Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

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36 Navy | Spring 2018 MILITARY TRANSITIONS A s AUSN's Navy magazine focuses on readiness this year, it would be nice to believe we all will be adequately prepared and ready for the future. Paths will go according to plan; transitions will occur exactly when expected. But experience — and poetry — tells us the "best laid plans of mice and men oen go awry." Almost every expert I know advises transition prepa- ration one to two years ahead of the expiration of term of service, or ETS. is is good advice. If you can, you should plan ahead, attend Transition Assistance Program classes early, and focus on your next steps. But you should stop reading this article because it isn't for you. is article is for the Sailor who is leaving the military soon — in less than six months — and hasn't got a plan in place. If you find yourself scrambling and overwhelmed, take a seat, take a breath and get ready to make your transition plan. STEP 1: Identify Your Long-Term Goal. What do you want to be when you grow up? You probably haven't given much thought to what you've wanted to do because it's the mission that matters. So, you'll need to know what you want. Do you want to do the same job or a different job? What motivates you and what matters to you? STEP 2: Identify Your Career and Current Financial Realities. What you want to do long term is well and good, unless you can't do it at this moment. Is the job available in the civilian world? Are you quali- fied for the job you want? Do you need to go to school? If you only have three months to plan your ETS, then your immediate plan can't include a job that requires a two-year master's degree or four-year under- graduate degree that you don't have. is is the moment when your current financial reality comes into play. Understanding your financial situation will dictate how you proceed. If you're married or have a family, this reality is a shared one. You need to have a conver- sation with your team. A savings, good budget and thriy living may allow you to live off your military retirement if you will receive one. You may be able to buy yourself some time before you have to take a "pay the bills" job. Or you may need to work right away, which is a reality for most of us. Whatever your finan- cial situation, it's likely that you will need to set up a two-phase plan. STEP 3: Make that Plan. A quick ETS will require a source of income for the short-term while you meet the civilian requirements for the job you want in the long term. is brings us to the moment when you will need to decide what kind of jobs to apply for in the short-term. e easiest way to do this is to iden- tify and obtain a position aligned with your military occupational specialty, or a job that allows you to use your transferable skills and earn the paycheck that will sustain you in the short term. Once you have made your short-term career path plan, then you can think about your long-term career goals. It will be far easier to set your long-term plans in motion while your essential needs are being met by your short-term job solution. STEP 4: Implement the Short-Term Plan. Once you've narrowed down your job description profile, target your job search tools and apply to oppor- tunities aligned with your "right now" job. en, focus on working through the steps you need to obtain your long-term goal. Implementing this quick transition plan requires that you simultaneously focus on what needs to occur imme- diately and planning for the future. Although you've committed to a short-term plan, remember Will Rogers' advice: "e road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces." Make sure to check in on your long-term goals to ensure you're still moving forward instead of staying in park. Ideally, everyone would be able to ETS with a plan that's been years in the making to ensure an easy tran- sition and a dream job. Despite this fact, you can ETS quickly and still be successful. e only thing stopping you is accepting the challenge for what it is, researching your goals and needs, and implementing your plan. Jaime Libby Boyle, Ph.D., is assistant editor of the Military Service Employment Journal at the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network. She can be reached at When Readiness Isn't an Option Trading "Hurry Up and Wait" for "Hurry Up and Plan" By Jamie Libby Boyle, Ph.D.

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