Find Your Calling:Career Transition Principles for Returning Veterans


Find Your Calling:Career Transition Principles for Returning Veterans. The Latest Career Development Research Delivered by Industry Experts.

The skills you learned in the military will go a long way toward helping you succeed in the civilian workforce, but if you’re looking for some extra guidance in figuring out what to do next for a career – and ultimately a new way to serve – then you’ll find it in this course. 

Course Overview

The course focuses on the development of interpersonal, intrapersonal, and intellectual character strengths as they relate to making a successful career transition from military service to the civilian workforce. The course content is grounded in research, delivered by experts in their given fields, and is meant to provide you with a framework for an iterative process of self-reflection and the development of practical skills that enables you to make career choices that better align with your values, ambitions, and continued service. Ultimately, this course helps you answer the question: What should I do next? 


  • Practical tips and strategies for making a successful military-to-civilian career transition.
  • A framework for how to begin thinking about and exploring new career opportunities.
  • Model behaviors exhibited by veterans who have successfully started new careers.

This course focuses first on identifying the character strengths that veterans need to exhibit in order to make a successful career transition. As we explored the latest research and best practices in career transitions, we discovered that the most effective strategies are similar for all people seeking to change careers, not just veterans. 

These similarities transcend generations. There was a book written in 1945 called Good-Bye to G.I. that provided career transition advice to returning WWII veterans. We also read Marcus Aurelius’ personal writings called Meditations and explored the formation of character through Greek and Roman teachings. We found direct similarities between the virtues that Aurelius wrote about and the behaviors that veterans need to exhibit today to make a successful transition. 

Course Modules

The purpose of this lesson is for service members to understand that being a good citizen and a good community member is at the core of being a good American and making a successful career transition. Our guest lecturer for this lesson is Sebastian Junger. Sebastian is an award winning war correspondent, documentary filmmaker, #1 New York Times best-selling author, and a special correspondent at ABC News. You may have seen his war documentary, Restrepo, filmed in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan. In this lesson, Sebastian will discuss elements of his book Tribe and the challenges veterans face while transitioning back home.

Prudentia was considered by the ancient Greeks as the cause, measure, and form of all virtues. In other words, it is considered to be the mother of all virtues. Your ability to think, make sound judgments, and good decisions forms the basis for everything that you do and who you are as a person. In this lesson, we will hear from Dr. William Deresiewicz - a best-selling author and contemporary thinker - he will discuss a speech that he gave at West Point called Solitude and Leadership. He makes the argument that in order to be a good leader, you need solitude in order to be able to think for yourself, otherwise you’re just a follower. 

Veritas is the name given to the Roman virtue of truthfulness, which was considered one of the main virtues any good Roman could possess. You may have heard the Latin phrase, “in vino, veritas” meaning in wine there is truth. For this lesson, we are taking veritas and truthfulness, and applying it to your authenticity, to who you are as a person, and then being able to develop a personal brand and communicate that brand during a job interview and to others in your community.

If we have a strong devotion in what we do, we are more likely to achieve excellence in that endeavor. In the military, we had a passion for serving our country and the mission. As we transition, we need to seek a new passion, a new mission, so we can achieve that same level of excellence in the next stage of our lives. In this lesson, we’re going to hear from Simon Sinek about discovering our why and purpose. Simon is an organizational consultant, inspirational speaker, and author of five books, including: Start With Why, Find Your Way, and the newly published The Infinite Game.

 In the beginning of his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius listed off a number of virtues, like self-control, practicality, rationality, and tolerance, which all together, make up humanitas. In other words, people who practice humanitas, practice good decision making. They are good choosers. They understand what decisions need to be made, when, and the impact those decisions will have on themselves and others. In this lesson, we’re going to hear from the world’s expert on choice - Dr. Sheena Iyengar. She is a professor at Columbia Business School and author the of the best seller The Art of Choosing. Dr. Iyengar is also blind, and has been since she was a young child. She obviously has had to make some difficult decisions in her life. I hope you enjoy her lesson.

The Greek aphorism “Know Thyself” was one of 147 Delphic maxims inscribed in the entranceway of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. This phrase was later expanded upon by the philosopher Socrates, who famously taught that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” And now, several thousand years later, even the Marine Corps leadership traits and principles builds upon this ancient maxim, “Know yourself and seek self-improvement.”

n this lesson, we’re going to learn about emotional intelligence and how our emotions, ego, identity, and vulnerabilities impact how we interact with people and how we make decisions on a day-to-day basis. We’re going to hear from Dr. Robin Stern - Associate Director of the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence.


This course was developed and produced in partnership with FourBlock and powered by T-Mobile. CVTI is committed to supporting FourBlock excel in its mission to prepare veterans for successful careers.


Michael Abrams headshot
Michael Abrams

Founder and President of FourBlock

William Deresiewicz headshot
William Deresiewicz

Best-Selling Author, Award-Winning Essayist

sheena iyengar headshot
Sheena Iyengar

World-Renowned Expert on Choice, S. T. Lee Professor of Business

sebastian junger headshot
Sebastian Junger

NYT Best-Selling Author, Documentary Filmmaker

lindsey pollak  headshot
Lindsey Pollak

Career and Workplace Expert, NYT Best-Selling Author

simon sinek headshot
Simon Sinek

Optimist, Motivational Speaker, NYT Best-Selling Author

robin stern headshot
Robin Stern

Associate Director of Partnerships for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence