In today’s episode, I share the five steps to help you plan your post-military career.
I pray this episode blesses you!
[00:00:56] Wendi: Hello ladies. And a welcome to episode [00:01:00] 129. I hope you’re having an amazing week so far. I hope that you are ready for today’s topic because. If you didn’t listen to the previous episode, episode 128. Then you might not even know that today. We’re talking all about. Post military career planning. And so if you did tune in with me, thank you.
[00:01:20] Wendi: And if you haven’t. It’s okay. If you start here. Um, the previous episode, it was pretty much going over, why it’s important to start planning now and also the importance of refocusing and recommitting to your current job. Because sometimes we forget to do that sometimes. I want to not necessarily escape from where we are now, but we want things to be different or.
[00:01:44] Wendi: Do not want to accept where we are. And one, two immediately. Go into transitioning or consider the transition from a place of unhappiness and dissatisfaction of where Currently with your [00:02:00] career. And so I want to start off by saying that. This topic is. Not only something that I need to talk about more, but more specifically.
[00:02:11] Wendi: Continue to encourage women about their transition, about their military career, about their career outside of the military. Because it’s something that we need to be ready for no matter what. And, you know, kind of like we’re ready to deploy at any moment and, you know, go to training and. And be ready to defend and serve our country. It’s also very important for us to be mentally in emotion, ready for this transition and not continue to keep in the back of our minds or continue to.
[00:02:43] Wendi: Ignore that it’s important for us to plan because it really is. And this can happen at any moment. You know, like I mentioned before, My husband and I planned on serving the military for 20 years. Both of us. Like that was our goal as we were in college. [00:03:00] I remember we talked about this and you know, how it came about.
[00:03:04] Wendi: Um, really taken a relationship very serious and, you know, planning to not only get married, but also start a family. And with that, you know, we had different conversations about, um, you know, where we wanted to be in the next, you know, five to 10 years, the next 20 years. And for the most part, it was serving, it was being dual military and rolling, moving up the ranks and, you know, not only, you know, commissioning, but also being in command and then.
[00:03:36] Wendi: You know, eventually retire as you know, Lieutenant colonels and, you know, kind of just, that was like our starting point, right? Like that was like our, for us, it was more of a short-term goal than a long-term goal at the time. It just seemed. Um, very doable. It seemed like that was the way to go and not to say that it, that that’s not the way to go or you shouldn’t, you know, go in with that [00:04:00] immediate, um, you know, mindset of this is where I want to be.
[00:04:05] Wendi: But what I’m saying is. To still consider the other part of that. The other side of that, and that is the transition. I mean, some of you have been blessed to be able to serve more than five years, serve more than 10 years, maybe even 15 years and thinking about, you know, retiring. And by that, I mean, you know, you’ve, you’ve made it this far and, you know, I applaud you for that. And you know, it takes a lot. It really does mentally.
[00:04:30] Wendi: Um, emotionally, physically of course it does. And, you know, for some of us, you know, that’s not how, you know, God. Um, planted for us, you know, there’s always something. That you know, we need to reconsider. Based on where we are and where we want to be in the next couple of years. And that’s really what happened for us. You know, my husband got injured.
[00:04:53] Wendi: It was medically retired. Then it really got me thinking and really, you know, trying to understand [00:05:00] what was next for me and figuring out what I wanted to do. And I do want to say that it’s more difficult and this is only my opinion, my perspective. But I’m pretty sure most of you would agree that it’s more difficult to consider.
[00:05:14] Wendi: A transition in military transition, a career pivot as a woman, because there are so many other things that we want to do that may be necessarily don’t. Align with what were quote, unquote supposed to be doing, right? Like what the world or what the culture expects us to do and be able to handle. And so I want to encourage you and, you know, especially if you are a.
