Military officers spend a significant portion of their lives servicing our country to protect their fellow brethren. While transitioning to civilian jobs, military personnel have faced many difficulties, a severe issue for countries with big-armed forces like the United States.

After a time of service, such employees seek to develop a career, frequently without the credentials required for current or future employment openings. Military environments generally have their hierarchies and language, making it challenging for most veterans to transition into the civilian sector because of the stark differences.

In this podcast, Lee Elias and Howie Cohen interview Kriby Watson, a retired military officer for 30 years, shares his experience and the must-haves of being able to excel in your transition to civilian employment. His rich experiences have big takeaways for virtually anyone in the beginning stages of their career. Here are eight things to do to give yourself an edge in every interview.

Starting brand new.

Beginning a new journey is complex, and the anxiety often gets the best of us. Realizing that every transition benefits from your past experiences are critical; it’s always the same skills but applied differently.

Your previous career is over.

Having a goal-oriented mindset and an earnest desire to start in a new direction will help you but moving on from your previous career is equally essential to success. Having a sincere desire allows you to be open to new understandings that may differ from how things are in the military.

Mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

All three levels of your health are equally important. You will only be able to take care of others if you take care of yourself first. It is vital to take new beginnings as a challenge than a setback from your previous career.


When interviewing for new jobs, platforms like LinkedIn will come in handy as they will highlight common connections. The platform is also significant in building new relationships, which will help you understand the company culture you’re applying in.

Asking for help is okay.

Military veterans have a strong mindset that, believe it or not, can get in the way of success. Remember that success is all about the team; relying on your team and asking for help is okay. Together we are strong.

Ice breakers.

For your interviews, researching and looking up company leaders and the interviewer is vital to draw common factors to use as ice-breakers. Make a memorable impression.

Having an open-mind.

Military operations are very different from the civilian sector. Hence, applying the same principles might not work out perfectly, so having an open mind to new learning curves will play a significant role in your success.

Have compassion.

The emotional drive is essential for your team to thrive. This may sound like a cliche, but taking care of those around you and having compassion for your team will instill a positive value system. It will also help your team transition from a simple work environment to a family-oriented environment.

Watch to Learn More


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