country and is now transitioning to a new future. Over time be sure to work on expanding the areas and people within your support network. Keep in mind that quality of quantity will serve you best in doing this. Don't add a lot of people who could "potentially" support you but only those who you have made direct contact with and are in agreement to actively support you as part of your network.
There are many benefits that can come from having an established support network prior to fully transitioning from the military:
- Reduce or eliminated stress/anxiety
- Provide a piece of mind knowing who you will turn to
- A greater sense of being part of a new community
- Potential referrals for jobs
Remember to be transparent on your needs with your support network and provide support back to those who are agreeing to support you. Be sure to keep an open mind on how things will go in various situations and know that things will be different, but that's ok.
Landmark Life Coaching's Mission is to honorably and respectfully serve courageous groundbreakers and transitioning veterans to persevere in defining and executing their future by providing an atmosphere of camaraderie and trust that honors their dedication and commitment. This will empower our clients to feel whole, honored, respected and fulfilled in defining and living their life purpose.