I spent five months unemployed before I started my first civilian job and I wasn’t prepared for it at all. My plan was always to roll right into my next job, and I would have never believed that it would take me that long to start working again. I started planning my career transition a full year in advance to avoid this exact situation. How could this have happened to me?
No one ever told me that I should plan for this. Why would they? Up to that point, my career had been playing out perfectly. My peers who left the military before me were able to get on their feet quickly, or so I thought. The truth is, most service members experience a period of unemployment. It’s not ideal but it’s also not the end of the world. Here are a few things that surprised me about unemployment: