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What's Next? What's Now?

My good friend Jason Politte and I were catching up today, discussing a variety of career and career-transition related topics. We, like so many service members and veterans, spent the majority of our military careers focusing on "What's Next?"- the next assignment, promotion, school and so on. The military environment nurtured that focus. Its processes, practices, systems and structure all combined to create 'momentum' that encouraged this forward focus ... and it was a good thing. And then comes career transition. We enter it with that same "What's Next?" focus. BUT, the environment is very different. There are endless (mostly unfamiliar) options and opportunities, but no prescribed promotion path and no organizational 'momentum' to nudge one in the 'right' direction. The transition environment requires a focus adjustment. "What's Next" remains relevant, but one must more heavily consider "What's Now?" The military environment, by its very nature, took care of many of the "What's Now?" questions. Choices were limited and paths were clear. The criteria by which you assessed these limited choices were usually well defined. Unfortunately, all this 'momentum' doesn't usually prepare us well for dealing with the unstructured, unlimited, undefined world of opportunities we face in transition. Whether you are approaching transition or smack dab in the middle of it, take time to consider "What's Now?" - Who are you? - What do you bring to the party? - How do you define success? - What are the practical realities of your situation? - Etc., etc., etc. It's an investment in yourself you'll be glad you made. If you'd like to learn more, give me a shout!

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