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The career transition experiences of military Veterans: A qualitative study

Shue SA, Matthias MS, Watson DP, Miller K, Munk SN. The career transition experiences of military Veterans: A qualitative study. Military psychology : the official journal of the Division of Military Psyc. 2021 Sep 9; 33(6):359-371.

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Transitioning out of a military career can be difficult and stressful for Veterans. The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges and needs of career transitioning Veterans. Fifteen United States Veterans from a larger mixed methods research project completed a qualitative semi-structured interview regarding their career transition. Interview questions invited participants to define their transition experience, identify influential psychosocial factors, resources utilized or needed, what it meant to transition out of the military, role changes experienced, and how the participant had adapted to the transition. Emergent thematic analysis revealed 4 themes: 1) it is necessary to actively prepare for the transition; 2) a variety of factors impacted the military career transition process; 3) transitioning out of a military career equated to the loss of structure; and 4) the transition required Veterans to establish themselves outside of the military. Findings from this study identified barriers, desired assistance, and facilitators to the career transition process, which should be considered by those assisting transitioning Veterans and when develop%2ing transition-related resources. Continuing to expand on this knowledge will positively impact service members as they exit their military career.

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