Making the transition from a military career to the civilian sector is a big change. It can be difficult to work your way into a professional culture which is vastly different from what you experienced while in the military. But it isn’t impossible, especially if you know where to look for answers and when you have an extensive support network.
I want to introduce you to a book that handles this topic, and more. And it’s not directed specifically to military members – it applies to anyone who is making a personal or professional transition. The book is Never Fly Solo, by Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman. Waldo is a motivational speaker, personal coach, and best-selling author.
In his book, Never Fly Solo, Waldo covers a variety of topics, most of which center on creating success by building your personal and professional network, rehearsing your battle plan, and being a wingman for others.
Here are two of the main concepts Waldo shares in his book:
Wingworking (Networking). Waldo refers to networking as Wingworking, a play on the fighter pilot mentality of always having a Wingman. Waldo recommends being a wingman for others before you need a wingman. Being known as a go-to person will go a long way toward building goodwill and will help you build a reputation as being helpful and dependable, character traits which will help you succeed in any field.
Chair flying = mission rehearsing. Pilots rehearse their missions before they taxi down the runway and head toward battle. And you should do the same. The concept of Chair Flying is one that applies to virtually any situation. Plan in advance, then execute.
Is Never Fly Solo worth a spot in your library? I say it’s definitely worth a read. there are a lot of concepts that are applicable to almost anyone and any situation. This book can be especially helpful for those who are facing a major career change, such as transitioning from the military to the civilian market, changing careers, moving to a new location, etc. This book is all about positivity, using your skills and talents to help others, and not being afraid to ask others for help if you need it.