Taps Taps Lights Out: It’s Time to Start Getting Out

27 09 2012

Let’s face it, the Navy isn’t for everyone, and for those that are more tolerant and stay in for the 20+ years, you’re going to have to get out at some point. After spending time in the Navy, trying to relearn how the civilian lifestyle is going to be can be a challenge for some. Taking orders and giving orders, which is a standard in the Navy, more than likely won’t work with the civilian world and you’re going to need a coach to teach you a more eloquent vocabulary that doesn’t primarily consist of four-letter words. Regardless if you want to get out tomorrow, or years ahead down the road, you’re going to need guidance back into the world you once used to know.
While you’re in, here are a few tips that you should probably want to jot down:
1. Achieve as many qualifications you can. Qualifications go a long way on what you have done while serving in the Navy. They present a small picture of how you spent your time and what you did to help the team succeed. You never know what employer you’ll come across, and you’ll be surprised to find out how many might have previously served in the military.
2. Take advantage of the programs that the Navy offers while you’re serving. USMAPS and Navy College Courses are a few examples. USMAPS allows you to log hours of work that you do on the ship towards achieving a journeyman status in particular fields. For me this would mean increased pay in jobs out in the electrical field, and I would recommend for you to talk to your career counselor about what USMAPS can help you achieve. Navy College courses are actual college courses that are offered typically during deployments. This is a great way to knock out your general education courses.
3. Try to knock out as many debts as possible before you leave the service. Monthly payments eat away at how much you have to use towards your family and yourself. Living debt free is great; because that means that you have more of your hard-earned dollars going towards things that matter to you. I would recommend talking to a financial advisor, or if you like to use Youtube, I would recommend giving Dave Ramsey a try.
4. Save some money and try not to burn it all on unnecessary junk. Mr. Ramsey recommends working your way to having at least $6000 saved up in the bank to help cover your expenses until you find another job.
5. When time is counting down and you have about a year left in the service, I would recommend getting yourself signed up for the Transitional Assistance Program (TAP).
A great time to start looking for another job is about 1 to 1 ½ years before your EAOS. The reason why you want to start your search around this time is to give yourself a head start and gather as many leads as possible. The more contacts you have, the greater your chance of success is outside of the Navy. The Navy offers the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which is a program, designed for sailors who are transitioning out of the Navy. The program is a week long course that goes over how to dress for interviews; resume writing and information about various programs that are designed to help veterans leaving the navy find a job in the civilian world. There is a ton of information that is given away during the week that you attend TAP, and it would be in your best interest to attend the weeklong course. Use the TAP class as a tool for success to increase your chances of survival in the civilian world.

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Larry D. Bernstein | Freelance Writer, Blogger, Educator

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