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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tappity Tap T.A.P.

I was invited to be part of a panel discussion at the Air Force Academy earlier this week where a room full of individuals who were either separating from, or retiring from the military were assembled to hear us talk about options other than going to work for a major corporation - Options such as starting your own business.

As I watched these 30 or so individuals watch us talk, I realized what a value this Transition Assistance Program or TAP for short was. Having spent, in some cases, 20 years being programmed to think, act and react a certain way according to policy, rules, regs or direct orders has to be a benefit when you leave military life to become a civilian. You're whole way of life is about to be turned on end, so it makes sense to provide such assistance.

However, have you ever heard of a corporation offer such a service? Me either. I wonder why???

If I spend 30 years working for a corporation and then retire with my gold watch and pension, why doesn't the company help me transition into non-working life? I even asked the lady at AARP in Washing DC when I visited there earlier this year if they offered any assistance to their members to make a smoothe transition into retired life. She looked at me like I was crazy and suggested their members could always volunteer their time at AARP.

So, in your company or organization, what can be done to help people transition more smoothly from working to non-working roles, or even from one department to another within the organization? Or... Should anything be done?

By the way, I don't reccommend standing on the end of the runway while A-10 Thunderbolts take off.