Transitioning from the military back into civilian life will be one of a service member’s most stressful points in their career. Everything the service member has experienced, both good and bad, is about to completely change. And change is one of the biggest causes of stress.

“Anyone who has gone through a sharp 90-degree turn can attest to how jarring it (transitioning to a new job) can be,” said Natalie Bounassar, founder of the blog, “Entry level Escapades.” “Grappling with a desire to change career paths, although not uncommon, can be overwhelming, especially if it means leaving the stability of a current job and training.”

To help prepare someone who is transitioning to a new career, she recommends conducting research on what job market you want to enter.

“Do the research, educate yourself about the new industry you’re interested in. Read job descriptions and qualification requirements, but don’t become discouraged by them. You’re just gathering information.”

An excellent source for information on various jobs, career and educational opportunities available after the Army is Fort Bragg’s Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program’s Transition Assistance Summit, held April 25 to 28 at the Iron Mike Conference Center.

“The four-day summit features information and interactive panel events, recruiter training and facilitated discussions all focused on improving competitive employment for service members, veterans and their spouses,” said William McMillian, Fort Bragg’s transition services manager.

On April 25, beginning at 9 a.m., USAA’s sponsored Afterburner Military Transition Seminar will help participants develop a career plan, learn job search skills and learn networking skills, develop interview preparation skills, and learn how to incorporate all facets of their support network. The MTS course curriculum trains veterans to identify key areas of consideration and to use those areas as guidance throughout the planning process.

“Most important, veterans are shown the importance of developing a lifetime civilian career as opposed to securing an initial job,” said Jim “Murph” Murphy, Afterburner Founder and CEO.

“The planning process used in the Military Transition Seminar is the same proprietary process Afterburner deploys to top corporations, providing each participant with an individual career plan, complete with a personal value proposition, career objectives customized to his or her previous experience, and insight into industries where military core competencies are in high demand.”

On Wednesday April 26, a series of industry briefs will be held to explain to participants what they can expect in industries that want to hire veterans. Hiring managers and representatives from law enforcement, information technology, cyber security, agriculture, as well as advanced manufacturing, education and project management will be represented. After the briefings, summit participants can discuss their career goals and interests with these industry representatives during a networking reception.

On April 27, a series of workshops will be held to help transitioning service members, their spouses and veterans prepare themselves to enter the civilian job markets. For many leaving the military, this is a skill they are lacking.

According to a Washington Post report, the Center for a New American Security reported the two main challenges companies have with hiring veterans is deciphering the acronyms that make up veterans’ experiences. Additionally, veterans themselves have trouble explaining how their military experience can be adapted to the business world.

The summit will close out on the afternoon of April 27th with a hiring fair featuring more than 95 companies and service organizations interested in hiring veterans or assisting them in their job search. Many of the companies represented are listed as the top employers of veterans.

The transportation supplier company CSX, will be one of the companies represented. It reports plans on hiring 27 percent more veterans because it values the skills and experiences that accompany veterans, such as being trainable, flexible, dedicated and diverse.

On the last day of the summit at Pope Theater, American Dream U will give those interested in refining their leadership skills a unique opportunity to get the best advice from the country’s top business leaders at no cost.

Attendees can discover the tactics, techniques and procedures needed to further develop leadership skills to land dream careers or to start their own businesses. reports that leadership skills are one of the top 10 qualities companies expect they can get from veterans that cannot be found in their civilian counterparts.

The summit is held in cooperation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring our Heroes” program. For more information and to register for the workshops and training sessions go to