Transition varies depending on location and experience level. What was the largest hurdle that was encounter making the transition from service to civil sector? The people, the systems, adaptation to new structure, etc...
Honestly, the biggest problem is the application process for jobs. You will spend a lot of time searching for positions, applying for them, and waiting to hear back from the employer.
When you land an interview, oftentimes despite whatever interview experience/coaching you have, you may not really connect well with the hiring manager and their team for whatever reason.
Don't take such rejection as a failure, the interview isn't just the employer deciding if they want to hire you, you are also deciding if you want to work for them. Sometimes they may do you a service by not choosing you if they are potentially a toxic boss.
The best advice I can give is to stay optimistic and spread a wide net in your transition as it will take time to find an employer that meshes with you and vice versa. Learn as much as you can about employers in your area and reach out to them. Research good interview techniques and make sure your resume is peer reviewed.
As David mentioned, the application process can be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. And yes, I would agree that the interview can be just as daunting and it can be a challenge to connect with the interviewer(s). However, that interview experience can vary depending on the sector. I stayed in the defense industry after I transitioned and that worked well for me. Often in the interviews where I was the interviewee, there was someone involved that was a veteran. If not, the others involved were somewhat familiar with the military environment which made connecting a little easier.
As for other advice, David hit it all on the head: cast a wide net and stay optimistic.
Thank you for your service and good luck with the job hunt.
I agree with David that the biggest hurdle of transitioning was the job search and application process. I found it challenging to find a job in the desired salary range and in a location I'd move my family and hopefully settle down. I followed the advice received in the military Transition Assistance Program which was helpful. I also received resume assistance from Hire Heroes USA, who took the resume I thought was good, organized it much better, and helped translate my skills more appropriately to the civilian sector. Ultimately, networking with those I served with who had retired/separated and were already in the civilian sector delivered the best results in my job search.
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