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Veterans ASCEND Podcast

Episode 19-28

Psyched For Success Academy

I served about 11 years on active duty, first enlisted as a medical laboratory technician and then as a civil engineering office before I separated from the Regular Air Force. I felt terribly unhappy, which at the time I blamed on my career choice. I joined the Reserves to keep a foot in the military and earn a retirement.

Sharon Olbeter
Episode
19-28

Host:
Robyn Grable

From The Founder:

“Hi, I’m Sharon Olbeter.  I’m a retired Air Force colonel who had a very varied career.  I served about 11 years on active duty, first enlisted as a medical laboratory technician and then as a civil engineering office before I separated from the Regular Air Force. I felt terribly unhappy, which at the time I blamed on my career choice.  I joined the Reserves to keep a foot in the military and earn a retirement.

What I didn’t expect was that I would fall apart when I left and spiral downward into major depression. I felt adrift like I had no connection to anything.  The problem was I didn’t know who I was or what I cared about;  I had never paid attention.  Instead, I had spent my life reacting solely to external expectations. I hadn’t developed an internal compass that would guide me in making appropriate career choices.

I only made progress by paying attention to what interested me. Eventually I realized what I wanted.  I went to graduate school and developed an interest in motivation psychology.  At the same time, I volunteered to do career counseling at nonprofits, and volunteered for Reserve active duty assignments that seemed appealing.  I felt like a trapeze artist figuratively – one assignment would end and another would appear.  I gravitated toward people-oriented work because that’s where my passions lay and retired out of SAF/MR (Air Force Manpower and Reserve Affairs) as an O-6 at the Pentagon.”

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