The transition between military and civilian has been taken place for the last month while I have been on terminal leave (terminal leave is paid vacation that you use at the end of your tour while getting out of the military). Today was probably the hardest day for me during the transition. I applied for around 40 - 50 jobs in the last month and interviewed for two. I got an offer on my dream job and accepted it. I start this next Friday, however, it's not my "usual" attire that I am used to for home or work. Basically, its business casual with a tie. My normal attire, jeans and a t-shirt, does not bode well with business casual. So today was a trip to the mall to buy some new clothes for the new job.
This is where the biggest transition for me took place and it sent me through loopholes of thought and fear. I walked up to the shirt section, and they had different colors to choose from. Then I had to match ties with shirts and pants to both. The selection was HUGE! Then we got to the socks section, and they had brown socks, blue socks, socks with designs, socks with different colors. I never knew so many choices existed. I've been shopping at Navy Exchanges for my work clothes for the last 7 years and it was fairly simple, blue shirt, navy blue pants, black socks, white t-shirt and black steel toe boots. Very simple and they had lots of different brands, but they all looked alike! Now I was stuck between what colors to choose for shirts and what tie would look best with it and what color or type of pants to wear with my cool new socks.
Being able to express yourself through colors and styles of clothing in the workplace is something that I had forgotten all about. This was by far the biggest transition problem so far for me to date. For anyone that is going to be transitioning soon, I hope this helps prepare you for future endeavors.
P.S. The pictures below are not me, however, they are there to illustrate the differences.