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Career Transition Seminar

Pentagon and Wall Street

The Career Transition Seminar has been developed over the past 20 years, and provides unique insight into career transition for senior military and civil service personnel. The course adopts and refines professional private sector transition training programs to address the situations senior military/senior civil service personnel face during career transition. The result is an intense training experience that prepares the member for all phases of career transition. The focus of the program is strictly on the practical aspects dealing with the process of managing a career and finding the right job. The program is dynamic in that we incorporate new ideas, and "lessons learned" inputs obtained from those who have attended the program and started new careers using our system.

The seminar lasts five days: three days in seminar and two days dedicated to one-on-one counseling sessions with your seminar leader. The one hour individual sessions are valuable because people always have personal concerns they don't want to share with the group.  In addition, the one-on-one sessions give the seminar leader an opportunity to give direct feedback, whether it be career advice or resume feedback. The seminars are targeted to the level of need. Spouses are invited (and encouraged) to attend at no extra charge. [Back to Top]

Who Should Attend and When
Many activities offer the seminar to senior officers (O-5 and above), senior enlisted (E-8 and above) and senior civil service (GS-14 and above) who are within a year or two of retirement, or who are on a known countdown. Nearly everyone who attends the course says, "Should have had this five years ago!" That might be too early, but the point is valid...people make gross errors and waste a lot of time because they miss opportunities or find that they have been "shopping in the wrong mall." We believe 12 to 18 months out is a good target. [Back to Top]

Course Content
The program is divided into logical segments, dealing with every aspect of career transition. Each segment presents a different aspect the career transition process. As the participants proceed through the program, they quickly realize career transition is a process . . . not just a series of events. For example, to write a resume, you must know what you want to do. To conduct an information meeting, you must have prepared yourself through research. To interview and negotiate compensation, you must understand the strengths you bring to the company and job. And finally, you must know how your abilities fit with the company's expectations. Topics include:

  • Deciding an objective . . . what I want to do
  • Building a resume . . . the rationale . . . and how to do it
  • Developing contacts . . . personal and corporate
  • Networking . . . in service and out
  • Marketing yourself . . . and coping with rejection
  • Coping with stress . . . retirement and transition
  • Communication . . . telephone, letter, in person
  • The spouse's perspective
  • Research and preparation
  • Information and job interview techniques
  • Compensation and salary negotiation skills - Including information on average salaries for military and civil service
  • Job search organization and management
  • Employment hurdles for senior military personnel
  • Business world reality
  • Retirement reality

Follow-on support for attendees includes:

  • Resume critique and feedback
  • Telephone consulting . . . for 60 days

Each member attending the seminar will receive a complementary copy of our career transition book, "What's Next," which contains the critical aspects of the seminar. Each member and spouse will also receive a pre-seminar "homework" package (approx 5 hrs to complete) that includes a Personal Evaluation Survey and Personal Preference Type Indicator, which will be discussed during the seminar.

Please note: This course is not a substitute for the service sponsored TAP programs. We do not discuss the GI bill, military retirement processing, medical exams, or the like. Our program is strictly focused on teaching the process of transitioning from the government to a private sector career. Some activities combine our program with the specifics of leaving government service by bringing in people to discuss TAP-related topics during the days we are conducting our individualized sessions. [Back to Top]

Class Size and Dress
The ideal class size for the program is 10-12 members plus their spouses. We can accommodate up to 14 members plus spouses, but the days get long because of the additional class participation. Again, spouses are strongly encouraged to attend the entire seminar. Spouses will find that much of the material covered in the seminar will assist them in their career and/or personal planning. All personnel attending the seminar are expected to wear civilian attire appropriate for a job interview . . . suit and tie/appropriate female attire. In addition, they should be free from all other duties during the seminar. The seminar portion of the program is very intense and requires the full three days to complete.
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Seminar Locales ImageAvailability & Scheduling
Career Transition Seminars are conducted coast-to-coast, Japan, and Europe. Military commands/Government activities sponsor the seminars and coordinate scheduling with Ruehlin Associates. The sponsor is responsible for determining who will attend. Therefore, if an individual wants to attend our seminar, they should first query their command training officer to get a quota and/or determine when the next seminar will be conducted. If your command does not currently sponsor our seminars, but would like to, please contact Mr. John Ruehlin at 619.435.2220 or Mr. Nelson Hendricks at 619.787.9226 for information (also visit the Coordinating a Seminar page). Seminars are scheduled as far as 12-18 months in advance. As a matter of policy, and in keeping with the wishes of several of our sponsoring activities, we do not promulgate a master list of seminars being offered. [Back to Top]

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