New Year, New Focus: Keeping Your Career on Track

New Year, New Focus: Keeping Your Career on Track
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As we embark upon a new year, it might be a good time to take stock of your career journey. Whether making the decision to separate from the military or just exploring new opportunities in your second career, the path ahead requires some thought and planning ... and might not be as clear as you would like.


For most of us, civilian employment is unlike anything we experienced in the military, where our career path was well-defined as we awaited orders to our next duty assignment. In the civilian world, there’s much more ambiguity about what’s next and when to make a move. You are forced to deal with sudden economic swings, downsizing organizations, and a possible lack of career-progression opportunities.


To help prepare yourself for a change, either of your own choosing or an unexpected and sudden shift in your employment status, consider these tips:

  • Keep your résumé and LinkedIn profile current.
  • Stay connected with your family, friends, mentors and colleagues.
  • Explore opportunities to expand your extended network.
  • Maintain your professional associations, certification requirements, and affiliations.
  • Be visible inside and outside your organization.
  • Continually review and refine your career goals.


When you fully embrace the possibilities of a change in your employment status as a significant life event for which you must be prepared, you can confidently meet the challenges you encounter along the way.


MOAA offers a range of resources for servicemembers and their families seeking to take the next step in their professional life. Learn more here.

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About the Author

Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)
Col. Brian D. Anderson, USAF (Ret)

Anderson joined the staff of MOAA's Career Transition Services Department in August 2011. He served 26 years in the U.S. Air Force in a wide range of command and staff assignments. Connect with him on LinkedIn.