The transition from military life to civilian life can often be a difficult one. What were once ordinary tasks and routines can seem difficult and stressful. Of those stressful situations, the job hunt can be one of the hardest to adjust to. The extra stress added on you during a job search may also put additional strain on your relationships, both romantic and amicable.
During the transition, you go from having a strict and determined military schedule to complete uncertainty. Your schedule may alter dramatically or disappear altogether. It is not uncommon to feel depressed and misguided. Some of these lost feelings may come from the tightening of finances, or the loss of regular income. These factors not only take a toll on your mental health, but on the health of your personal relationships.
The following three steps take tips from a Monster community post and a Forward First Coaching article to provide advice on how to keep strong relationships and create support systems during periods of unemployment.
Step One is to anticipate the possibility of unemployment. For veterans, it is possible to acknowledge that the transition from military to civilian life may contain unemployment. Use this foresight to your advantage. Sit down and talk with your family about the current financial situation and how it may change in the future. While it may seem uncomfortable to talk about your finances now, open communication can help to reduce strain on relationships and avoid stress later on.
Step Two is to keep yourself busy. It may seem great to have the opportunity to spend extra time at home with your spouse and children, but too much down time can become a barrier in the career search. Instead, fill your time with a part-time job or an internship. Either position will give you something new to add to your resume while also expanding your professional network. Taking on a small job or internship before finding your ideal career can help to show future employers that you have drive and take yourself seriously.
If you can't find part-time work or an internship, don't give up! Instead, build your resume by taking classes in a field that interests you. Community colleges offer affordable classes to help you improve upon or learn new skills to make you even more desirable as a job candidate. To learn how to best market these new talents, come to a MVRC Veterans Career Workshop to receive guidance from our specialized career coaches. These interactive workshops work on resume and cover letter writing, and cover basic tips to help you land the next interview.
Step three is try to keep your jealousy in check and see the humor in things. Instead of getting discouraged and giving up, try to let yourself find some of the humor in the situation. Laughing about mishaps with friends and families instead of constantly complaining will help to keep relationships healthy and open. Don't become so focused on seeking a job that you forget to take the time to appreciate your friendships.
Any period of unemployment can make for a challenging situation, but keeping healthy relationships can help to lighten the burden. Taking the time to appreciate those around you will go a long way into ensuring that your personal relationships become a source of support, not stress, during your journey to a new career.