[00:05:41] Wendi: Female leader. If you are a woman in the military and. You just feel like you’re maybe confused. Or don’t know where to begin or just in doubt of what it could be, what opportunities are out there. You know, I want to encourage you to consider. Your life beyond the military, your [00:06:00] opportunities, the opportunities that are available beyond the military. Right? And again,
[00:06:05] Wendi: Yes. Served a country. Yes. Go all in on the commitment that you’ve made and yes. You know, do your best, but at the same time, You want to be thinking and considering what is out there, you know, you want to be planning because you never know, right. Especially if you’re a paratrooper or if you’re an infantry officer, if you’re just an infantry
[00:06:25] Wendi: You know, you want to be able to. Start planning. You know, all the, um, you know, the, the things that you want to have ready for when you know that time comes, you never know you get injured, right. You could literally be simply. She’s doing any physical activity out there, um, or maybe. You know, the doctor tells you that, Hey, you know, you, you have to slow down and now it’s time for you to consider, you know, your health and your, your.
[00:06:58] Wendi: Um, future [00:07:00] on what that may look like based on, you know, the impact that the military, you know, the active duty life. Brings on you. So you want to be ready. And by that, of course, it’s not going to be perfect. Of course, it’s not going to be. A plan that you’re going to follow to the T it’s not going to be something that it’s going to be easy
[00:07:19] Wendi: And so what I want to offer you today to at least focus or, you know, if you get anything out of this is this simple. Sentence.
[00:07:28] Wendi: Your pulse military career is ruling nothing, but. A math problem. That’s all it is. It’s all math. And I’ve said this before. I’ve said this in. Different episodes where we over complicate. What is really. The, the main focus or the main problem. And instead of focusing on the solving part of it, we just tend to focus on.
[00:07:54] Wendi: You know, this. This problem that we, most of the time create for ourselves, right. And then [00:08:00] that creates a lot of drama and we forget that 95% of the time. There is a math problem to it. There is just some simple math that you can be. Um, solving instead of indulging in the trauma indulging in the wood F’s indulging and the overwhelming indulging and the, I don’t know, indulging in this.
[00:08:23] Wendi: Anxiety that you are not only creating within your own mind, but also in the future that no one knows. That is, you know, That may or may not happen. Right. We have no control And so that’s what I want to offer you today to think about this transition as a math problem, because that’s really what it is.
[00:08:46] Wendi: Because when. We think about the most Terry career, you know, we. Um, I’m sorry, not our military career, but our post military career, our military Our career beyond the military. We [00:09:00] always think about it in a time where we are unhappy at the moment. And at least for me, it was 99% of the time. Was when I was aggravated, when I was frustrated, when I was, um, tired and exhausted and I would just, you know, say, you know what, I’m just going to really start praying that my transition.
[00:09:21] Wendi: I really need to do this now. And so it was, it was coming from a place of metal, only negativity. But also scarcity. Right? Cause I’m like, oh, I can’t be happy here. Or I can’t. Um, You know, be fulfilled here. So I’m going to just go check out if the dress is greener on the other side. And that’s not necessarily it, right? Like that is definitely not what the transition should be about or how you even begin.
[00:09:49] Wendi: To think about your transition. And so like, that’s what I want to not only emphasize today. Is to think about your milk, your post military career, or that [00:10:00] transition, regardless of where you are. Let’s say you recently transitioned and you’re like in this opportunity that you’re like, okay, this is not where I want to be. I want to really pivot and get serious about my, my, my career. And I want to make this.
[00:10:15] Wendi: It positive experience and maybe not even necessarily positive experience all the time, but at least 50% of the time. Then I highly encourage that you think about this opportunity and this transition in a way where you still want to be able to focus on your commitment that you are in now, your job, your career. So if you’re still active duty, you know, going all in on the time that you do have left.
[00:10:40] Wendi: On the position that you’re in, in the role that you are in, you know, so going all in as an NCO, as that soldier, as a paratrooper, As at sailor isn’t Marine. As that leader and still being okay. And trying to make. Each and every [00:11:00] moment count. And accepting where you are. And that’s really what you know, where it really begins.
[00:11:06] Wendi: Because then when you can look forward to. The next chapter of your life to the opportunity. That, you know, maybe out there that you have no idea, you know, how it’s going to work or how you’re going to make it work, or maybe not even, you know, Even can imagine what that could look like. You know, it opens a door of opportunities and it opens.
[00:11:32] Wendi: Really this, um, Internal. Um, opportunity that you really possibly, never thought about. And that’s really what I’m here for. I’m here to encourage you. To look forward to transition, even if you have 15 years left, even if you just started your military career. You know, something that you still want to have.
[00:11:53] Wendi: In not only, um, your back pocket, but also. To start creating this toolkit [00:12:00] is going to help you in the long run because here’s the truth.
[00:12:04] Wendi: Everything is evolving. Everything is changing. Within the military outside of the military, within corporations, within different organizations, within different businesses. Within real estate within. Really everything. The medical field, everything is changing. It’s evolving. And so what I want to offer.
[00:12:21] Wendi: Is for you to just begin considering. He transitioned that maybe doesn’t have to be within the next three years. It could be in the next 10 years. But you want. A starting place. You want to be able to start from a place of unacceptance. In a place of just. Encouragement in being in through, um, Um, well, what’s the word being encouraged and even excited.
[00:12:50] Wendi: About what that could look like in the next three to five years or 20 years. But you want to start now? And so I’m going to give you kind of like the five [00:13:00] things that I’ve pretty much. Um, helped not only some of my clients, but also that I recognize, you know, these are the five things that are really going to be.
[00:13:11] Wendi: Um, or the five steps that are going to help you begin. That approach and, you know, the exploration of what the transition might look like. And the first It’s to have a conversation with your husband or your family, regardless of. You know, you, um, Being single, if you’re like completely single and you’re like, Hey.
[00:13:35] Wendi: I just need some advice. I need it kind of like an ear, or I just need someone to hear me out on what I’m thinking. Obviously you would want to get with a family member or one of your best friends, someone that you consider family that will not only have your back, but also be there to guide you in a way that comes from a place of peace in a place of love versus a place [00:14:00] of.
[00:14:00] Wendi: Um, um, unhappiness, you know, you don’t want to talk about it with your, uh, roommate or another battle buddy, because they may or may not, um, really understand. Y you want to get out, especially if they want to stay in or they may continue to encourage On, you know, yes, you need to leave the military because you’re unhappy.
[00:14:27] Wendi: And that’s not the number one reason to leave or to the reason that all. On why you should start thinking about transition or planning and transition. You never want to leave anything in this even includes the Just because you’re are unhappy. Because we have to remember that we create our happiness and we create our emotions. We are the ones that create that with our thinking, with our thoughts.
[00:14:48] Wendi: And yes, of course every circumstance is going to be different, but everyone’s going to have a different thought about each circumstance. And so I want to offer that you have this conversation and this intimate conversation with [00:15:00] someone that. Is going to listen. And honestly give you feedback that is going to be helpful and beneficial and at the terminal to you.
[00:15:10] Wendi: So that’s step number one, having a conversation with your husband, the family member. And that conversation. Really just being honest and asking questions that are going to help. Not only both of you, especially if you’re married, right? Like what, what did the transition look like? You know, for both of us, especially if you know, you’re dual military, or if you’re not dual military, honestly doesn’t even matter. Right? You, you want to hear your husband’s response on what that may look
[00:15:38] Wendi: Because you may or may not know how he is feeling, right? Like what response. And what feedback you’ll get. So that’s definitely some number one. Some number two is setting a date. Now you may be thinking, well, I don’t have any plans on getting out until 20 years from now. It doesn’t matter. Still set a date. [00:16:00] So if you’re supposed to retire in 2030, whatever the year may be.
[00:16:05] Wendi: I set that as a date, it doesn’t have to be the exact But you can, you know, come up with something January 1st, 2020. I mean January 1st, 2030. Or it could be as early as December 31st, 2022. Whatever that may look like Um, I personally decided to get out the last day of the year, just because in my brain, I figured that was, it only makes sense, but it honestly.
[00:16:32] Wendi: Not that it doesn’t matter, but whatever you pick is going to be okay, trust me. There’s never a good date. Or a perfect day for you to get out of the military. Um, but for me it was like, yeah, if I do it on this day, it’s going to be better. And I started a new year and yada, yada, yada, Whatever day you choose is going to be completely fine. And again, it doesn’t have to be.
[00:16:53] Wendi: Uh, a set date that you can’t ever change. This is just something for you too. [00:17:00] Um, consider and have in the back of your And if you haven’t noticed, I am. Um, short of breath here. So, um, as you guys may know, or may not know, I am. Expecting and I’m due the end of October. And so we’re getting really close and I am just feeling as if I need to take a deeper breath. So please, excuse me. If you hear that.
