“RETIREMENT…IT’S NOT IF, IT’S WHEN!!!”
 
 
Presented to: The Alamo City Chapter of
The American Society of Military Comptrollers
15-16 February, 1989
 
 
by: Lt. Col. Jim Wade, USAF Ret.
 
 
 
Presented by:
Wade & Wade, Inc.
129 Industrial Blvd.
Boerne, TX 78006
(800)735-8761
 

 
Alamo City Chapter, ASMC, Workshop, 17-18 Feb. 1988, FHS O’Club
 
 

 RETIREMENT…IT’S NOT IF, IT’S WHEN!

I. Where we’re coming from…
    A. Landing a second career job, not a wide-mouthed bass.
    B. Getting a job in the business community, not government.
    C. Our experiences woven into this fabric; seek others as well.

II. Attitude, Behavior, and Change
    A. It’s not if, it’s when!
    B. Your perceptions of the “outside world.”
    C. Their perceptions of you.
    D. “I’m absorbed in my military job now and don’t have time for it…I’ll cross that bridge later.”
    E. “I’m a tank commander and all I know is how to kill tanks.”
    F. “Businesses make profits (and losses) and I don’t know anything about that.”
    G. “I don’t know anyone in the ‘civilian’ community.”
    H. “I’m going to take about a year off relax and enjoy life…after all, I’ve earned it.”

III. Know Thyself
    A. Identify your strengths, talents, and life goals.
    B. Communicate with family and close friends.
    C. Make sure the mirror isn’t cracked.
    D. Your final assignment could be the site of your second career job…select it carefully.
    E. Plan early…start no later than your 17th or 18th year of service.

IV. Marketing Yourself
    A. Get information
            TROA or NCOA
            Want-ads and trade journals
            Professional recruiters
    B. Network
            Get involved in community activities where you will meet and be exposed to business leaders and non-military professionals.
            Get to know your non-military neighbors and friends at church, school, Chambers of Commerce, Target 90, etc, etc.
            Prove yourself by giving as well as receiving; be enthusiastic.
    C. Write your resume
            You must translate your military skills and accomplishments into marketable, non-military skills…It’s not that difficult.
            What to include.
            What to exclude.
            Length – keep it brief.
            Get it critiqued.
            Rewrites – There will be more than a few.
            How and when to use it.
            It doesn’t land the job – you have to do that.
    D. Your Wardrobe and Grooming.
            Get rid of the BX polyester look.
            Observe in detail what business leaders wear.
            Invest in yourself.

V. The Marketing Campaign
    A. Networking…again!
            Ask you network contacts to review and critique your resume.
            Ask them if they know of any job leads and, if so, could they refer you.
            Always thank them by a follow-up letter.
            Keep records of all your contacts with names, addresses, telephone numbers, and dates.
            Be alert to the “hidden job,” 57% are invisible.
    B. The Job Interview
            Remember, you’ve been interviewing all along if you have been networking correctly.
            Do your homework:  Know the company and identify how you can serve them.
            Do’s
            Don’ts
            Your follow-up letter.
            Their follow-up interview request – Good news, you’re getting warmer.
            How to prepare
            Salary and benefits negotiation and why you’re not going to receive the same as Ross Perot.
            Expect rejection…the numbers and the quality of your efforts add up to success!

VI. Conclusion
    A. To gain a second career job, you must
            Want it
            Honestly evaluate yourself
            Expand you network, and
            Sell yourself
    B. You probably have 20+ productive years ahead – think about it.
    C. And financial professionals, you have a built-in advantage – use it.
    D. Start planning early.

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 SUMMARY OF POINTS

Not IF but WHEN
     Plan
          Finding a job is a lot of hard work.

Network
     57% of all jobs are in the invisible job market.

Translate Military Experience into Civilian Requirements

Perception vs. Reality
        Market yourself properly.

Be prepared to work hard.

You will have to prove yourself.
 

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Suggested Tools

1. “Marketing Yourself for a Second Career.”
The Retired Officers Association
Col. Doug Carter USAF-Ret
Director of Officer Placement Service
TROA, 201 N. Washington St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Ask for the TOPS Package
Or call (703) 838-8117 Ann Gullen

2. NCOA has the same kind of package

3. “What Color Is Your Parachute?”
by Richard Nelson Bolles

4. “Employment Weekly”
by Wall Street Journal

5. Boardroom Reports.
Box 1026 Millburn NJ 07041

6. Newstrack Executive Tape Service
(800)525-8389

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RETIREMENT SEMINAR OUTLINE

“Once you have passed twenty years of service, it’s not a question of it you will retire, simply a question of when”

Preparation

 Start Early!
        Where to start
            Decide what you want to do
            Contact your professional Associations for help, i.e. the Retired Officer’s Association, NCOA, etc.
            Read “What Color is Your Parachute”
            Talk to others, informational interviews with those in the profession you are interested in.
            Where to do it depends on where you want to retire.
                    Don’t limit your options without careful thought.
            How to start networking.
                    List all those you know who are in business or working in fields you are interested in.
                    Don’t hesitate to call, offer lunch as an opportunity to talk.
            Compile a list of those you don’t want to ask for a job, but can possibly uses as references.  Call to tell them what you are
            contemplating and ask permission to use as a reference.
 
