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Pay and Benefits

One Sailor's Experience with Career Intermission - Part 4

Associate's degree in December

Amara Timberlake is an MC2 currently taking advantage of the Career Intermission Program. This blog is part of a series. Read the others here:

Career Intermission Program Part 4 graphic.

Career Intermission Program Part 4 graphic.

One Sailor's Experience with Career Intermission - Part 1
One Sailor's Experience with Career Intermission - Part 2
One Sailor's Experience with Career Intermission - Part 3

Fall is here, which means a new semester for me. College has been surprisingly easy and I'm excited to report that I'll have my associate's degree this December! I never thought I'd be this excited to be earning a two year degree but this is a benchmark of progress for me. This associate's means that I'm officially half way to a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and even closer to applying for an officer slot. Things are actually going according to plan, which is a refreshing change for me.

Financially, I'm getting back on track too. With my separation, moving and the holidays wiping out my wallet all at once, I got a job at a popular chain restaurant downtown serving up delicious desserts, which was the exact thing I said I didn't want to do. The people in my work-group turned out to be fun to work with and the money was quick but it was challenging for the restaurant to work around my school schedule. I was able to pay down some debt and put some cash in savings so after a short stint there, I quit.

I also quit because I found it really hard to fit into the corporate culture of that restaurant. I got really frustrated when others didn't share my priorities, but being the low man on the totem pole, (who is also brand new to the company), there wasn't too much I could do about it. That's one thing they don't tell you about getting out of the Navy; the next job you have might not be glamorous, and you probably won't be in charge, and no one is going to give a crap about what you did before you got there. No one cares that you got a NAM or a JCOM. They only hired you because they think a vet wouldn't walk out halfway through a shift because their new job sucks. I'll bet that's not unique to my particular experience. Based on a lot of people I see getting out, you're one of the lucky few if you land your dream job within the first eight months. I can see why more people have a tough time transitioning. I also quit because school is more important to me and I have a lot to fall back on, including going back to the Navy.

Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to returning to active duty. I miss doing what I'm good at and earning a decent paycheck for it. In the meantime, I'm tweaking my resume, networking and looking for the perfect opportunity to flex my communication skills. If it takes as long to do my bachelor's as it took for my associate's, I'll be calling my detailer this time next year in search of some sweet sea duty. Until then, you can find me buried under a pile of books, job applications, or sand, because when I'm not working hard on trying to become an officer, I'm at the beach working on my tan.

Read more information about the Career Intermission Program.