Finding a new job is atop many New Year's resolutions lists....


Don’t wait to look

A lot of retiring service members want to take a break before looking for a new career—you've certainly earned one. So you use every bit of your terminal leave golfing, vacationing, sleeping in and watching soaps … and when it comes time to find a new position, you're already behind the curve. Most positions that pay bi-monthly will not pay for work that has not yet been done, so it may be a month before you see your first full paycheck. In addition, it's important to remember that the first retirement check won't arrive until the end of the month you retired.


There is a timer on your clearance

If you intend to use your security clearance when you separate, know that it can and will expire. Depending on your clearance level, it could even end the same day you are read out. And if you do find a job that requires a clearance, it will still take 90 to 180 days for your clearance to cross over to the new position.


Know your worth/needs

Know exactly how much you will need to at least maintain your family's current lifestyle. Know that there will be new expenses that you may not have had before and the cost of insurance may be more than you are used to paying. Don’t undervalue yourself when you are looking for a position. Military members have been trained and are proven leaders. Employers are looking for just that.


The first job you find may not be your forever job, and that is okay

The relief of finding that first post-military job can feel like a great weight has been lifted. But after working for a year or two, perhaps you realize that it is not what you expected, or maybe you want to find something more challenging. It's okay to move on. Your loyalty as a service member is a great quality, but it can also make you feel pressured to stay in a position that isn't right for you. Don't feel obligated to stick it out just because they gave you a shot when you first separated.