Reading Lists

The Transitioning Military Officer Reading List – 4 books 4 resources

This month I will complete my 18th year of Naval service which makes me eligible for retirement in as soon as two years. While I am still undecided when I will transition out of the Navy, one thing is for sure, I will get out eventually.

With that eventual transition on my mind, below are 4 books and 4 resources I’ve either read or recommend for a military officer starting the process of transitioning from service.

What’s Next? – A Manual for military members and their spouses transition to a private sector career  By John Ruehlin.

I took the Ruehlin course a few years ago while I was XO at the Office of Naval Intelligence. It was an excellent five-day course covering the nuts and bolts process for finding understanding your career objective and finding your new job. What made the course most valuable is that it was designed by a former Naval Officer, and taught by former Military Officers all with experience in the private sector. While the book is designed to be read along with the accompanying five-day course, it can be purchased directly here.

What Color is your Parachute? – The practical manual for job-hunters and career-changers  By Richard Bolles

“What Color is your Parachute?” claims to be one of the oldest and most sold books on job hunting and career changing. It is also the book that I’ve recommended or given most out. The book is really two books in one; the first section is on the WHAT, WHERE and HOW and helps you first understand what type of job you want. While the second section gives you practical guidance for finding that job once you know what you are looking for.

Out of Uniform: Your Guide to a Successful Military-to-Civilian Career Transition   By Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe is a recognized expert in the field of career transition. Prior to serving as the candidate strategies editor and career coach at Bradley-Morris, Inc., he was a senior partner at Career Development Corporation, where he provided guidance to separating military personnel. As a former military officer, his work is regularly featured in such publications as Civilian Job News, Stars and Stripes, and G.I. Jobs.

His book, “Out of Uniform,” covers the major steps of stepping from a military to civilian job which include: getting ready, what the civilian side looks like, mental preparations, mechanical preparations, interviews, and how to analyze offers. In addition to his steps, Tom Wolfe helps you think though more than just salery to find the the best type of job that best suits your personality.

The Military Advantage, 2016 Edition: The Guide to Military and Veterans Benefits

The Military Advantage, is published yearly and is the most reliable benefits guide for Americans who have answered the call to serve in the military. The book benefits which amount to billions in scholarships, educational benefits, home loan guarantees, and military discounts. In addition the latest addition includes TRICARE Prime and pharmacy updates, pay and allowance rates, active duty education program changes, new Navy pay charts, veteran support resources, expanded service member protection policies, and changes in life insurance.

LinkedIn – 1 Year free access to LinkedIn Premium + LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn should be one of your first resources when starting your job search. One word of advice, as a social networking company it takes time for you build your linkedIn network. Therefore, in order to take full advantage of the Premium membership, I recommend using your free profile to build your network for 6-12 months before unlocking the power of LinkedIn Premium. DODTap is the Official Department of Defense Transition Assistance Site. It contains the curriculum for taking a virtual tap class along with resources and tools to help plan a transition.

Corporate Gray  was founded by Carl Savino in 1994, and helps transitioning military personnel connect with employers in print, in person, and online  They offer a Military-to-Civilian Transition Guide, in person job fairs, virtual job fairs and an employment networking site. Corporate Gray is the only for-profit, veterans focused resource on this list.

Career One Stop – Career One Stop is sponsored by the US Department of Labor and contains the Federal programs, such as schooling and benefits, for transitioning veterans.

Resources I do not recommend

Military One Source – The material on Military One Source is nearly identical to the material on  – primarly conducts research on the military transitioning and job hunting process.  They then provide that information in the form of infographics and profiles. While the information they provide is interesting, I did not find that it assisted with the transition process.

Please let me know in the comments section below if you have additional resources for transitioning service members, or would like me to publish your e-book or resource.

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