“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be Batman…I want to be Pele…I have no clue…I want to be a Lobbyist…I want to be in sales…I want to work with youth…I want to be a lawyer…I want to serve those who serve…I want to serve the greater good, and I sure as hell want to be the best version of myself possible.”
Of all the potential “wants” I’ve had throughout my life I have only ever been successful at 4 of the above possibilities. The common denominator is the merger of passion, strengths, and choice…and a sweet logo to represent.
Just like I chose to be Batman because he served the greater good and I choose to serve the greater good through Travis Manion Foundation, so too can any service member in transition CHOOSE what they want to be in this next phase of their life… “when they grow up.”
The combination of choice and change could, if allowed, present a scary set of circumstances.
Too often I hear anxiety and transition attached at the hip. But, they don’t have to be, and I would argue strongly that they shouldn’t be and wouldn’t be if you take the time to figure out you and let that be the guidepost for decision making during times of transition. Instead of “anxiety and transition” why can’t it be “choice and transition?” Even better still, how can you equip yourself for your own adventure, your choice, in an effort to mitigate the anxiety of the unknown?
To be frank, it comes down to being intentional.
You can do work. Take surveys that layout a comprehensive picture of who you are and what you do best. I would personally recommend the VIA Character Survey as a strong starting point but, that should only be the starting point. Spending time intentionally gathering intel on yourself on the front end will lead to a more satisfying choice on the back end.
You can be deliberate in your practice and preparation. Take time to research careers that align with your strengths and passions. Research companies and seek out current staff to better understand their values and culture. Remember, you have a choice here. Why would you want to “grow up” and be doing something that doesn’t allow you to regularly be your best self? Why would you want to work in a toxic culture that doesn’t focus on, or encourage strengths? Would 5 year old you or 13 year old you want to be doing X? If the answer is “no”, take note.
The transition from the military can be overwhelming and anxiety-ridden, but it doesn’t need to be. Choose to be an expert on YOU! Charge into transition with passion and the confidence in knowing you’ve done the work, you’ve been deliberate, you’re ready to choose, you’re ready to Lead with Your Strengths!
Albie Masland is the Director of Growth and Partnership Development for the Travis Manion Foundation. Albie first came into contact with Travis Manion Foundation in 2012 when he ran 3025 miles across the country in support of the “If Not Me, Then Who…” movement. The experience left Albie with an incredible passion for the TMF Mission, and the people it serves. Upon completing his effort Albie joined the TMF team in the new San Diego office. Over the past 6 years, he has worked in all aspects of TMF programs, operations, and fundraising. In 2017 Albie, his wife Jen, and their Great Dane, Penny Lane moved to Raleigh, NC to begin building the TMF brand in the greater Southeast. Currently, Albie works with TMF regional program teams, development, and strategic partnerships, ensuring our mission and growth expand and deepen impact on a national scale. Albie is a graduate of Dickinson College with a major in Political Science.