[00:17:25] Wendi: Coming through this microphone because I am just really trying to get as comfortable as I can, as my belly keeps growing. Okay, so that’s step number Step number three. And, and I kind of, um, ordered these in a way, um, where you want to follow the chronological order. And so once you set a date, I want you to look over your finances. I want you to see, you know,
[00:17:53] Wendi: Is there anything. That you want to begin to invest in, or maybe check your savings account. [00:18:00] Um, are you in. Do you have a lot of debt? Is that something that you want to work towards? You know, do you need a financial advisor? Do you need a financial coach? Do you need it to begin your, um, rough bear rate? Do you need to check your.
[00:18:16] Wendi: Um, Your retirement, your investments. Um, And if you want to invest in something, is real estate going to be something that you want to invest in, right? Like buying a home. If you haven’t got one already, or maybe you bought a home, what is that going to look like? When you get out because, um, the next one is all about location. That’s the next step. So what would that look like? Do you keep your home? Do you get another home? Do you rent that one out? Like.
[00:18:45] Wendi: What does that look like? And. My bad. I mean, you know, up until you get out, right. So let’s say your date is. Um, till 2030, you know, what does that look like? Where were your [00:19:00] finances being? If you already started an investment or some stocks, you starting investing in stocks or in real estate, what could that look like? You know, what is something that you’re comfortable with?
[00:19:10] Wendi: When it comes to your finances. In step number four, location, are you open to relocate? Are you open to. Buying a new home. Are you open to renting? Are you open to, um, selling your home? Like what does that look like for you? Like. Where do you see yourself living, or maybe not even see yourself living, but what areas are you.
[00:19:34] Wendi: Open to relocating to, or you’re completely restricted. You’re. I would never move to Alaska. I would never move to California. I would only live on the east coast. What does that look like for you? Like these are the things that, I mean of all the location part. So step number four. Step number five, your contribution.
[00:19:54] Wendi: That you are already doing. As an individual. And this is kind of [00:20:00] like where it really. Um, is going to take some time, especially if you are someone that you’re like, I really don’t know what I want to do when I get out. I’m a mechanic right now on. And I don’t have a degree or my degrees in business and I don’t like business or my degrees in communications, and I want to do something in education.
[00:20:22] Wendi: You know when there’s like a huge, um, career change. We tend to not want to even consider or think about what that contribution Because most of us hear that, oh, you should do whatever you were doing in the military. So if you’re a mechanic, you should be a mechanic in the civilian sector. If you are an officer, you need to do project management. If you were.
[00:20:45] Wendi: If you were, um, a mat in the medical field, you should be in the medical field. If you were just, um, you know, something general, then you should continue to just focus on that. But I [00:21:00] want to offer you that whatever your contribution has been in the military. It’s completely okay for you to change it as you’re transitioning out for you to change it.
[00:21:11] Wendi: In, um, in a way where you are completely satisfied with the experience that you have taken on the experience that you’ve not only, um, done and, you know, learned. And really, um, put the work in. But still being open to the skills that you’ve learned right. Throughout that experience, because regardless of what your experience has been, let’s say you are a signal officer or you are.
[00:21:40] Wendi: And, um, Intel, um, Until person or, um, logistics, let’s say your supply, supply and seal. And now you’re like, I want nothing to do. With the logistics environment. I want to be a teacher. I want to be a chef, [00:22:00] whatever that might look like for you. Then that is completely okay. Because I promise you any skill that you learned.
[00:22:06] Wendi: Or you were active duty, any skill that you, that you continued to practice, that you continued to grow in? You are also most definitely going to be using that in that other career field. Right. As a teacher. As a chef. Right. There are things that we learn in the military. That help us so much in an entire new career field. I mean, think about it.
[00:22:34] Wendi: Most of us are in positions where we never even imagined, right. Maybe we platoon Sergeant, maybe a platoon leader, maybe a company commander. No one really gives you the steps or. All the training on how to be the best company commander. But you learn along the way, right? You could have been a. Um, HR.
[00:22:55] Wendi: Um, person NCO. And now all of a sudden you’re leading. [00:23:00] You know, you’re the first Sergeant for this company. And now you have to learn a bunch of new, different things, right? You’re building different skills. You’re learning different skills. And so that’s the way I want you to think about it when you.
