U.S. Air Force photo by Photo via Senior Airman Brett Clashman

The landscape of education and professional development is rapidly changing. A well-rounded four-year education is no longer the only sure-fire method for charting a path toward career success. Employers want to hire talented people who are ready to contribute from day one, or they won’t even bother opening the door for consideration.

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Photo by Lt. Col. Robert Couse-Baker

Successful careers and businesses are built through good relationships. Having credible references initiates some of those vital connections, by almost instantly helping you establish trust and validity. Your professional references should be strategically compiled with a diverse roster of contacts, ones whom you actually stay in touch with. Maintaining good references is evidence of good communication skills, and says that you’re a well respected and a likeable candidate.

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Photo by Lance Cpl. Timothy Norris

Deployments can present challenges for military families. They worry about their loved ones who are called to duty, and are sometimes stressed by things on the home front as well. Much of how a deployment turns out for a military family is unpredictable. However, there's a lot about a deployment that one can plan and prepare for, such as sharing of certain responsibilities, quality communication, identifying key resources like child care services and legal counsel, to name a few.

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Photo by Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich

Successful people make an effort to keep their minds strong, their skills fresh, their bodies durable, and their sights focused on their goals. They are proactive and always on a path of discovering solutions to problems. They build and maintain resilience, always developing themselves while still being of service to others.

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Photo by Senior Airman Eboni Reece

Many of us are carrying a two-edged sword. We can either choose to fall on that sword and give up, or we can choose to wield the sword properly, both for offensive and defensive purposes. What the hell am I talking about, right? Just stick with me for a moment.

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.

In our current economy, competition is fierce, and all for seemingly scarce opportunities. It’s not enough to have a resume and upload it to several online job boards. You have to be visible and actively engaged on social media. You also need a strategic plan, with a persistent approach to managing your personal brand across a variety of platforms. Another critical key to personal brand management success in this digitized world is human interaction. It’s absolutely imperative to get out and shake some hands, or to at least get on the phone and hold some compelling conversations.

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