Welcome to Day Thirty of the “30 Day Financial Transition Challenge.” Today’s article focuses on Transition GPS (formerly known as TAP).
Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)
Transition GPS is a mandatory part of military out-processing. If properly utilized, Transition GPS can be a powerful tool in helping to transition to civilian life.
Many servicemembers go through the motions while in Transition GPS and don’t fully take advantage of what it offers. Some people already have their post-military career waiting for them, while others are so inundated with the ‘here & now’ to really focus.
However, Transition-GPS is a great opportunity to take advantage of the military’s resources. Most importantly, it’s a week-long opportunity to get out of the day-to-day work environment and focus on you! Today, we’re going to see how you can use Transition GPS to best use.
If you’ve played your cards right, you should have a to-do list from each day’s activities. Today is the day to do one of two things:
- If you’ve already gone to Transition GPS (formerly known as TAP), reconcile these with your Transition GPS takeaways
- If you have not, develop this into a list of questions you can ask during your time in Transition GPS class.
Today’s goal is to reconcile your to-do list into your Transition GPS takeaways.
What you need:
Your to-do list from the first 29 days of the 30 Day Financial Transition Challenge.
This exercise consists of a simple checklist of questions to help frame your approach.
1. Do you have a ‘to-do’ list or a list of questions already, based on the first 29 days? If not, go back and make this list.
- Don’t skip this step. Transition GPS is a compressed course. You will feel like you are drinking from a firehose.
- The more preparation you put into your transition, the easier your transition will be – whether that is starting your post-military career, translating your resume to civilian terms, or making the financial transition.
2. Have you already signed up for Transition GPS?
- If no, then schedule your class. After that, break your ‘to-do’ list into categories of items that you can ask about during class
- If yes, can you go back and see if you’ve already been directed to the resources to answer your question?
3. Do you need to reschedule Transition GPS to cover items you might have missed?
- Many military retirees suggest taking Transition GPS more than once so you don’t miss anything, or so you can ask new questions that may not have been evident the first time you attend.
- If you participate more than once, try to attend the first session at least a year prior to your retirement, then the next session a couple months before retirement.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your Transition GPS course.
4. Does your installation have other resources available? Take advantage of them and schedule them as you can.
- LinkedIn seminars
- Public speaking or networking workshops
- Entrepreneur-track programs (provided by SBA)
- Education classes (provided by Department of Education)
- USA Jobs class
- Local networking, job search, or training opportunities
- Career fairs
You’ve reached the end of the 30 Day Financial Transition Challenge. Hopefully, you’ve had the opportunity to combine all of the ‘to-do’ items into one comprehensive checklist. If you need help in anyway, you should go back through your list to identify the areas where you need professional assistance. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are in charge of achieving your goals.
If, for any reason, you feel like you need financial assistance, you should first contact your installation’s financial counselor or find a fee-only financial planner who can help you navigate your options.