Though the road to retirement is littered with do this, do that's, there is nothing more important than getting your next career ready.
Yes, that's right, your next career. Unless you're an O-6 or above with no debt or children to tend to, you're most likely looking at jumping into a new career field. Be it a part-time-funds-top-off type of job or an outright M-F gig with full benefits, there's some changes coming. This post is to help you down that road, you're not alone. There are so many (too many, maybe) groups, organizations, non-profits out there who want to help you. Some are better than others (I judge not here), but there is a single goal for all: to get you back on your feet (that post-retirement "oh-shit what have I done phase") and working as a civilian.
I intend this to be a "living post," that is, if something new comes up, or changes, I'll be updating it (updated as of: 26 February 2019):
- USO (Note: I recently finished the Google IT Support Cert. through the USO)
- USO Pathfinder: A specific program to assist transitioning vets to get ready for the workforce. (Personal note: going through the Pathfinder program I've been able to complete the Google IT Support Certificate Professional program (for free) and I'm starting my CompTIA Network+ Certification (they also pay for the test) through the Onward to Opportunity (O2O) Program operated by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University which I was guided to via my USO Pathfinder Transition Coach.)
- Veterans eMentor
Hire our Hero's (HOH): This is a great (free too) resource for getting ready for that next chapter via their resume help and access to Skillsoft to sharpen or even learn new skills (again, free to you). Don't pass this up!
Military Transition: An "OMG! that's a big list" listing of free resources... this kinda' makes my post here a moot point.
Reddit Resume/Job Help: There are two resume sub-reddit (I don't know why), one being more popular than the other, but both have a fair number of users.
- r/Resume: get your resume constructively critiqued; here is a veteran (transition) specific post.
- r/resumes: get your resume constructively critiqued
- r/jobs: ask questions about the job hunting "do"s and "don't"s to include interview skills, proper dress, etc.
VetForce: Extensive free training in SaleForce, a very popular customer relationship management software. I didn't get really deep into the training because I'm moving into Cybersecurity Analyst jobs, but I explored it a bit. It's a very robust training program that's very interactive. One of the best training programs I've seen, and if someone's looking to move into sales, customer relations, or business management, I'd highly recommend it. (Thanks Arik Knapp)
VTIP: This is a training program offered by Cisco that pretty regularly leads to job offers as network engineers. The training program doesn’t pay while you’re in it, but CCNA training and certifications are nothing to sneeze at. (Thanks Arik Knapp)
MISL: This is Cisco’s military sales program. Unlike VTIP you’re hired to work for Cisco and receive pay while going through Cisco’s Sales Ignite training. The two guys who run the program are really passionate about it and working for Cisco. (Thanks Arik Knapp)
Breakline: Breakline is a combination training and job placement program with a fairly robust selection process. Its aim is to place veterans in corporate leadership positions that they are qualified for in terms of practical experience but may not know how to sell to recruiters and hiring managers. I’ve heard really good things and their communication is great- however I found it a bit late to really take advantage of right now. (Thanks Arik Knapp)
FortiVet: Fortinet is a network security product company (not an MSSP) that’s primarily known for its Fortigate firewall. The FortiVet program is a program that lets them leverage their connection with a wide range of MSSPs and other customers to connect with veterans who are looking to start in cybersecurity or move from military cyber to private sector cyber. It’s a really strong program overall and the two guys who run it are passionate about it- one of them is a retired Marine Corps E-9. (Thanks Arik Knapp)
Checklist for Retirements: This is a great PFD (fairly specific to the Coast Guard) which lists out nearly everything you need to look for and do for your retirement. It has suggested websites too. Of interest on here is the DODTAP site, be sure to use this link (there is a .com scam site out there, stay away!)
I also ask that if you have a specific experience with a service or site, or you think I should add something, please let me know.