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FridayOctober 19, 2018

Stable Home-Financing & Career Resources for Recently-Returned Veterans

 Stable Home Financing and Career Resources for Recently Returned Veterans

 

Stable Home-Financing & Career Resources for Recently-Returned Veterans

 

Adjusting to life once you’ve done your duty can be difficult. It is a huge shift, and there are quite a few roadblocks in your way. Whether you’re struggling to connect with your fellow citizens or feel awkward with the loss of a sense of brotherhood and structure in your everyday life, it can be a stressful situation.

Finding a traditional 9-to-5 job or figuring out how to afford a home on your return can be an issue as well. While your time in the service will have taught you many transferable skills for the modern workplace, many companies still require college degrees and several years of applicable experience. Luckily, there are programs in place to help recently returned veterans find their way through their changing situation.

Settling in Once You’re Back

Going from the incredible physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding career of military service to life back home is a struggle for many veterans. However, transitioning from military to civilian life doesn’t have to be as big of a hurdle as it may seem. Whether you’re going to try and hit the ground running and start a career right away, or you plan on furthering your education, there are plenty of options available to you.

While you may initially think that your military service hasn’t prepared you for a civilian job, it has actually given you a host of valuable skills that employers find attractive. The ability to operate under pressure, enact creative solutions for problems while also conforming to rules and structure, and the ability to lead a team or work as part of one are invaluable skills for any career. If you choose to continue to pursue your education, the VA GI Bill can help pay for a majority of, if not all, of your tuition.

If you’re unsure of what you’d like to do once you’ve re-entered civilian life, don’t worry. There are many government- and private sector-led vocational and educational counseling services that you can use to help guide your way. It is easy to feel alone when trying to figure out what to do as a civilian again, but know that you’re not alone and that there is help available to you out there.

Career Options

Though a lot of the skills you learn in the military can be applied to a huge number of professions, you may be at a loss as to where you should start looking. If you don’t feel like capitalizing on the career counseling services available to you, there are some job fields uniquely suited to returning veterans. These careers employ many veterans, which will make the transition into civilian life that much easier.

If you like the idea of working with fellow veterans, consider pursuing a career in military counseling. As a veteran, you will be uniquely equipped to talk with active service members as well as other veterans, as you will have a deep understanding of the problems that people deal with in the armed forces. Thoughts of suicide, alcoholism, and PTSD are all common issues that those returning from war regularly experience, and as a military counselor you will be able to help your fellow service members deal with these very real problems.

For a stable, well paying job, the government has a lot more to offer you outside of your military service. The postal service in particular provides excellent opportunities for veterans returning home. Unlike other jobs, the postal service takes your military service into account when you apply, assigning a number of points to your application based on that service, with more points resulting in a higher chance of being hired.

How to Finance Your Home

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, or you’re looking to refinance your home, it can be a daunting task. Luckily, if you’re in need of some help getting your finances in order, banks like Wells Fargo offer hands-on banking for veterans. These types of programs are in place to teach veterans about smart spending and saving practices, hopefully making that enlistment bonus stretch just a bit further.

If you find yourself in need of some emergency cash, or you’re looking to lower your monthly mortgage payments or angle for a shorter loan term, refinancing your home may be the right option. Getting ready to refinance your home is relatively easy, and getting your payment lowered or taking out some cash can help ease any financial stress you might be under. Conversely, if you opt for a lower loan term, you will save money in the long-term, but end up making higher monthly payments in order to do so. If you have the available funds, aggressive payment of your home loan can save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Say that you’re looking to move into a new home, but you don’t want to wait for your current home to sell. If that is the case, applying for a home bridging loan may be of interest to you. Not only will you get the money you need to purchase your new home, you don’t have to wait for your home to sell and it can remain on the market while you look for a new house. Furthermore, when taking out a home bridging loan, you can usually work with a single lender, streamlining the whole process.

Conclusion

While returning veterans face a multitude of struggles, for some of those issues there is veteran-specific help available. If you are struggling to find employment after you complete your military service or you need assistance getting your finances in order, don’t be afraid to reach out. It may seem strange adjusting to civilian life, but know that the sacrifices you made serving the country will never be forgotten.

 

Making a Difference After the Military

 

Making a Difference After the Military

While in the military, it’s common to feel like all your hard work has a purpose. You’re working to defend your country and save lives. Every day your actions had purpose, whether you were repairing vehicles or training new recruits.

But many veterans feel like once they leave the military, their life doesn’t have purpose. They aren’t serving their country anymore, but instead caring for themselves. Transitioning to civilian life is not simple, and many struggle to find a purpose.

A key part to being happy after the military is to find a new purpose — especially one that utilizes your military training — and fully commit to it. Whether it’s caring for your family, helping those less fortunate, assisting other veterans or building up your community, you have to find a new purpose to replace the one you felt in the military.

Caring For Your Family

Many veterans find purpose helping care for and being involved with their families. Especially for veterans just leaving the military, feeling like they belong within the family is very important.

There are many different ways to care for your family and get involved. Helping teach your kids, cleaning or improving your home, getting a civilian job to care for them financially — whatever it is, throw yourself into making your family happy.

Just caring for a family, though, is usually not enough for many veterans. They want to feel like they are helping out a lot of people, not just their own personal corner of the world. If this is the case for you, consider looking at careers or volunteer work that makes a difference.

Public Service Jobs

Being in the military was performing a public service. You risked your life to protect others — but just because you are no longer active in the military doesn’t mean your days of helping the world are behind you. Public service jobs can include all government careers, non-profit and charity organizations, and working in education.

There are tons of careers of all varieties in public service, but public admin jobs are often a great fit for veterans. Their experience with organizational structure and leadership within the military leads to a natural fit creating and managing policies and management organizations.

Working in a public or service job can be very rewarding. You can see your efforts directly benefiting the lives of others. This can include helping small businesses, your community, or advocating for those less fortunate.

Military Adjacent Jobs

Just because your time in the military is over, doesn’t mean you can’t still support them. Many careers revolve around helping active military or veterans in some way or another. You still get the benefit of feeling like you are doing something, but don’t have to be currently enlisted.

Working in a VA organization is one great example of this. VAs need tons of employees to help them run, from medical staff, to administrators, to blue collar jobs that make sure VAs can fully function.

Other organizations are dedicated to helping veterans that can benefit from your experience. Some focus on advocating for veteran rights, while others help out struggling veterans. For example, civilian lawyers with military experience are very valuable when it comes to military court cases.  

If you are struggling to feel important, or are looking to make a difference after your time in the military, don’t simply give up. Do research into opportunities that use your skills to better the lives of others. Finding fulfillment in your life is incredibly important, so look for opportunities for you to help others, whether it’s your family, your community, or the whole world.

 

 

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At VA we are committed to finding new ways to help you connect with a meaningful career. That’s why we recently launched a pilot program to offer Servicemembers and Veterans no-cost Accelerated Learning Programs (ALPs) in the Information Technology (IT) industry.

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They say you can take a person out of the military, but you can never take the military out of a person. Once a military man (or woman), always a military man (or woman)!

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