Transitioning to Civilian Life: Tips for Young Veterans
After serving in the military, returning to civilian life can pose several challenges for young veterans. While some veterans enjoy an easy re-entry experience, others struggle to overcome common hurdles like relating to others, integrating into family roles, and connecting with their community. Transitioning from a life of structure, discipline, and authority into one that allows a great deal of personal freedom requires the development of quite a few life skills.
Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to make your transition easier. And if you’re readjusting to life in Concord, know that you’ll be welcome with open arms! Whether you’re looking to launch a small business or join a local committee, you can find all the information you need on the Concord Township Website
Finding Fulfilling Work
Finding work is one of the biggest challenges for those returning from military service. Young veterans, in particular, typically have very little to no experience applying for civilian jobs. If you’ve never written a resume or interviewed for a job, you will have to learn and master these skills before you can find fulfilling work.
Online resources offer plenty of guidance that can help you transfer your military experience into professional skills that will look great on your resume. Military.com suggests translating military words into civilian counterparts to position yourself as the ideal applicant for the job you’re after. For example, if you worked as a commander in the military, you could say that you were a director or senior manager on your job application.
Returning to school presents a few other hurdles for young veterans. To succeed in an educational setting, you will have to learn to be your own boss, set your own schedule, and manage your time effectively. You will also have to get comfortable with challenging authority and socializing with peers who may not share your values.
Online school could be a great option if you want to pursue an education on the side while still earning income at your day job. You could, for example, earn an online software development or computer science degree to open doors in the fast-growing IT industry. Sharpening your professional skills is a fantastic way to advance your post-military career.
Accessing Benefits and Services
In the military, someone else handles all of your basic needs. You don’t have to worry about accessing food, shelter, clothing, or medical care. But when you return to civilian life, you’re on your own. Seeking out and paying for basic necessities like dental care or medical assistance can pose a serious source of stress for young veterans who have never had to take on these responsibilities themselves.
Fortunately, this is one reason for the existence of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Through the VA, you can access life insurance, disability compensation, medical care, and special home loans with lower mortgage rates. You can even seek mental health services to help you cope with mental health needs like PTSD or depression.
Adjusting to Ambiguity
Civilian life is fraught with a lot more ambiguity than military life. Leaving the military means moving from a life of structure to one where you have flexibility and autonomy. You have many more decisions to make as you go about your day, and for many veterans, the sheer number of choices can be completely overwhelming.
To ease your transition, look for ways to create structure in your life. Write down your daily schedule and revise it as you find what works for you. You can also simplify your life by reducing the number of choices you have to make every day. Streamline your decisions by using grocery shopping lists, planning your meals on the weekend, and limiting your clothing options by maintaining a minimal wardrobe.
Returning home from the military is an exciting time, but many veterans struggle with the transition. Go easy on yourself and take it one step at a time. You’re well-equipped with the skills and experience you need to handle anything life throws at you. And remember, the Concord Township community is here to offer support in any which way you need!