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Military Transitions

One question I hear often from readers is about military transitions. Many members of the military devote the first twenty years of their career to the US Military. Around age forty, they’ll retire and start entirely new careers in the civilian world. I receive questions about how to successfully make this change.

The number one thing I see that trips up people transitioning is this. They don’t realize just how hard it is. And, neither do those around them. The military will often help people who are transitioning by offering a class about how to get a job. Many of the people I’ve met who have attended this class assume that the transition will be quick, painless, and easy. They also assume that they will be compensated the same or more than they were in the military.

To make matters more complex, their loved ones also believe the transition should be easy. Unfortunately, this is a problem not just with military folks, but with anyone looking for a job. Your family can never understand what’s taking you so long. This can leave the job seeker feeling lonely and deflated, as if they’re the only one who has ever had to work this hard to find a job.

If we can agree that job searching is hard, then what? The people I’ve seen with the smoothest transitions have done three things well. First, they’ve started early. They didn’t wait until they were out of the military to begin looking for something new. Second, they put their fears and limitations on hold. In other words, they were willing to step out of their comfort zones to explore jobs they may not have considered. And, third, they kept their personal expenses low. In the civilian world, a paycheck is not a guarantee. Especially in the beginning, if you can keep your costs down, it will be less stressful if your search takes time.

Beyond that, listen to yourself. When you are job searching, you’d be surprised at how many people come out of the woodwork with advice. Your great uncle Bob who you barely know will suddenly have an opinion on what you should be doing with your life. If you’ve spent your entire career in one field, this guidance can feel good. But, don’t fall into the trap. Great uncle Bob probably has no real experience in the work he’s advising you on.

Start early. Form a support group. Reach out to people who have been through this transition before. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you don’t know through networking site, LinkedIn. And, be on the lookout for companies that specifically recruit transitioning members of the military.

Last, but not least, be patient with yourself. You’re starting an entirely new career. This is hard for anyone – military or civilian. It takes time. It’s going to be hard. But, in the end, it’s worth it.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland


193 | Quitting, Not Settling | Dr. Lynn Marie Morski, Quitting By Design

Episode 193 is live! This week, we talk with Dr. Lynn Marie Morski in San Diego, California.

Dr. Morski has studied medicine, law, and multimedia design – and is a quitting evangelist at her company Quitting By Design. She’s also the author of her book Quitting by Design.

On today’s episode, Lynn Marie shares:

  • Why is it okay to quit, and why is it not okay to settle?
  • Should we quit a job before we have another job? When should we and when shouldn’t we?
  • Why do quitters come out on top?

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Dr. Morski’s work, check out her website where you can access her blog, podcast, and her book Quitting by Design.

Thank YOU for listening! If you’ve enjoyed the show today, don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts! When you subscribe, it helps to make the show easier for other job seekers to find the show!

192 | The Holy Sh!t Moment | James Fell, Author

Episode 192 is live! This week, we talk with James Fell in Alberta, Canada.

James is a health and fitness expert. He’s also the author of the book The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant.

On today’s episode, James shares:

  • What causes us to have an epiphany?
  • If we find ourselves dreaming about getting a new job, but unable to move forward, what can we do to turn our
    fantasy into a reality?
  • How does our physical health tie to our mental health?

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about James’ work, check out his website which also links to his book The Holy Sh!t Moment: How Lasting Change Can Happen in an Instant.

Thank YOU for listening! If you’ve enjoyed the show today, don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts! When you subscribe, it helps to make the show easier for other job seekers to find the show!

155 | Career Rebranding – Isaac Lake, Hilton

Episode 155 is live! This week, we talk with Isaac Lake in Memphis, TN. Isaac is a Manager of Brand Performance Support at Hilton. Previously, Isaac worked at the University of Memphis where he was the Manager of Facilities and Programs at the University Center. This is Isaac’s second time on the Copeland Coaching Podcast. He’s a former client and a friend. On this episode, we check back in with Isaac after 3.5 years at Hilton.