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Tool You Must Have
        Resume
            Describe your experience in civilian/business terms.
            Do not mention the word “retiring” ever.
            Write short crisp sentences.
            Don’t use military schools with military titles.
            Keep it brief.
            Have your resume critiqued by a trusted member of the civilian world, more than one if possible.
            Don’t be sensitive about criticism!
            Have your resume either professionally printed or have available a quality word processor (not dot matrix).
            Use top quality White Bond paper
                Colors won’t copy brightly, resumes are copied
                Use only smooth paper, as opposed to textured, as it makes better copies.
            Write a letter to accompany each resume.
            Be prepared to write a thank you letter for every interview.
            Use the same quality paper for your letters as your resume
            Be prepared for Rejection

        Wardrobe
            Read “Dress for Success” – there is one for women also, adopt its advice within reason.
            Notice what people within the profession you want to enter wear (the civilian world has a uniform also, it’s just not specified in 35-10)
            Invest in yourself and realize that civilian clothing is not inexpensive but is a good and necessary investment.
            Avoid any piece of apparel that marks you as military
                GI shoes
                Hospital Issue or Aviator Glasses
                Navigator Watches
                Polyester
                BX Ties
                Be careful of accessories (briefcases, etc.)
            How to Decide What to Do
                Inventory your skills “What Color is Your Parachute” is a good tool
                Consider testing services of Colleges or Universities in your area
                Talk to people in the areas you are interested in (Networking)
                Realize most of the jobs available are not advertised
                Use Personnel Placement Services with great care!
                    There are good ones and Companies use them
                    There are some horribly bad ones
                Don’t take a job because it is offered or because the salary appears good.
                    Look to the long term, your second career can run another twenty years!
                    Consider carefully the benefit package, progression opportunities, and hiring package (moving expense, temporary lodging,
                        miscellaneous costs, memberships in professional organizations, etc.)
 
        Personal Matters
            Start early in setting your personal affairs in order for retirement.
                Review your life insurance program carefully
                    Some “military association” policies are not cost effective in retirement.
                    Consider SBP in conjunction with your life insurance program
                            Don’t accept SBP without careful analysis
                            Don’t reject SBP without careful consideration
                    Consider your medical insurance program
                            You cannot depend on military medical coverage
                            Look at CHAMPUS supplemental coverage at minimum
                            Your new company insurance plan is obviously a factor
                            Do not overlook long term disability insurance
                                Once you are employed, long term disability will insure that you retain a portion (60%-75%) of your income during a long illness or
                                permanent disability.
                            Remember that 100% (normally) of your civilian pay is taxable.  Be prepared for a new awareness of income taxes!
                            Consider carefully your new company’s retirement or investment plan.
                                Work your savings and investment plan in consideration of both your military retirement and your new retirement options.  65 will
                                come to all of us, we hope!
 
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Supplement 1995
So you are thinking of going it alone…

If you are considering starting any business either completely by yourself or a franchise operation…Wait…Wait…Wait.

First ask yourself why you want to do it.  Is it because you cannot find a job?  Wait…There are jobs out there.  Keep looking.

Is it that you want to be in control and have lots of time off?  Wait…You will have more control and much more time off in a real job.  Wait…As an owner it will be a long time before you are in control or able to take time off.

Is it that you really want to own something finally after 20-30 years of military life?  Wait…First go to work for someone else in that business, even if you have to work for $0.  You should do this for at least 2 years maybe 3.  The knowledge you will learn both of what to do and more importantly what not to do will be worth more than any amount of salary you may have earned someplace else.  While you are there, find the very worst jobs that the business needs done.  Can you do them?  Do you like doing them?  If not, do not start that business.  As an owner you cannot be too proud to get the job done.  Your new boss is the client, and the boss does not care that your help did not show up.  They want your product or service now.  So roll up your sleeves and get to work, Colonel.

Now let us talk about some of the other realities of starting your own business.  How long can you tread water?  You need to ask yourself that question because even if your company has a fast start in sales you will not necessarily get paid right away.  Therefore, if possible keep your present job while starting the new company or have enough to live on for at least one year above operating revenues.  You will need it.

How can you keep your fixed costs to an absolute minimum initially?  Can you operate out of your home instead of renting an office?  In today’s environment this is much easier than it was in the past.  You have 800 numbers, fax machines, Federal Express, UPS, and computers to help you look like a real business even if you do not actually have an expensive office.  There are many creative ways to keep overhead down.  Naturally it is tempting to just go to a nice office and have all of the luxuries tat you have been used to your entire career.  Things like multi-line phones, nice office furniture, high dollar copiers, etc.  However, each of these things costs money, your money!  Therefore you need to delay the purchase of them for as long as possible.  It is called survival.  I was told of an individual that started a business and went out and purchased the best office equipment on the market with the latest computer, etc.  He was showing his father all the computer could do and how it could analyze everything.  His father asked a very simple question.  Do you have any sales to analyze?  Remember first you must have sales.  Sales drive the boat.  Sales pay the salaries and all the other bills.  First you must have sales.  All else is second.
 
 
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Any questions or comments please email Jim Wade.