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10 Transition Traps

The following most common transition traps are what we have observed over the last 14 years in helping ADF members in their transition to civilian life:

  1. Not thinking about your transition until you’re almost out of Defence. Your loyalty to your Defence job won’t be reciprocated, so begin thinking about leaving as soon as you can (1-2 years before you leave.
  2. Thinking that your next career move must be the job you have until retirement. The average time in any job now is only five years.
  3. Thinking that because you can talk well with people in general, you’ll be fine at job interviews. Talking about yourself in a promoting manner is not only foreign to almost every Defence member, but it is more difficult than you think.
  4. Compiling a CV from your own perspective and thinking it will be competitive in this job market. There are over 100 job applications on average per job vacancy – even above average applications are no longer competitive.  Only the best applications get through.  Anything other than the best results in job search frustration.
  5. Thinking that testing the waters with an average CV will be OK. In essence, what you’re asking an employer to, is to judge you on an average CV.  You can’t decide to send them a better version of you later, as they will already have formed an opinion about your suitability and written that in their database.
  6. Using a CV that has grammatical and spelling errors (this is a major problem). Far too many job seekers send applications out before having them proof read.  It is very obvious (as a recruiter) that even these simple things are overlooked by job seekers.
  7. Thinking a civilian employer will understand the context of your military terms. In all forms of communication (in a written application and at a job interview) with civilian employers, speak plain language only.
  8. Not knowing how to use your existing network to open job opportunities. Your existing network is the best source of securing your first job outside Defence.
  9. Thinking that everyone in your new organisation will love you because you served in the Australian military. Know that not everyone will love you and respect what you have done in Defence.
  10. Working really hard to prove yourself in your new civilian workplace. Be careful of the unintended collateral damage of working too hard in your new job, as it may inadvertently show up your work colleagues.

Avoid these transition traps and enjoy moving to this new chapter of your life.

For assistance in any of these areas, call us on 1300 366 104, or message us at Contact Us.

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