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Adjusting To Civilian Life After The Military: The Benefits Of Embracing Business Ownership

The spirit of TradeSchool is to be intentional about how you live. I want to encourage you all to trade your time for things that are much more important than money (i.e. don't settle for a 9-5 for your entire life). In the same spirit I've invited Erica Francis from to do a guest post aimed at people who may feel discouraged about transitioning to civilian life after serving in the Military. Hopefully this article finds those of you who need it--right when you need it. Thanks, Erica! Adjusting To Civilian Life After The Military: The Benefits Of Embracing Business Ownership

For many people leaving the military, readjusting to civilian life after time in the service can be rather challenging. Veterans often return home with issues related to mental health or physical challenges and a veteran's health issues can make finding traditional employment challenging. While there are many opportunities for veterans in traditional work settings, many find that branching out into owning their own business is a better fit.

Veterans may struggle to find the right fit in the civilian work sector

Monster details that for some veterans, traditional job settings ultimately don’t make for a good fit. A veteran's health may be compromised due to experiences in the field and it is not uncommon for physical disabilities or mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction, or PTSD to arise. Military life is quite different from civilian life and it can be challenging to get use to the different, often more casual, levels of expectations and performance often found in civilian workplaces.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs adds that for some veterans who were career military, finding a job in the civilian sector may be the first time they have ever had to go through the process of applying and interviewing for jobs. It can be difficult to translate one's military experience into civilian speak in a way that fits onto a resume and the job search can get quite frustrating.

In addition, Forbes notes that there is often a disconnect for veterans when it comes to salary and benefit expectations in civilian jobs. In addition to that, a veteran’s education and training may not seem to sync with many civilian job requirements. However, a veteran's experience and skill set may be invaluable when starting up a solo business.

Business ownership can sync well with a veteran’s experience

Veterans commonly turn to owning their own business after service so that they can control what comes next. They often have the tenacity, discipline, and organizational skills needed to run a successful business and there are many opportunities where having a military background can give a business a boost. It might be tough to know where to begin, but the Small Business Administration shares numerous resources specifically for veterans looking to own their own business.

Franchises are a popular business choice for many veterans. A concerted effort has been made to help veterans own their own franchises and VetFran can be a valuable resource for guiding veterans through the process. In addition, the Military Times shares data on the types of franchises that have been most popular with veterans and there are a variety of options available.

Business ownership opportunities for veterans outside of franchising

In addition to franchising business opportunities, NerdWallet details that many veterans become government contractors or retail shop owners. Many veterans do have a leg up when it comes to contracting, especially if they have technical experience from the military. As for retail businesses, veterans often find great success when they focus on selling items with military themes and civilians are frequently motivated to support these types of businesses.

Money Available

Don’t let a lack of funding hold you back. Many people—both civilians and veterans—fall into the camp of not having funding to get their business off of the ground. Fortunately, there are a number of grants and loans specifically for veterans that support either Franchise ownership or other small business opportunities. Get out there any start looking.

Need Some Inspiration?

Believe in yourself. You’ve already had one successful career through the military. Now, you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Take a look at what other veteran owned businesses are out there. Here are the Top 25 Veteran Start-ups in America.

Hang in there!

Adjusting to civilian life can be complex for veterans returning home after military service, especially when there are physical disabilities or mental health issues like depression or addiction present. Civilian jobs are not always a great fit, but many veterans flourish when they take the leap to own their own businesses. Utilizing a military background can be a big boost to a new business venture and opportunities like franchises, retail outlets, and government contracting tend to be especially good fits.

[Image via Pixabay]

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