Tips to Take Stock of Your Career Path in Uncertain Times

Tips to Take Stock of Your Career Path in Uncertain Times
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As we enter a period of uncertainty, thoughts naturally move toward financial security and minimum monetary requirements. As you consider those critical benchmarks, it might be a good time to take stock of your career journey.


Whether making the decision to separate from the military or facing the potential of being laid off, the path ahead might not be as clear as you would like.


For most of us, civilian employment is unlike the well-defined career path we experienced in the military. Yes, we had to deal with maintaining military readiness, short-notice and extended  deployments, and preparing every three or so years for our next duty assignment. However, in the civilian world, there’s much more ambiguity about what’s next and when to make a move – and even more in the face of potential sudden market swings, economic downturns, hiring freezes, downsizing organizations, and a lack of near-term career-progression opportunities.


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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:

  • Stay connected with your family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Polish your LinkedIn profile.
  • Grow and expand your extended network.
  • Keep your résumé current (Always a good idea).
  • Consider backing up personal and professional contact information, schedule data, and commendatory correspondence to a personal device.
  • Remain visible inside and outside your organization.
  • Maintain your professional associations, certification requirements, and affiliations.
  • Continually review and refine your career goals.


When you fully internalize 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.


Rest assured MOAA’s career transition consultants and financial education and military benefits experts are here to help you navigate your way through uncharted territories. You can find more on our full suite of personalized programs, services and membership benefits at MOAA’s Transition and Career page

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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.