My First Job, Outside Of The Military
I left the military after 20 years and as far as career changes went, I knew a couple things. I wanted to avoid doing contract security work, any GS positions and I was moving to the mountains. My first job was awesome. I cut trees, drove a 30-ton crane and hauled logs. The company I worked for was run extremely well, and my boss was the best I ever had, on par with the caliber of the best people I worked with in the military. The long hard days were great!
My recommendation: if you are doing the career reinvention thing; design your life the way you want it. Move where you want and don't be afraid to take on a job that's outside the box. Most of us enjoy hard, outside work. While it may not end up being your next full career, it can get you on the ground and running into a new life. Who we were in the military, our rank, the wars we fought and the respect we earned kind of dissolves a bit when you get out. It's not a big deal. We kind of start out as new guys again, which should be welcomed. Be an asset, never a liability. Be confident, not cocky. Be honest. Work as hard as you can to learn new things and new skills. Listen to those that know, regardless if they did the military thing, it doesn't matter! Welcome starting over as a new guy, you'll quickly advance. One thing I never expected was I made some new, non-military, friends that I hang with all the time. I think when we military folks come into a job in the civilian world, there can be a variety of expectations and preconceived ideas about us. Best thing we can do is what we excelled at inside the military. Do your best teamwork, follow as well as you can lead, listen more than you talk, learn and perform above expectations. Civilian life is great, if we make it a point to succeed, change and learn.