Fire Hose Effect...that's how most Veterans feel when they are trying to start preparation for leaving the military. There is so much information available on the internet that it is hard to know where to start, what's still valid and how do you pare down the information to a manageable amount. This requires some amount of strategy in itself so that you can quickly get past the overwhelmed feeling that you get looking at a vast amount of information.
I recommend that those preparing for separation from the military take a similar approach to doing any type of fact finding or research based endeavor. Start broad and reduce to get more clarity.
1. Be open minded to all information that is available. Take note of those things that seem to hit home or jump out at you when you first see them. Don't spend any amount of time on any one area of your research initially.
2. Take those areas that were of initial interest and start to find more resources that go with those areas to do a deeper dive. At this point you will still be looking at the areas from a higher level pass but looking to create a list of sites, publications, and points of contact to dig deeper into.
3. From your more focused list you have now created, start to dig deeper into each resource to validate the information and see which sources provide the most value to your research. This will eliminate some right off the top making it much easier to focus.
4. Now take some time to reflect on where you are in your research. Is it starting to be less overwhelming, are you starting to see a pattern in your choices, have you decided it's time to take a different focus or are you now gaining clarity that the path is making sense?
a. If you have decided the path you had in mind and were digging deeper into is not the right one, no problem. Time to reset your research and go back to a higher level of searching. Better to know now then after you are at the door step of separating.
b. If you have decided that you are making the progress you hoped and are finding the information and resources you need, then keep moving forward and get as granular as you possibly can.
5. Ensure to organize your research into ways you can easily use the information as you progress on to your next phases of preparation.
"Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose." - Zora Hurston
The more time you give yourself to do research the better as it will allow you to feel comfortable with what you ultimately end up choosing to pursue. Some will already have a good idea of where they are headed and can skip to step 3 right out of the gate. However, others may be in the initial stages of finding that new empowering and fulfilling future so they will be looking at a broader amount of information which will take a longer period of time to pare down. The key is to start as early as you possibly can and give yourself the ability to make the best decisions possible.
Landmark Life Coaching's Mission is to honorably and respectfully serve courageous groundbreakers and transitioning veterans to persevere in defining and executing their future by providing an atmosphere of comradery and trust that honors their dedication and commitment. This will empower our clients to feel whole, honored, respected and fulfilled in defining and living their life purpose.
Veterans Coach/Speaker/Writer Dwayne.firstname.lastname@example.org