Military to Civilian Career Decision

Identify the careers that fit your personality and abilities best.

Whether you are leaving the military or not, the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) can help you understand yourself and your career direction. Half of the materials are devoted to Personal Appraisal and Career Exploration. They are well written, and you can download them for free at the Department of Labor's website. Choose "TAP Manual (Chapters 1 and 2)". It is well worth your time to study these two chapters and work through the exercises.

  • Also at this website, you can learn about TAP, a three-day workshop designed to help you and your spouse make a smooth transition into the civilian work world.
  • Take the Career Key Test to discover which Holland personality types you are most like, identify the careers that are most promising, and learn detailed information about each one.
  • Read about Holland's Theory of Career Choice and You to understand how your job success and satisfaction is related to your personality.
  • The activities in Learn More about Yourself and Identify Your Skills will help you understand yourself better.

Think of as many alternatives as you can. Learn about each one.

Learn and follow the decision-making method described here. Consider getting professional help.

  • At High-Quality Decision Making you will learn a method based on many scientific studies that is widely used in business and medical settings. It is easy to understand and use.
  • Still not sure? Go to Undecided and consider getting help from a professional counselor: Career Counseling.



Parts of this module are adapted from an earlier article by Robert E. Rainey: Rainey, R. E. (1992). Military Career: Changing to a Civilian Career. In L. K. Jones (Ed.), Encyclopedia of career change and work issues (pp. 186 - 189). Phoenix: The Oryx Press.