This past Labor Day weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking about the next chapter.
We won’t experience a permanent change of station until the summer. However, my husband came home last week saying that he got the notification about being an upcoming mover, and then the variety of assignments gets presented. So as the ranking of new assignments takes place, it becomes hard not to start wondering what’s next.
If you are a planner like me, which truly makes it tough living this Army life, you want to start getting your ducks in a row. We don’t know where we will go next, but it’s hard not to start thinking about what and how your next move is going to go.
Wherever it is, it means starting over.
New home. New friends. New job.
So here are some of things that have helped me as the anticipation of a permanent change of station begins.
Once you know where you are going, you should start because we all know how quickly things can change. Until then, it all becomes just a crazy mind game you play with yourself … or at least I do.
Start searching for jobs once you know where you are headed. Research companies you might like to work for. In Army life, nothing is guaranteed — years ago we were told we were headed to Fort Bliss. It was the first time my husband and I were going to be living in the same place. I secured a job with the company I was currently working for, but based out of El Paso. Then my husband calls and says, guess what: “we are heading to Florida.” Of course we are. It all worked out personally and professionally, but it does force you to be nimble. I guess that’s why I like to have as many of my ducks in a row as possible — it makes it easier to adjust.
Take classes or get a certification you have been wanting. When we moved here, my husband deployed immediately, so I took it as an opportunity to get my yoga teacher certification. It was the perfect time, and now gives me something else to do when we head to our next duty station while I figure out what I might want to do next professionally.
Take some time to figure out what you really want to do. A move gives you the opportunity for a little soul searching on what it is that you are passionate about and what career path that might be. It may be looking at home business options so you can maintain your career path as your move.
It could mean more schooling, perhaps. It could mean a total career change, and that can be both exciting and daunting at the same time.
As the time comes for you begin the planning and preparing for your professional path, remember to be open to what is out there and what the universe brings to you.
Treat yourself with compassion as you are making these decisions; The same compassion that you would show a good friend.
Take time in arming yourself with all the information possible, so you can make the best decision for you and your family.
Listen to your gut. You ultimately know what is right for you at the time.
Whatever decision you make will be the right one.
Whatever it is you end up doing to fulfill your professional path, use the resources around you.
Connect with your community. Be kind to yourself.
Most importantly, remember you are not alone and you are surrounded by a tribe of military spouses and families.
Reena O’Brien is a military spouse and Herald Correspondent. She lives on Fort Hood.