[00:23:13] Wendi: Are no longer interested in the job that you are doing now, and you want to do something completely different. It’s completely. Okay. Right. You may need additional education. You may need additional certifications or license, right. That may be something that you need to start planning on doing in this moment, but how can we, or how can you know that if you’re not constantly.
[00:23:39] Wendi: Asking yourself, you know, what do I want to contribute outside of the military? How do I want to show up? As you know, well, Wendy, instead of captain Ray, how do you want to show up? And what profession do you want to go into? Do you just want to do real estate? Do you. Maybe we just want to [00:24:00] stay at home and be a stay-at-home mom. Right? You’re like, I want to start a family. That’s all I want to do. I want to go to school.
[00:24:05] Wendi: I don’t want to go into corporate. I simply want to be a stay-at-home mom. And raise my kids and spend time with my family, your wife. That’s it. Completely fine. Guess what you can do. You can start you tubing. Different. I don’t know, stay at home mom opportunities. Like maybe you want to, um, Do the, um,
[00:24:34] Wendi: Oh, gosh, I just completely lost it. The school. Um, homeschooling. Maybe that’s what you want to do. Maybe you start looking into different homeschools, um, programs. I mean, whatever it may be for you, maybe you want to be. Um, you know, a gym. The personal trainer you want to be in the gym 90% of the time.
[00:24:57] Wendi: Okay. What do you need to start doing now? [00:25:00] Because. Not to say that you need to solely focus on planning your post-military career, where you can start, especially if you have. Years, at least three years to plan this out, instead of trying to do it in the last six months, instead of trying to do it in the last 90 days, like I tried to do it and I’m like, okay, I need to do this, this, this, and this. And oh, by the way.
[00:25:26] Wendi: All of these other things are happening at the same time within my life, within my career, within my job. Within my family. And so you want to be able to ask yourself. These five questions. You know, you want to be able to one start a conversation with your husband or with your family. You want to set a date. It doesn’t have to be exact.
[00:25:47] Wendi: You want to go over your finances, where you, you know, where are your savings at where your investments and where, you know, maybe you need to get rid of some debt. Are you open to relocation? [00:26:00] And if so, where or restricted? To any location. And then your contribution that you’re currently doing. Versus maybe a new contribution, a new interest of how you’re going to continue to serve.
[00:26:13] Wendi: As the individual that you are, and here’s the thing. And I’m going to have a whole separate episode on this. I promise. I don’t know when yet, but I really need to get this out there. And it’s where most of us, especially, again, women. We.
[00:26:31] Wendi: Tend to want to get confused. About who we We’re like, oh, My identity. Oh, who am I going to be? Oh, what. What does that going to look like? You know, for And I’m here raising my hand right now saying that that was me. Like I felt as if my identity was no longer going to be as important. As captain Ray.
[00:26:58] Wendi: And that’s a lie. [00:27:00] The devil is a liar. We are already.
[00:27:06] Wendi: One, a child of God to our identity has already been set for us. Just because you are wearing the uniform now in, you know, in the next couple of years, you won’t be wearing a uniform. Does not mean that your identity changes? Yes. To a certain extent you are now presenting yourself, what’s a different title or, you know, with a different, or in a different way of how you are.
[00:27:33] Wendi: Introducing yourself, but that does not mean that that is your identity. And I think that that’s where we get it confused. We’re like, oh, now because I’m transitioning or I don’t want to transition because I’m not going to be as important. Or I’m not going to have any meaning. Besides, you know, behind.
[00:27:49] Wendi: Um, what I’m doing My work or my service is not going to be. As, um,
[00:27:59] Wendi: It’s not [00:28:00] going to be as. Um, beneficial as it is now because I’m a company commander or because I’m a first Sergeant. Or because I am leading 5,000 soldiers. That’s not what it means. Your identity is honestly something that is going to continue to change, not change, but grow and evolve. You’re going to continue to evolve with ACE.
[00:28:24] Wendi: The same identity that you are given. But you’re just going to continue to grow into something different and evolve, right? Like who I am now. It has nothing to do with who I’m going to be in the next 10 years, because I’m still going to be, I’m still going to have the same valleys. I’m still going to have the same foundation.
