Find Your Calling: Career Transition Principles for Returning Veterans

6 h
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  • 6 Sequences
  • Introductive Level

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The most important thing that we have learned working with veterans in transition is that if you do not think critically about who you are as a person, what you value, what your ambitions are, and discuss these things with your tribe, you will not be able to perform the basic skills of your career search very well, like resume writing and interviewing.

This course focuses first on identifying the character strengths that veterans need to exhibit in order to make a successful career transition. As we explored the latest research and best practices in career transitions, we discovered that the most effective strategies are similar for all people seeking to change careers, not just veterans.

These similarities transcend generations. There was a book written in 1945 called Good-Bye to G.I. that provided career transition advice to returning WWII veterans. We also read Marcus Aurelius’ personal writings called Meditations and explored the formation of character through Greek and Roman teachings. We found direct similarities between the virtues that Aurelius wrote about and the behaviors that veterans need to exhibit today to make a successful transition.

Each character strength has the Latin and English translation. This emphasizes that these are timeless principles that have guided dozens of generations to live purpose driven lives. The character strengths are:

  • Pietas (Citizenship)
  • Prudentia (Critical Thinking)
  • Veritas (Authenticity)
  • Gravitas (Passion)
  • Humanitas (Choice and Creativity)
  • Nosce Te Ipsum (Emotional Intelligence)

The curriculum does not need to be completed from start to finish. The material can be used continuously to reflect upon as you progress in your transition. The character strengths are blended together and not independent of one another.

Each lesson has four sections: getting started, core concepts, action items, and wrapping up. There is a digital workbook that you can download that provides space to take notes and then reflect upon them later.

Also, added throughout are:

  • polls so you can see where you stand in relation to other students;
  • discussion threads so that other students can learn from your input and experiences;
  • feedback surveys so that we can continue to refine and improve the curriculum;
  • and voices from real life industry experts and veterans in transition.

We hope you find this course meaningful and we look forward to working with you as you transition into a new phase of your life.




Michael Abrams
Founder, FourBlock; Marine Corps Veteran; Former Executive Director, Center for Veteran Transition and Integration
Columbia University

William Deresiewicz
Best-Selling Author, Award-Winning Essayist
Columbia University

Sheena Iyengar
World-Renowned Expert on Choice, S. T. Lee Professor of Business
Columbia University

Sebastian Junger
NYT Best-Selling Author, Documentary Filmmaker
Columbia University

Lindsey Pollak
Career and Workplace Expert, NYT Best-Selling Author
Columbia University

Simon Sinek
Optimist, Motivational Speaker, NYT Best-Selling Author
Columbia University

Robin Stern
Associate Director of Partnerships for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
Columbia University


L'université Columbia est une université privée située dans le quartier de Morningside Heights, dans le nord-ouest de l'arrondissement de Manhattan, à New York (États-Unis). Elle trouve son origine dans le King's College fondée en 1754 par le roi George II de Grande-Bretagne. Elle est l'un des plus anciens établissements d’enseignement supérieur aux États-Unis et fait partie du groupe de l'Ivy League regroupant huit des universités les plus anciennes, les plus célèbres, les plus prestigieuses et les plus élitistes du pays.

Columbia est l'une des universités les plus sélectives et prestigieuses au monde. Le taux d'admission était de 5,1 % en 2019, comparable à ceux de Harvard et de Stanford. Classée première aux États-Unis pour la recherche, elle figure au sixième rang mondial (4e aux États-Unis) du classement CUWR des 1 000 meilleures universités mondiales et au huitième rang mondial du Classement Shanghai des universités.


EdX est une plateforme d'apprentissage en ligne (dite FLOT ou MOOC). Elle héberge et met gratuitement à disposition des cours en ligne de niveau universitaire à travers le monde entier. Elle mène également des recherches sur l'apprentissage en ligne et la façon dont les utilisateurs utilisent celle-ci. Elle est à but non lucratif et la plateforme utilise un logiciel open source.

EdX a été fondée par le Massachusetts Institute of Technology et par l'université Harvard en mai 2012. En 2014, environ 50 écoles, associations et organisations internationales offrent ou projettent d'offrir des cours sur EdX. En juillet 2014, elle avait plus de 2,5 millions d'utilisateurs suivant plus de 200 cours en ligne.

Les deux universités américaines qui financent la plateforme ont investi 60 millions USD dans son développement. La plateforme France Université Numérique utilise la technologie openedX, supportée par Google.

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