On today’s episode, Isaac shares:

  • The biggest differences between working in a corporate environment and at a university
  • Which transferable skills (and side hustles) helped him to transition into corporate
  • The role of networking in the job search
  • Advice for others looking to make a major career shift

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Isaac, you can find him on LinkedIn.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send your questions to You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!

The Downside of the C-Suite

Have you ever wished you were the top executive in your department? For many, becoming a C-level executive can be a lifelong goal. Whether it’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, or Chief Financial Officer – the C-suite has real perks.

Let’s start off with recognition. Making it to the C-suite means that people respect you. Not only do you know about the subject matter at hand, but you’re a strong leader and you make a big difference to the company. Then, there’s the pay. C-level execs often make exponentially more than other employees.

Making it to the corner office can often take years of hard work and sacrifice. When you make it there, it’s like you’ve found your destination. You’re where you were always meant to be. The climb is over. It’s time to get to work, making a lifelong contribution.

I suspect there as a time when this was true. But, generally speaking, that was a time before me. Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of C-level executives at work. And, as I reflect back on those great folks, they’ve all switched jobs since I first met them.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the average tenure for a Chief Marketing Officer was 3.5 years in 2016. The average tenure of a CEO was 7.2 years and the average tenure of a CFO was 5.7 years.

These tiny numbers make some sense. As companies are pressured to make money, they constantly revise their business strategies. And, new strategies require new strategists.

The problem is, when a company changes their corporate guard, the executives left without a job are hit hard. It can take them months, or years to find new employment on the same level. It most certainly leaves the impacted executives wondering what’s wrong with them.

In reality, nothing is wrong. It may have taken them ten or twenty years to land the title of Chief. That period of hard work was like a long interview. And really, each company only needs one CEO, one CMO, and one CFO. They are both the most coveted roles and the rarest.

So, what’s the point of all of this? I don’t want to discourage you from a corner office dream. But, if this is part of your future career, take today’s business environment into account with your personal career plan. The C-suite has changed. Once you do land a top spot, carefully plan your financial future. By living below your means and creating a financial safety net, you loosen the corporate handcuffs that can otherwise hold you hostage.

If you’ve already made it to the top and you find yourself without a job, remember that you’re not alone. This is a phenomenon that many executives are facing today. To make it through with the least number of bumps and bruises, give yourself a generous amount of time to land your next big gig.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at

Copeland Coaching Expands Services: Corporate Outplacement Services & Corporate Recruiting Services

Dear Friends,

I hope your 2018 is off to an excellent start! I hope you had a great holiday season and are making progress on your New Year’s resolutions.

This is my New Year’s resolution! I wrote to you last November to say I’m expanding my career services. This email is a follow up to that message, to provide more information.

First, you should know that I am continuing to focus on career coaching. If you are an individual job seeker, nothing will change for you. I look forward to continuing to support you through your job search in 2018 the same as in 2017.

If you are a hiring manager, I am now available to help with your corporate recruiting and placement. And, if your organization is going through a restructuring and you would like help with your impacted employees, I now offer outplacement services. I will also continue to offer public speaking and classroom teaching.

A number of folks have asked WHY I have decided to expand my services. The answer is this. For some time, I have been providing corporate outplacement services to organizations that have gone through layoffs. I’ve met with a number of large groups and have worked with individuals at some of the organizations you’ve heard about on the news. But, before now, I haven’t publicized this information. Similarly, for the last four years, hiring managers have leaned on me for help when they need to find great candidates. In other words, these are services I have been providing, but had not officially announced.

If I can help your organization, please don’t hesitate to email me, or to call me at 901-878-9758. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also learn more about my corporate outplacement services and corporate recruiting services on my website (where you will also find downloadable PDFs about each).

Again, if you are an individual job seeker, nothing will change. I look forward to helping you to achieve your goals in 2018 through career coaching!

My current list of career services includes:

  • Individual career coaching
  • Corporate outplacement services
  • Corporate recruiting services
  • Corporate public speaking

Thank you for all your support! And, thank you for pushing me to expand my service offering. I couldn’t have done this without you.