Friday, 23 August 2013


    Right Time to Hang your boots :A Career Perspective-I

Military officers lead a well planned and organised life during their active service in defence forces. From planning a routine sortie in Air force and   discharging duty officer’s  responsibility  while the ship is on board in Navy to leading a patrol in Army, Military officers carry out meticulous planning keeping the minutest of details in mind. However, They find themselves at crossroads when it comes to decide the ideal time for them to hang their boots. If one decides to leave too early , he or She won’t be able to gain the exposure and military skills  that are relevant in the corporate world and if one retires too late, it would be difficult to invite a good career opportunity at senior management level . Exceptions can always be there, however, being exceptions, they are only a few percentage of the whole bunch ,so here we will focus on the general part of the whole issue.

Before we dig deep about the right time to retire with career perspective in mind, let us first see what all are the challenges involved in finding a job at the time of retirement:-

(a)     Finding a suitable job that matches the skills and other requirements, such as finances, education of children, and place of residence, generally remains the biggest challenge while entering in the corporate world .

(b)    Lack of awareness about which all soft skills they have, how to transfer military skills to corporate terminology,which is the right career path, whether to do an MBA or some other professional certification, how to prepare job grabbing resumes,  how to search for job opportunities and many other similar career related issues.

(c )    Fear of unknown in terms of corporate culture and whether they will be able to fit from formal military culture to less formal corporate culture.

(d)     Inability to let go the ‘rank’ syndrome; Some are unable to dust off the rigid approach.

(e)      Some more face health challenges and physical disability and thus need time to attend to their health and hence transition becomes more challenging  for them.

(f)      Lack of quality assistance from the Indian Govt and no benefits for  veterans in terms of  funding for MBA and related studies  and tax exemptions to employers if they  recruit veterans especially disabled ones. The six  months management  course being run for long is a decent platform but yet to mark their presence among the  HR recruiters. Also, Lack if interest on part of govt to include the career needs of veterans as part of CSR ( Corporate Social Responsibility).

(g)    Lack of awareness on part of HR recruiters about the military skills and their corresponding translation(relevance) in the corporate world.

(j)    Current economic situation.

(k)   Competition for job with civilian work force who have been in the corporate street longer than them.

(m)    Lack of technical education( hard skills or work content skills).

(o)    Limited funds to pursue a new venture of own.

Some other challenges are listed here, click here . While these are the various challenges faced by the military officers in their job search, there are many other personnel challenges that add to the complexity at the time of transition.Some of them are:-

(a)    Inability to visualize beyond military life; lack of vision for civil life.

(b)    Not feeling ready for transition especially among  those serving/served in combat arms as compared to those who serving/served in technical arms; a pattern attributable to lack of technical expertise of a specific field and hence lack of self-confidence.

(c)     Challenges in relating to family life and civil people or in  re-accustom  to civilian culture and social life.

(e)      Lack of administration support.

(f)       Relocation and other family related issues/Misc issues.

Having seen the numerous challenges faced by the veterans , we will see in our next article( Click here to read) as to how can the agony be reduced by choosing the right time to hang our boots. 
To know more about career transition, click here