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Q: I’m quickly approaching retirement from the military. How do I turn my military procurement job into a civilian occupation? Also, my dream is to write novels for African American women. I have a lot of stories to tell about being a black woman in the military, and I have no clue of how and where to start. Can you help a sister find her place outside of the military?
–P. Jones, Ceiba, Puerto Rico
A: The good news for you is that the demand for proven purchasing/procurement professionals is as strong in the private sector as it is in the military. There are purchasing and procurement jobs across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, marketing, and information technology. You can find some opportunities by doing a search using the term “procurement jobs” at Websites such as CareerBuilder.com (www.careerbuilder.com) and Monster.com (www.monster.com). Monster has a great series of stories in its featured section on making the transition from military to civilian jobs; go to http://featuredreports.monster.com/ military/miltociv. For a more industry-specific job search, try www.buyingjobs.com.
As for your dream of becoming a published novelist, check out How to Get Your Book Published: Inside Secrets of a Successful Author by Robert W. Bly ($14.95; Roblin Press). This book covers everything from how to write a book proposal to self-publishing options, and includes directories of literary agents and major publishers, and other resources for writers. It should provide everything you need to get started.