- The Essential Military-to-Civilian Transition Resource

Transitioning A to Z: "Y" and "Z"

by Military Transition News Staff

Share |

Article Sponsored by: Southern Company

Return to May/June 2015 Issue

In this issue of Military Transition News, we are coming to the end of our A to Z list of everything a service member needs to know about transitioning - we now tackle the final letters of the alphabet, “Y” and “Z”.

“Y”: YES

So you’ve been given a job offer. What do you do next? If you haven’t already been provided a written offer, ask for one. Before you answer YES, it’s important that you understand the job offer, the benefits associated with the offer and any other information that affects how you are expected to perform in your potential new position.

Nearly every state recognizes the “at will” doctrine that simply says that companies can hire and fire employees at their own discretion. So it’s important to note that an offer letter is not a guarantee of employment and often will spell out stipulations required to successfully begin the job, often referred to as “Conditions of Employment.” These conditions can include a reference check, drug testing, education verification, criminal background check, a financial overview and even a review of your driving record, especially for jobs that require travel by car. Each of these can mean the withdrawal of your job offer, so before you give notice to a current employer or decline a second offer, make sure you can meet the conditions of employment.

Other pieces of information that can be provided in an offer letter are your job title, duties and compensation. Additionally, there may be a mention of benefits including a brief outline of your insurance, retirement savings plan and vacation/sick days.

Before you say YES to any offer, talk it over with your spouse and if you are not comfortable with something in the offer letter, bring it to the hiring manager’s attention.


Our last letter of the alphabet for our popular A to Z column is, perhaps, the most important. Take care of yourself and get a good night’s sleep before any job interview. In other words, make sure you get some ZZZZZZ’s.

This advice might be easier said than done. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Sleep in America Poll, more than two-thirds of respondents report getting a good night’s sleep only a few nights a month; forty percent take 30 minutes or more to fall asleep and more than one third sleep less than six hours a day on work days.

But there is hope. Before you let a job interview or the pressure of transitioning to a civilian job take over your sleep, here are a few tips from, the National Sleep Foundation’s online network, to get you off on the right foot.

1) Stay on a schedule: Get in the habit of going to bed at the same time every night, even on the weekends. Your body likes routine and adjusts your body clock to the schedule you impose, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.

2) Adopt a relaxing nighttime ritual: Getting your mind and body ready to fall asleep requires complete absence of stress or anxiety. Figure out a ritual that works for you.

3) Exercise every day: Your body needs an outlet for physical energy. Working out, walking, biking or running helps to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. It’s also a healthy way to tire yourself out.

4) Organize your room: Trying to fall asleep with clothes on the bed or a cluttered floor will not make you feel relaxed. Make sure your bedroom is tidy and your bed is comfortable.

5) Don’t smoke, drink or eat too close to bedtime: Anything you put into your body has to be digested and worked through your bloodstream. Do your best to be free of anything that can alter your state of mind including a very large meal.

A good night’s sleep will have an effect on your quality of life and your ability to successfully land a civilian job. Do what you can to let rest be a top priority.

See the complete A to Z list.

Return to May/June 2015 Issue