As historic changes in the military move women forward, a generation of women wonder about careers beyond military life.
In March 2016, U. S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened all jobs, including combat, to women. In a post in Medium he said, “…we should also remember that the military has long prided itself on being a meritocracy, where those who serve are judged not based on who they are or where they come from, but rather what they have to offer to help defend this country.”
The decision opens about 220,000 jobs, mostly in the Army and Marine Corps infantry and armor units, to women. Carter said the Army and Marines will follow the successful Navy template and bring in women officers and senior enlisted women before lower-ranking women. He said, “This will help ensure that women officers play a key leadership role, set the right example, and enhance teamwork wherever possible.”
But several generations of women have already served in the military and the current crop of high-ranking military women who face retirement grapple with what comes next. They find themselves facing a change in status as they seek to forge new careers that will challenge them.
Retired Air Force Brigadier General Eden Murrie told ConsumerMojo.com, “It was a huge transition. I think the biggest thing is the interaction I had with young airmen and I made a difference. You make a personal difference as a mentor and then all of a sudden you are not that person any more.”
Career coach Carole Hyatt devoted her career to helping women figure out how to move from one career to the next. She recently turned her sights to military women and organized a series of seminars to help them figure out the transition and begin to build new careers.
She and her partners run these seminars several times a year and to encourage women to think beyond what they do now.
We spent time at one of Hyatt’s “Getting To Next” sessions and our video captures the essence of what the program offers.