Leaving the military can fill you with both excitement and anxiety for what may lie ahead; swapping your military lifestyle for life in suburbia gives you a chance to make up for lost time with your family, but also means you now have to find new ways to finance your family’s lifestyle.
Nowadays though, there are plenty of ways for veterans to put their existing skills into practice, meaning it is easier than it ever has been to get yourself back into the working world. Here are some of the first steps to take as you embark upon your newly found civilian life.
Firstly, see if you are eligible for VA disability benefits
If you were injured during your military service, then you may be entitled to VA disability benefits. The catch is that VA math can be extremely challenging and tricky to work out exactly how much you are entitled to. Fortunately, Chisholm, Chisholm and Kilpatrick have designed a VA rating calculator to help make things easier for you.
VA assigns a rating for a range of different service-connected conditions, ranging from tinnitus to loss of limbs. Once you know this rating, you may be able to claim for disability benefits.
Get job hunting ready
The idea of applying for jobs and interviewing may strike fear into most veterans, as most will have not interviewed for a civilian job in many years.
Start off by getting your resume in shape – there are lots of resources online to help you do this, but also classes which you can attend to help you to really make your resume stand out. You may be surprised to find that many of the skills you have picked up and exercised in the military can be transferable to civilian roles. Maybe you specialized in engineering or communications – ensure these are noted within your resume and look for jobs within these sectors to make use of the skills you already have.
Networking with friends and other veterans may also help lead you to a new job – take the opportunity to sign up to veteran groups, as this will give you an opportunity to share experiences with other veterans who have recently been discharged, and potentially make connections which will help you to get a civilian job.
Start your own business
If “working for the man” just isn’t for you, then why not consider setting up your own business? Many ex-military vets have made fantastic entrepreneurs, utilizing their years of knowledge and skills and putting them into practice in a slightly different way.
Try and identify a gap in the market either locally, state-wide or nationally and go to work providing a solution for a problem. There are plenty of specific schemes and lenders who specialize in helping veterans set up their own businesses.
Alternatively, you could try online lending platforms or crowd funding sites to help you source the funds required to help you set up alone.