BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Thinking about Transitions

Posted by Joan Grey on July 9, 2012

Read the latest article in BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces feature that brings us the voices of women veterans and military spouses telling their stories.

Guest blogger, Vera Steiner Blore, has transitioned her career throughout numerous military moves across the United States as the spouse of a retired Coast Guard officer. Vera holds a masters degree in public administration from Columbia University in New York and has worked as a consultant, nonprofit executive director, lobbyist and Flag spouse. Her hope is to use blogging to begin and sustain a dialogue between senior active and retired military leaders and their spouses, the Armed Services and the agencies, companies and communities that seek to support smooth military to civilian transitions.

Separating from military life can be a challenge whether you are a military spouse, a female veteran or fit into both categories. There are personal and professional hurdles you can expect to face as you step out of the familiar cocoon of the military family. The structure changes as do the support networks and it takes some time and effort to rebuild and establish new personal and professional relationships that will propel you forward in civilian life.

Finding out what will work best for you in civilian life is going to be different for everyone. There are many valuable transition resources at your fingertips if you just seek them out. One of the most helpful can be connecting with a mentor who can serve as a sounding board and share practical and personal experience with you. The mentor’s role is to help you identify your personal and professional goals and the keys to achieving them.

As the spouse of a 36-year military veteran, I was very grateful to have found some amazing mentors who supported both my professional and personal achievements and aspirations. Being able to learn from them as I ventured out to try new careers and experiences helped further strengthen my confidence in my own abilities to succeed at whatever I set out to do. Their encouragement helped me to find fulfilling professional positions as a lobbyist, nonprofit executive director, adjunct professor and board consultant, even as we moved from location to location around the United States.

BPW’s JoiningForcesMentoringPlus™ http://www.joiningforcesmentoringplus.org/ program provides a great opportunity for YOU to connect with a mentor who can make a real difference in where you head next. Connecting with someone who can point you in the right direction or steer you away from unproductive paths can be a real time-saver!

In addition, take advantage of networking groups through LinkedIn through which you can connect with other women in professional fields of interest to you or with others going through similar transitions out of military life.

After my husband’s retirement from military service, and after watching many colleagues wonder how best to move forward in civilian life, I decided to launch a blog called Military Leaders in Transition. I invite you to visit the site, whether you are a female veteran and/or a military spouse, to pick up some tips to support your own successful transition. www.seniormilitaryintransition.com

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One Response to “Thinking about Transitions”

  1. I have posted your info on my page and I just wanted to let you know what it is I am doing for our women heroes and for MI; Flint specifically. https://www.facebook.com/OurHomeTransitional

    Transitional Home for Female Vets in need (Phase 1) and those with children (Phase 2)
    Description
    The plan is to acquire & renovate a large abandoned or foreclosed house, for our first transitional home to be known as, OUR HOME TRANSITIONAL. It will be a place where our female vets come to when they are facing challenges & are in need of a place to call Home. Video presentation: http://youtu.be/Kcb624Kb_24

    While here, they will be provided various types of assistance in efforts to transition to civilian life and self- sufficiency. As home one is up and running successfully, we will be acquiring several others on the block/area to provide a haven for our family. Training and assistance programs to be provided by the Local, County and Federal Government will include: Job training/placement, mental and physical health, educational training, and home placement assistance, to name a few.
    We have a Board of Directors (one of which is a 10 yr male Veteran who wears many hats in the success and progress of OHT as well as a female Sargent!), and an Advisory committee-the lists can be found on our notes tab of the facebook page. We are registered as a nonprofit in the State of MI and are in the process of filing for our 501c3 status via our lawyer by mid-August and our business plan will be completed by then as well. We are supported by Kettering Entrepreneurial Society and UofM Flints Innovation Incubator as well as many other local and national orgs!
    We are currently working with Genesee Co Land Bank, HUD, LISC and Salem Housing for a donated house to start with! This should be acquired within the coming months. It will need to be renovated to a huge degree as most of these empty homes in Flint have been stripped and we have Team Home Depot in the works for that as well as dozens of Flint residence ready to volunteer! Also donations and grants along with other funding will help with that.
    We have our DUN’s and CAGE #’s to apply for Govt grants and contracts so funds should be coming in soon as we have 3 professional grant writers ready to volunteer their time!
    We also view this as an opportunity to revitalize & beautify the local Flint, MI area, as the ultimate goal is to have several large houses within Genesee County, some urban and others located in a rural setting to give our transitioning women a city or country choice. We will all work together and partner with other neighborhood organizations to keep the areas clean, beautiful and safe.

    If you could please join our page and share it as well as it takes a village! It will definitely help revitalize and beautify the Flint Area! – While bringing in funds to MI as these heroes successfully transition to civilian society and self-sufficiency.
    Our Executive Summary is listed on the notes tab of the face book page as well as much of our info. I am working with SCORE.org and one of our Board members who has the experience to complete our Business Plan! I hope to gain your support via sponsorship/donations/volunteers/word of mouth/exposure/etc!
    Thanks!
    Carrie Miller
    Founder
    810 309 9822
    http://www.ourhometransitional.org

    PS Heres our online campaign to help raise funds. If you feel inclined please donate and share this as well! We can use all the support we get 🙂 http://www.indiegogo.com/ourhometransitionalgenco And all donations are tax deductible. If you have tangible items to donate please contact me and we can accept and store them. Substantial donations will incur dedicat

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