I’ve taken quite a bit of time off writing this blog! Being in the midst of moving, taking some time off to spend with family, and starting a civilian career, it’s been an absolute whirlwind. But now that I’ve been working for a little while now (and loving every minute of it!) I thought I’d compare/contrast my old vs. new workplace just a little. Obviously every workplace is a little different, so my transition was mostly from a staff officer to a corporate workplace perspective.
My Civilian Job:
Hours: There’s no PT, so you basically work from 8 am to 5 pm. Sometimes more, sometimes less… it’s about getting your work done, not staying a certain amount of time.
Attire: It is so weird to pick out an outfit every day and not throw on a uniform! Seriously! And since I have a casual workplace, I can wear jeans if I want to, or dress up/down depending on who I’m meeting with. It’s really cool, actually… so long as I have an idea of what I want to wear.
Coworkers: Everyone legitimately wants to help! It’s an unselfish environment. It’s not about rank structure, it’s about working together to achieve company goals.
Bosses: It’s not a command presence. First name basis, total accessibility, and we’re allowed a level of autonomy I’ve never experience before. It’s really nice, actually… you always know where you stand.
Time Off: Weekends don’t count against you for vacation, there are flex holidays, and you can work from home when you’re sick… without a note from the doctor or trip to ‘sick call’. Amen!
Meetings: We still have a lot of meetings, but it isn’t “death by PowerPoint” like I used to experience. It’s an open forum, participative, and anyone can speak their opinion freely.
Needless to say, this is all a huge contrast to what I worked in before, and I can already tell this is much more “me” than the military ever was. I really have no regrets about my choice to transition, and the only thing I miss about the military is my friends. I’ve found Corporate America has the real mentorship I’ve craved, an opportunity to make an impact and participate even as someone new, and a more happy, balanced lifestyle.
There will be times I work late into the night, or feel stressed, or miss certain things about my military experience. But I anticipate it will be nostalgia more than anything, not something I really want to go back to.