Next Assignment: The Civilian Workplace
We asked Maj. Gen. Mary J. Kight, a retired Air Force officer and the former adjutant general of the California National Guard, what advice she would offer veterans entering the civilian workplace today. Here are three tips from the former Cal Guard adjutant General:
1. “Your transition from a military profession to a civilian profession continues the development of your career, which originated during your military experience as a leader, supervisor, technician or specialist. Regardless of the entry position in your new civilian job, look for those opportunities that allow continued growth in those skills and more.”
2. “Understand [that] individual military experience differs among veterans. In addition, some of your civilian coworkers did not enlist into the military, but you must accept the fact that everyone serves. Remain proud of your service.”
3. “Veterans highly skilled in their military specialty become a valuable resource for [their] new civilian employer. Veterans are more than capable of obtaining the same high level of skill in their new civilian duties, given opportunity, time and self-effort. Each veteran should take advantage of those new opportunities to contribute and improve their new team.”
Kight, who joined the Air Force in 1974 and the California National Guard in 1984, later became Cal Guard’s first female general. In February 2010, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her Cal Guard’s 45th adjutant general, the first woman — and the first woman of color — to hold that position.