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Finding career fulfillment in public service

Click here to listen to Episode 45

In the trenches

Rise and shine 6er,

Whether you are in the military or not, career transitions are often uncomfortable and challenging. With military veterans, re-entry into the civilian world can be a lot harder as they face an array of psychological, social, and physical challenges that is uncommon in the civilian world. As such, finding fulfillment and happiness after military service can sometimes be elusive, but it is possible. Through grit, patience, perseverance, and enduring success and fulfillment in life is within your reach if you want it.

Not all of us are cut out to be in the corporate world, and real success is not measured by how well you do by conventional standards. If you’re convinced that working for corporate America is not for you, follow your heart and don’t force yourself to live in a box. Career and professional fulfillment come in many forms.

Start with an inner journey and ask yourself what is giving you joy and pursue that. Don’t be afraid to engage your interests. Sure, we all have bills to pay, and sometimes we need the paycheck, but try to have a small amount of time dedicated to doing what you love until you gain momentum. You never know what life’s surprises are waiting for you on the other side if you try, even with the bare minimum effort, at first.

Let’s make it happen!


Intelligence summary of insights from this week’s podcast

Finding a life of service outside the military begins with the responsibility of determining who you want to be. More than that, choosing advocacy for others cannot be done half-heartedly. It will test your commitment and patience in various ways. Some days will be more complicated than the others and will force you to change your old habits, so you can be a better version of yourself and lead others to do the same.

In this week’s episode of Got Your Six podcast, we are joined by Keith Dow. A US Army veteran and the founder of Dead Reckoning Collective, a publishing company for veteran writers that gives them a platform to share their own untold stories and experiences in the military. Keith has a Masters Degree in Social Work, has served in the Department of Veteran Affairs, and currently works for Hunter Seven Foundation, a non-profit organization advocating for the veteran healthcare delivery system and facilitating proper care, especially from toxin exposure.

When Keith left the military service, he felt that something was lacking. While he never really stopped doing something for the community, he also had to fight some limiting beliefs about his capacity. However, his perseverance won, and now, aside from running the Dead Reckoning Collective, Keith is doing full-time clinical work for a non-profit organization advocating for veteran healthcare.

One of the things that Keith learned from leaving the military is to allow himself to be served by others. I think many veterans can relate to this, and this is a powerful lesson to learn because it takes courage and humility. Here are four other practical and implementable life lessons from Keith’s own journey when he chose a career of serving others.

1. Take an inner journey and determine who you want to be.

Every day we have a choice to craft our future self, the person that we want to be. This is why it is essential to have a conscious direction. This choice is a power you have at your disposal 24/7. A life of service to others takes dedication and commitment, which is why you cannot go into it in a half-assed manner. (Tony: Is this language okay for a newsletter?) But, once you’ve decided, there is nothing more fulfilling in life than doing what you are passionate about.

2. Manage your time and learn not to over commit.

Overcommitment can lead to anxiety and unnecessary stress. Serving others does not mean you need to abandon your own personal well-being. Say, ‘No’ and ‘Yes’ only when you mean it; otherwise, you’ll be sacrificing efficiency and productivity, which usually ends up disappointing everyone, including yourself. Giving yourself a commitment limit is part of taking care of yourself and avoiding burnout.

3. Learn how to ask for help.

There has been a recent study showing that asking for help is actually good for us. Aside from helping you develop relationships, it also improves resilience, creates a growth mindset, plus it’s also a sign of a high-performer. Acknowledge that no man can do it all alone and that giving and taking is a cycle we all need for success and a positive community.

4. Surround yourself with creative people.

The people you associate yourself with will influence your thoughts and behavior. Find time to hang around with creative individuals who can energize you and spark inspiration within you. There’s always something to learn from others and always something to gain from trying new things together, plus they usually have innovative mindsets which can rub off on you to help you bring something new to the community you are serving.

Giving back through charity, volunteer work, or other means is something ingrained in us as a society. People who choose to work in the service of others are essential in having a supportive community that we all benefit from.

Here at the Got Your Six podcast, we believe that volunteer work helps individuals discover themselves, develop new skills, and unlock potential that enhances life fulfillment and satisfaction.

Now that you have an idea of how you can remain in service to others even outside the military organization, you can start spinning the wheel of giving and receiving. Remember that it is in giving that we receive, and it is in receiving that we give.

Share this newsletter with a battle buddy currently facing difficulty in career transition and tell them finding career fulfillment comes in many forms, and yes, even through the service of others.

Into the breach!

Tony Nash

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