Veteran Transition Tips: The Art of Setting Boundaries

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Work/life balance – while it’s a top priority on civvy street, it’s likely an alien concept for some veterans. This tends to be because military service is your work/life balance – it provides both a clear purpose and a lifestyle dedicated to duty. 

It’s partly what can make the transition to civilian work so difficult. Thankfully, veterans are highly adaptable, and striking a healthy, happy work/life balance is simply another challenge to overcome. 

If you’re struggling to achieve the balance that works for you, then you’re in good company. Many veterans struggle to make the move away from regimented military life to the more flexible civilian world (although this difference isn’t always so stark). 

The team at Ex-Military Careers have been there before – here are some tips to help you find the right balance. Finding the right balance depends on the workplace, but these tips should give you a good foundation to build on.

Don’t be Afraid to Say NO

Embracing the grind mentality can quickly lead to burnout. Plus, if you’re eager to make a good impression, you might find yourself immediately saying ‘yes’ to every request that comes your way. 

On top of that, your military mindset might lead you to want to see projects through, even when it means staying behind for an extra three hours. 

Learning to say no is a real game changer. While you may not have had a chance to say it to military superiors, it’s far more common in the civilian world.

Hierarchy of Needs

Getting the basics right is a must. Eating enough, sleeping enough, exercising enough, and enjoying your downtime is crucial. Jobs that prevent you from managing your hierarchy of needs properly should generally be avoided. 

Time dedicated to recharging is never time wasted. Learning how to avoid burnout (something the UK isn’t so good at) is a crucial part of developing a healthy work/life balance. 

Finding Meaningful Work 

This is one that many veterans have a hard time coming to terms with after leaving the forces. Meaningful work (work that aligns with your goals and values) can be difficult to come by when the military provides you with such a strong sense of purpose.

Finding a rewarding job can give you a fresh set of goals, a new challenge, and ultimately, a new purpose. What do you want to do? Ask yourself what you want out of a job, where you want your career to go, and what you want to be doing in a few years. The more clearly you can define your wants and needs, the easier it is to find a relevant role on civvy street, and the easier it’ll be to strike a good work/life balance.

If you don’t know where to start looking (or even how to start planning your civilian career), then the team at Ex-Military Careers have you covered – contact us today to find out more about our inclusive, growth-enabled recruitment process: