Guide to planning a Defence to civilian transition

Defence to civilian transition planning

Leaving the Australian Defence Force can be a daunting prospect. But returning to civilian life is inevitable at some point, whether due to the end of a period of service, redundancy or medical discharge. Planning a Defence to civilian transition well in advance of your ADF discharge will make the change less stressful and ensure you are as well prepared as possible.

Your career after the ADF

Whether you are Army, Navy or Air Force and whatever rank you hold, it is never too soon to prepare for this major change in your life. The military is not a normal career. Moving on from the ADF and commencing civilian employment is not the same as changing jobs as a civilian.

Defence to civilian transition involves leaving behind a structured workforce you’ve worked in for many years. It also involves other potential areas for consideration, such as housing and money management.

When you leave the ADF it can, in a way, be like starting again from scratch and creating a new life can be complicated. Try not to leave your preparation until the very last stage of your military career! Timely career transition planning will enable you to make effective provision for civilian employment and settle more quickly into your new life.

There is a variety of factors you will need to consider as part of your successful return to civilian society. Identify what challenges you will face and how you can navigate them.

There will also be opportunities you can develop while still in the Defence, such as training and further education, and things you can do to plan for your future to take account of your changing circumstances.

When it is time to start your defence to civilian transition campaign, companies such as Glide Outplacement offer a range of support and advice to prepare for this career change, such as approaching the job market, education and training and civilian resume writing services.

Clarity on your future career path

Without a clear direction for your next career, it will be difficult to engage in an effective transition campaign. If you aren’t clear on which job is right for you, your resources will be spread very thinly. An effective job search campaign requires clear direction.  Not only that, but you probably want to have a second career that you will love rather than just any job!

Whatever stage of your transition process, if you can relate to any of the following statements career transition management coaching can help you:

  • I have no idea what I want to do.
  • I have lots of ideas but don’t know which one is right for me.
  • I have a firm career plan and want to ensure its success.
  • I feel pigeon holed into a career that doesn’t excite me.
  • I don’t have the skills to pursue the career I want.
  • I lack confidence compared to civilians.
  • I want to start my own business and want to ensure its success.

Civilian career not right for you?

Career coaching can still help if you have started a new career, but realise it is not for you and don’t know what to do next. Maybe you are struggling to cope with the demands of your new role or civilian life in general?

If you are well prepared, your Defence to civilian transition will be much smoother. Advice and support is available, so make the best use of it to help in your journey towards a career after the ADF.