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How do you figure out where you belong?


Daniel View San Diego, CA

After a 20 year career working in 4 different ratings, I am having a hard time deciding on a career field. After some real introspection, I know that I do not want to be stuck behind a desk. I am looking for guidance to see what industries I may be overlooking that fit my skill set.

3 January 2019 12 replies Career Exploration



Emanuel Carpenter Atlanta, GA

Daniel - Start by taking a personality assessment like the Myer-Briggs. I also recommend reading the book "What Should I Do With My Life?" by Po Bronson.

5 January 2019 Helpful answer


Nancy Quartey Palo Alto, CA

Hi Daniel,
Congratulations on and thank you for completing 20 years of service! As a Career Transition Coach and a Navy spouse (retired), I help people define their goals (Income, Lifestyle, Wealth, and Equity) and explore possible vehicles to achieve those goals. I'd be happy to schedule a conversation with you if it sounds interesting. Looking forward to hearing back from you.


Stephen LaJoice East Jordan, MI

I give you one little piece of good advice. If you can afford it, take some time off and enjoy your friends and family. Join one of the local Veterans organizations. This will give you time to shake out your military life. Visit your county Veterans Office and introduce yourself. They are a font of knowledge when it comes to education, work and other opportunities for veterans. If you have an idea of a future career they can help. You are entering a new life so embrace it and enjoy it.


Kimberly Smith Chicago, IL

Thank you for your service! What a fun time to look into your future. Lots of great advice I wont repeat from above but I would also add to look into local job fairs because it was helpful for me to wander the aisles of the job fair talking to companies who were hiring because some resonated more than others with my interests. It sort of happened organically. Also, sort of basic, but ask people who know you well what they see you doing as a civilian career. Usually the people that know you best have better insight than you do about yourself as you can get into your own way. Just a little trick to get some center on thoughts. They might see something in you that you were not thinking about. Another option I would suggest is if you really dont know where you want to start but have to start somewhere, join a company like AT&T. This is where I have worked for 28 years and given its span and my interest overall in technology, there has been numerous opportunities to change paths within the same company. And we have an ongoing commitment to hire veterans! Check out what is in the area you want to live here:


Rubye Braye Las Vegas, NV

You may want to go here to find your purpose at no cost.

Then, you may want to start a business to serve others using your purpose.

All the best.


David Eastman Gresham, OR

Dear Daniel,

Thank you for your service. I am a US Navy veteran as well, worked on Anti-submarine Warplanes, and left the Navy a second class petty officer.

I agree with Suzanna and Aubrey. Find out what you love doing the most, what you have real passion for, and focus your career around that passion and commitment.

You mentioned that you are a Navy Counselor. Wonderful. So many veterans need counseling after they leave the service whether for combat-related PTSD, transitioning into civilian life, finding a good paying job, resettling back with their family, that getting counseling can help them adjust.

I believe that loving the work you do, for the people you do it for including yourself, your friends and your family will give you the most satisfaction in life and the money will follow.


David F Eastman, US Navy veteran


Taube Weiner Dedham, MA

Hi Daniel,
If you're still looking for help I am a career coach and will offer my help with no cost to you. It's my way of saying thank you for your service.

If yes, go to my website and read about me and answer a few questions and I'll get back to you,



Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

I agree with the themes of the previous answers; BUT, step back from your established process that is experienced based and answer this question: WHAT ARE YOUR TALENTS?

The Myers Brigs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a wonderful tool to help you start the process of answering this question. When I initiate a relationship with a vocational counseling counselor, I ask him/her to do two things.

First, do the assessment at:

Second, get the book, What Color is Your Parachute by Bolles. The 2019 edition is out.

There is a fairly good assessment tool associated with this process. If you need help with interpretation, let me know and I will be happy to help a fellow vet - free. Contact me off this channel at

Philosophically, it goes like this . . . . if you follow you experience you are doomed to repeat many mistakes. Take the time to discover and embrace your talents. As a many decades-seasoned human resources professional, and one who now specializes in helping people define and appreciate their talents as a vocational counselor, give some deep thought to this theme: PEOPLE WILL DO WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO WHEN WHAT THEY DO IS WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. What do YOU want to do?


Jim Schreier Milwaukee, WI

I certainly agree with the recommendation to complete some assessments. I'll add one caution to the Myers-Briggs recommendation. Make sure it's an "official" version with a good coach/interpretation for you. A quick "free" online version doesn't have the same value. There's a Career Report available that I've found very helpful in coaching many young people.

I'd also strongly recommend taking the StrengthsFinder assessment. Your future career satisfaction is highly likely to be directly tied to finding something that makes you feel strong!


Suzanna Molino Sparks Glencoe, MD

Echoing Aubrey's thoughts ... what is your passion(s)? THAT will make you a good employee or business owner ... following a passion. My favorite quote: IF WE LOVE WHAT WE DO, WE NEVER WORK A DAY IN OUR LIFE.

My former mentor, Roxanne, had an excellent exercise she had me do over the years - several times. I was to write down my ideal job, describing EXACTLY what it looked like, felt like, where it was located, what the environment was like, what the hours were, what my duties were, did my office have a window, etc etc, down to the very last detail. NO ONE READS IT - just you, daily if possible.

This is a very powerful exercise which can help us to VISUALIZE and eventually take steps to create what we want if life, even when we don't know yet exactly what it is.



Christopher Beaman San Marcos, CA

Daniel, as Aubrey asked, did you "enjoy" any of the four ratings you worked in? Which of the four was most satisfying? Sometimes I think people forget about being comfortable and/or fulfilled in what they are going to do long term and concentrate more on finances. While finances are important of course, making an effort to find something within your current comfort zone is important as well. Not knowing your in service ratings and/or whether or not you appreciated any of them makes it a little difficult in providing suggestions for you. However, I am sure anyone here would be more than willing to help narrow your search with a small amount of additional information.


Aubrey McDonald II Fayetteville, NC

What do you enjoy doing the most

What fulfills you

What do you have a burning desire to accomplish

910 578 9860

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