Understanding the Art of the Possible in Career Transition

Understanding the Art of the Possible in Career Transition
Photo by John Lamb/Getty Images

Looking to market yourself in a new career field? Working to translate your military skills into common language? Expanding your network?


MOAA can be your source for guidance as we all look to new beginnings in 2021. Whether you’re transitioning from the military or from career to career, in times of change, there is no incentive so great, and no medicine so powerful, as hope for a better tomorrow.


So, be thorough and be passionate as you highlight what you could (and intend to) bring to any new position. Embrace the change as you continually exude energy and experience in your approach and preparation to your next best life.


A recent MOAA webinar, The Art of the Possible, outlined some ways to turn this positive approach into results – whether it’s finding a new position or succeeding in one you’ve secured. Premium and Life members can access the webinar at this link, and can review other transition, finance, and benefits webinars in MOAA’s Webinar Archive.


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As you plan your career, reflect on the art of the possible and consider this three-prong approach to your skills, your network, and your transition tools.


1. Speak the Language

Translate military verbiage into words any civilian can understand:


Use this phrase ... Instead of ...
Director or Senior Manager  Commander
Deputy Director Executive Officer
Human Resources Military Personnel Office 
Personnel Manager First Sergeant
Security Force Infantry
Personnel Servicemembers
Team Leader Platoon Leader
Extensive Experience 20 Years Military Service


2. Know Your Value

Assess and focus on your transferrable skills. Your military experience has provided an impressive toolkit, not limited to skills in:

  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Critical and Creative Thought
  • Decisive Action
  • Detail-Oriented Approach
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation
  • Organization
  • Problem Solving
  • Project Management
  • Prioritizing Tasks
  • Relationship Building
  • Self-Starter
  • Strategic Planning
  • Teamwork
  • Technical Proficiency


3. Know Your Resources

Use these tools to get started:


Need more? Visit MOAA’s Transition and Career center at MOAA.org/Career for the latest transition news, upcoming events and webinars, member-exclusive publications, and more.


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About the Author

Capt. Pat L. Williams, USN (Ret), PhD, PHR®
Capt. Pat L. Williams, USN (Ret), PhD, PHR®

Williams serves as MOAA's Program Director, Engagement and Transition Services. She served 35 years in the Navy in multiple high visibility leadership positions. She is a Certified Professional in Human Resources.