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What kind of jobs and industry should I be looking to get in to when I retire?


Matthew Davis Apo, AE

I’m a 26 year veteran retiring as an O-5 2 time Air Force squadron commander. I’ll have recent experience as an inspector general from a 4-star combant command level. I’be been doing this so long, I’m not exactly sure how my experience translates, or what exact industry might be the best to try my hand at first.

Sorry, I’ve got a Bachelor and Masters in Information Technology. I’m a communications officer with experience in everything from tactical communications to very strategic communications for intelligence systems.

Any additional advice or information would be great! Thank you to those who have already given some sage counsel.

8 January 2018 6 replies Career Exploration



Keith Van Sickle Menlo Park, CA

I'll echo Landon's excellent advice. "Informational interviews" are a great way to learn about different career options. Work through your network, both at the first and second level (ie, both your contacts and contacts of contacts through LinkedIn, which you need to be on.) People are usually happy to give this kind of advice, as long as you respect their time.

Pro tip: people love to talk about themselves, so a good way to get advice is by asking how they got to their current job, what they like about it, their views on the industry, etc.


Landon Carl Lewisville, TX


From your 26 years in service, what are you most passionate about or what have you enjoyed the most? Team leadership? Something functional such as communications, operations, or supply chain?

Leverage your personal network to help confirm/deny your thoughts or curiosity of something you may want to do. Example....if you’re interested in Sales/Account Management but just aren’t sure, find a professional friend or a friend of a friend that has the experience and is willing to answer questions and help you understand more over a coffee or a 30-minute Phone discussion. Prepare for it and ask pointed questions while respecting their time. Sames goes for industry such as tech, medical, industrial, telecom, etc.

Your skills will transfer over! Spend the time to learn how to communicate it clearly both in writing and verbally.

Hope this helps. Please reach out if I can help connect you to anyone.


Sriram Iyer Menlo Park, CA

Thank you for your service, Matthew. I agree with Brian that age does get in the way. If you have the aptitude (and/or experience with) for programming, there could be some viable options. You will need to be willing to relocate and work on some of the latest technologies. If that's something you would like to consider, I can recommend a few options.


David Akre New York, NY

Do what you want to do and make a business out of it.


Brian Morr Arlington, TX

You didn't state your degrees; assuming you have a bachelor and masters degrees.
Have you explored civil service options? Also what about the IG system. You also didn't state your active duty area of expertise. Logistics, etc. Do you have any interest in teaching?
I am an RN and also had command experience; after my retirement, I looked for some high end jobs as a nurse executive. Although I have no proof, I feel my age was getting in the way; I was 62. All the employer has to say is you are not a good fit for their organization. Then maybe I didn't follow all the protocols. Anyway, I applied for and started teaching nursing at the university level. Now I am in my tenth year and still going strong. It's very fulfilling.
Wishing you the best,
Brian Morr, Col (r), USAF, NC


Mike Cottell Glen Head, NY

Hi Matthew, try this website to explore some ideas and opportunities. Good Luck to you and Thank You for your service , Best Regards, Mike

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