It’s now 22 years of military service. On my own calculation as a Navy Career Counselor, I was above average & feel satisfied in my accomplishment as a non-commissioned officer or senior enlisted in the Navy although promotion wise I did not reach my full potential to become a Master chief or Commander If I pursued as chaplain or surface officer but I did not. That was one of my regret before but not anymore.
As I contemplate and still reconsider another chance for promotion, I have to sit back and rethink and maybe blog about it. Maybe this way I can get the answer I need for 10 reasons to retire my uniform and move on to another career.
2. I’m not getting any younger. Get out while I still have the energy to pursue my true skills that I can contribute not necessarily in a grander scale but something that I know will make a difference in the world.
3. Pay check to pay check. Military pay is not bad as some people may think, IF (that’s a big if) you know how to manage your finances. We took advantage of all the benefits & maximize them but we want to live an above normal civilian life now where our income will commensurate our skills. I know I have skills that the Navy cannot use right now that a university or high tech companies may appreciate. Time to increase my earning power.
5. Flow, freedom & flexibility. As military there are many restrictions I have that freedom of expression is almost non existent. I admire the military bearing and tradition that Navy have imposed on me & my family but we have to move on & let us be ourselves now before it’s too late that we become so ingrained in that culture & lose our self identity.
6. Opportunity, ownership & open doors. There are so many new skills & opportunities we’d love to explore like expand our 6 year old Promotional product business into something bigger or meet new students as counselor or run a social page or teach sociology online.
7. Permanent place & pause. Time for us to pause in all the possibility of another move in two years but we can’t establish that until we are out or become too dependent on military housing or continue to clutch on those compensation or “military benefits” while I’m still young and finally get our new permanent home, legacy, corporation and community non profit foundation.
8. Knowledge & Serve another way. Imagine 22 years of being in the same culture 8 hours a day. Time to broaden my knowledge by learning new things while still young. I’ve met so few 30 year veteran who’s got a very open mind with broad knowledge because for 30 years that’s all they know and they gained so much power on it that they want to keep it for a while. I’ve served my country but I can serve even more by being out of the military.
9. Challenge & change. Change is the only permanent thing & while I still have that control & opportunity to leave the Navy & learn new skills & take on a new challenge.
10. Next Chapter. It’s just about time to “write” my next season and chapter of my life. It could be a "leap of faith" or another 6 to 12 months of preparation but bottom line, time may be running out for another chapter.
Next blog: Top 10 Reasons to stay another 2 years in the Navy.