Military Transition: Protecting Yourself Should You Get Laid Off

Making the Transition

The Most Important Skills

You Must Learn

In Order to Succeed In the Civilian World


(Part 9)



In Today’s Economy – Being Laid off Is a Reality


Learn how to survive and protect your family financially if you become laid off from your job



The one good thing about being in the military is that you do not have to worry about being laid off.  However, once you finish your service time and make the transition over into the civilian world being laid off becomes a reality, especially in today’s financial state.


In the last couple of years, the country was slowly falling into larger debt and just recently, economists have declared that the country is experiencing the worst recession in history.


Personal bankruptcies are on the rise despite the recent passage of a law that makes it more difficult and more expensive to file for bankruptcy protections. The value of housing decreasing, the credit crunch, rising prices in commodities and health care are making it extremely difficult for many individuals to meet their financial obligations, leaving them with few choices but bankruptcy.


Companies are experiencing similar situations.  Large companies that you never thought would fail and leave the face of the earth are filing bankruptcy.


The present cost, and future cost, of caring for wounded and crippled veterans is going to be astronomical, leaving little to invest in communications, road, rail networks and other projects that provide jobs to the American people.


People are coming home from war, fulfilling their service in the military, making the transition and then finding a layoff notice with their paycheck telling them that their sorry, but they have to lay off workers due to financial woes.


Companies all over the United States are downsizing, or right sizing. Veterans may have a job today, but will that job be there tomorrow?

This is why you always need to be prepared.  You need to have a prepared resume ready to go, and you have to be open to new ideas and skills that can be learned.


Always being prepared for the next career opportunity is a skill that can be learned. Putting together that first job-seeking package as a civilian is just the beginning. To be the right person when the right time and place present themselves, you will need to keep that package updated and current.


You need to:


  • Update your resume at least once a year
  • Have copies ready to hand to anyone who asks
  • Add your new skills, any additional work experience, and education completed
  • Change your resume layout to the one most favored by industry that year. Unbelievably even resume formats have trends.
  • Keep your network active by taking the time to connect with everyone in it at least twice a year.
  • Send a birthday card, a simple email, or make a friendly phone call
  • Keep up with everyone’s current address and phone number. When the day comes that you need help with something, they will be more likely to offer it than if you had not spoken to them in years.


Always be learning new skills or improving existing ones that will keep you employable. Stay up with the latest technology. Watch current trends in the marketplace and be prepared to move with them. Read your industry’s newsletters and magazines. Be aware of what is happening on the political and economic fronts, and how it might affect your situation or company.  Always keep your eyes and ears open to what is going on around you.  Anything is possible this is why you should always be on your toes.


Remember, we are currently spending $12 billion a month to carry on a useless war with no end in sight. The total estimated cost of the Iraq war is $3 trillion dollars – nearly a third of the entire debt the U.S. has accumulated in its entire history. Until our leaders establish new priorities that include peace around the world and prosperity at home anything can happen.  So make sure you always have a backup career plan.  If financial career crisis hits you, you will be able to get right back on your feet.


Stayed tuned for next week’s blog on making the transition to the civilian world part 10



Stacey Chillemi, is a highly versatile author, freelance writer and speaker with more a decade of experience. She is an award winning writer, motivational, inspirational, and self-help speaker. She was the managing editor for the magazine UZURI and worked for a major television network. She has been featured in Woman’s World Magazine, the New Jersey Star Ledger, and the Asbury Park Press. Her website is and


Back to Top