[00:28:45] Wendi: Have you no faith. The same foundation of. You know, the, the values that I, that I, that I value my priorities. Yes, I’m going to probably know more or maybe. My [00:29:00] experience is going to be different, but I will still be. The person. That God has made me to And so that’s what I want to offer you today to really consider, you know, this contribution.
[00:29:14] Wendi: That you have been given, right? Like this gift, whatever that gift is for you. For me, it’s people. I love people. I love helping people. I love to do work when it comes to. Anything to support and to continue to drive and to continue to have people at the center of, you know, the, the, the mission or the goal.
[00:29:38] Wendi: And so again, that’s what it is for me. For some people it’s technology for some people is cooking. For some people it’s just staying at home, whatever that may look like for you. And so.
[00:29:52] Wendi: I want to offer you today. You know, to really take one. You know, this transition in a way where [00:30:00] you want to plan for it intentionally. And you want to think about it all as a huge math problem, because if you think about These are all going to have some type of math involvement. You’re going to have to figure out.
[00:30:13] Wendi: You know, cost of living your finances, you’re gonna set a date. You’re gonna have these conversations. You’re going to. Figure out, you know, maybe additional cost for education, certifications, licenses, whatever. Then we look like And at the end of the day, You want to backwards plan, right? You want to be able to really ask yourself, you know,
[00:30:34] Wendi: Is this something that I need to really focus Um, you know, give my, my focus 100% of attention because if you’re getting out in 30 days, my answer would be, yes, you need to be focusing on this. If you’re getting out in the next 10 years. Hey, maybe you give it 10% of your attention a month. Like, Hey, what can, what do I need to.
[00:30:57] Wendi: You know, do I need to go to school or do I. [00:31:00] Need to get a certification. Do I need a network? Do I need to start investing, you know, locations? Should I, you know, buy a home at, um, what my interest me in the future or what is interesting me now? What is it that I need to do? In order to continue to grow.
[00:31:17] Wendi: I need to find a mentor Tanita, reach out to someone that has already transitioned and you know, or someone that retired someone that’s retiring. Whatever that may look like for you. I want you to, um, stay encouraged and really come up with this three-year plan on, you know, how will this planning that you’re doing now?
[00:31:39] Wendi: How will this plan impact you? Your family and maybe, you know, your future. Your future career, your future finances. How can you embrace this transition now? Instead of trying to. Um, you know, do this in a rush later.
[00:31:59] Wendi: And how can [00:32:00] you make this experience? A positive experience, 50% of the time. Because here’s the truth. Every transition is going to be different. And everyone is going to struggle in different ways. Emotionally, mentally support. Whatever that may look like for you. It’s not going to be easy. And I wish I would.
[00:32:20] Wendi: You know, be the one to tell you that’s going to be easy, no matter how much planning you do, it’s not. You are going to be going through. This, um, you know, grieving process of letting this. This other, um, Career. You know, you’re, you’re, you’re saying bite to it. So it’s going to be hard. And it’s okay. It’s opposed to me. It’s supposed to be sad. It’s supposed to be.
[00:32:46] Wendi: Um,
[00:32:48] Wendi: You know, um, discouraging at times because you got so close to this community. That now you are not necessarily no longer a part of, but now you are on another side of [00:33:00] it. You’re always going to be a veteran. You’re always going to have your military family or military community, but the truth is that it’s going to be different. Once you get out, once you’re out of active duty, it’s completely different.
[00:33:12] Wendi: And it’s going to be okay. It won’t be easy, but it also doesn’t have to be not positive. So even if it’s 50% of the time, it’s going to be confusing at times. Don’t let your mind indulgent a drama. Remember it’s all math. And so. And this is something that you’re like really serious about, and you’re like, I really miss doing. And, you know, yes. Maybe if I don’t get out in the next few years, I still need to begin highly recommend.
[00:33:39] Wendi: That you take these five steps and begin to implement. A plan. Um, at least get started and it helps you. At least with a starting point on how to plan. You know that three year journey that you may continue. To not only follow, but also you never know. Life happens. And [00:34:00] there may be another plan for you that you may not know of.
[00:34:03] Wendi: All right, ladies. I hope that this was helpful. Again, I am so happy that you’re here. So thank you so much for tuning in. And I hope that you have an amazing rest of your week. Talk to you soon. Bye.