Using your creativity, interests, and resources to shape the hunt for your next career after the military.

“No one is going to advocate for you the way that you will.”

Austin Lieberman transitioned from Air Force special operations to leadership consulting and career coaching in 2018. His Expert Talk focuses on using your creativity, online resources, and networking abilities to successfully market yourself in the areas you’re most interested in. In his presentation, Austin establishes a clear pathway of actionable steps for transitioning veterans to take toward a high-quality and desirable career.

Austin’s method of owning your transition looks like the following:

Step 1. Prepare financially

This is before you exit the military or your current job (if you’re reading this a little too late on that front, it’s OK, the other steps will still apply to you). There are an infinite number of resources on the best way to prepare financially, but the main concept boils down to this; spend less than you make and put together a predetermined amount for an emergency fund. Preparing financially allows you some freedom, time, and peace of mind to transition into your next career.

Step 2. Explore your own interests

Find what areas interest you and learn more about them. This could mean reading books and articles, listening to podcasts, attending seminars, or taking classes. As you learn more, you may (and probably will) find that your interest shifts into a specific niche.

Step 3. Begin building your brand

This doesn’t have to be a youtube ad of you talking next to a rented Lamborghini. Austin describes ‘building your brand’ as taking your own natural curiosities and hobbies and turning them into something tangible. This could be a podcast, an email newsletter, a blog, a portfolio— just something that you can use to develop your own style and market later in whatever your particular interest is. Austin mentions the website Substack as a possibility for starting an email newsletter and podcast. 

Step 4. Networking

Austin lays out a proven method for utilizing common online resources to network with and move seamlessly into a desirable career. These resources and their uses include the following:





Step 5. Research and apply

Austin emphasizes quality over quantity when it comes to applications. He recommends finding 10-15 companies that you are strongly interested in, researching their position requirements and company style thoroughly, and then tailoring your application to each one specifically. In addition to the resources above, he mentions the following for research:


Final Thoughts

Throughout the talk, Austin demonstrated many practical techniques for utilizing prior experience in your career search. The Expert Talk began with this sentiment, which summarizes the largest challenge veterans have when transitioning into a civilian career; 

“We bring a lot of skills from the military— and they're applicable to jobs that are completely different from what we were doing in the military— BUT, it doesn’t matter unless we’re able to communicate that to these companies we’re trying to join.” 

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