Raytheon's RAYVETS' Military to Civilian Transition Advice


Transitioning from a career in the military to the civilian sector can be an exciting time, but it can also be a challenge. As a member of the Military, you have structure in your daily routine and in your career path; but as you transition into the civilian world, you have to find your new normal.

Still Serving Veterans (SSV) goal is to help transitioning service members, and members of the Guard and Reserves, secure meaningful employment. One of the ways we assist Veterans is through our partnership with Raytheon’s RAYVETS.

Last month, RAYVETS and SSV hosted a four-hour-long coaching & networking event to share how they've learned to address the real-world challenges Veterans face while navigating the military to civilian transition.

Listed below are some of the challenges many Veterans face when transitioning to the civilian sector:

Real World Challenges Veterans Face when Transitioning to the Civilian Sector

1. Learning the company rules and company acronyms/jargon.
2. Learning the who’s who in the company? Who works where? Who is the boss?
3. Watching how you speak to people and getting use to the language.
4. Learning to selectively let go of military mentality.
5. Embracing the fluidity and understanding there isn’t a clear path in the civilian sector.
6. Understanding the sense of urgency is different.
7. Balancing time.
8. Knowing when to say stop vs. working until the project is complete.
9. Translating military experience to civilian experience, and translating training into a certifications.
10. Getting over the level of anxiety from known to unknown.
11. Understanding that FEAR can keep you unemployed.
12. Networking.
13. Understanding that not everyone is prior military, there is a different mentality and structure.
14. Getting use to your new everyday structure, or lack of structure.
15. Developing your story.

So how can Veterans navigate these challenges and be successful in a civilian career?

We may not have all the answers, but we do know that recognizing a challenge is a great start. Challenges are normal and you don’t have to conquer them alone.

Here are some of the tips that were shared during the RAYVETS panel:

Tips for Veterans to see success in their transition and career:

1. It’s the real world “embrace the fluidity.”
2. Anxiety doesn’t go away, but being proactive turns anxiety into good energy that you can use.
3. You own your career!
4. Get your certifications.
5. Research and understand the market.
6. Put your clearance at the top of your resume, inactive or active.
7. Use your network.
8. There are a lot of companies and a lot of job seekers, so you need to tell your story and tell it well!
9. Career Progression is different. Progression may mean lateral progression or even a step back in order to grow!
10. Have a plan on what you are looking for!
11. Tailor and target your resume; and put in the work to maintain your resume.
12. Let the recruiters know you’re feeling anxiety so they can help you and prep you; they want the real you.
13. Use LinkedIn and keep it current.
14. Differentiate your needs from your wants.
15. Be patient. The civilian path is winding.
16. Projects take longer in the civilian sector, so enjoy the wins along the way.
17. Take time for you.
18. Start transitioning early.
19. Find 3 Mentors:
o Technical
o Business
o Cultural
20. Talk to people and Network! Interact Face to Face, don’t just email.
21. Ask Questions! Let go of your fear of asking.
22. Get involved and stay engaged.

We hope you found these tips beneficial to you and your transition. If you are interested in attending our next workshop please contact our office!


A special thank you to Redstone Federal Credit Union for their generous contribution to the event and to our partners at Raytheon! We couldn’t do what we do without our communities support and generosity.

RAYVETS promotes and recognizes our veterans’ identity within Raytheon by increasing their visibility and contributions. RAYVETS provides not only veterans but all employees, who wish to join and support this group, an opportunity to understand veterans thereby enhancing our collective ability to collaborate, network and partner to drive cross-business initiatives to grow our business. Veterans’ unique experience, product-knowledge and customer-centric insights give us a competitive edge, and, together, we can harness our expertise to optimize solutions for our warfighters. RAYVETS supports Raytheon’s veterans and their families as well as the external local communities.