Life After the Military: How to Return Back to a Civilian Job

January 13, 2024
2 mins read

Life After the Military: How to Return Back to a Civilian Job

By Business Desk

Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

If you’re in the army reserves, it’s likely that you may get called up to active duty at some point. Has that happened to you? If so, you are no doubt reading this because you want to return to your previous civilian life.

Of course, things may have changed while you’ve been away. Even if that time spent on active duty was only a short period. So, now that you’re away from the battlefield, what’s the best way to return to your regular job? First of all, the good news is that you should still have a job to come back to.

By law, employers must keep your job available for you while you were on active duty. Now that you’re back, you should have no problem picking things up where you left off. If you sustained an injury during your tour of duty, your employer can’t fire you.

Instead, they should make provisions to enable you to do your job. If that’s not practical, they must find you an alternative role in the company that you can do instead. The sad truth is that some employers fall afoul of the law, especially with military leave.

Do you think you might experience problems with your employer because you went on active duty? If so, I recommend speaking to a military leave attorney. That way, you can make sure you know your rights.

Finding a new job

If you’d rather not go back to your old job, you are well within your rights to quit and find something else to do. As someone that’s spent time in the military, you’ll have gained some new skills. What you might not know is that most of those skills can get transferred to civilian jobs.

For example, let’s assume you’ve learnt some Aeromedical Evacuation skills. Did you know you can transfer those skills to roles such as Paramedic and Pharmacist jobs? Yes, you will still need some further training. But, you’ve got a higher chance of getting such a job with your new skills.

There is plenty of support for people returning to civilian life that want to forge a new career.


The elephant in the room that some folks don’t want to talk about is counselling. When you serve on active duty, you may have seen or experienced things you’ll not have seen before. Those experiences can have a devastating effect on some people.

Are you having trouble adjusting to civilian life? If so, you may need to have some counselling. Don’t worry; no-one is saying that you are “crazy” or need to get locked away in a mental institution. Counselling can help you deal with your experiences. It can also aid you in leading a more positive lifestyle.

It’s worth talking to your doctor about this. They can refer you to the right counsellors for your needs.

I hope you have found today’s blog post useful. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to share your experience of returning to a civilian job.

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By Unoma N. Azuah Saturday, May 1, 2010. Editor’s note: Culled from her short story collection, The Length of Light. Medua was