Military veterans can face many challenging issues when transitioning back into a civilian lifestyle, with looking for employment being at the top of the list. However, there are many skills that veterans learn in the service that can translate into numerous career prospects and paths. One of these paths is entrepreneurship as veterans are also 45% more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans. Around 9% of all U.S. businesses are veteran-owned and they range greatly by industry. Industries with higher-than-average veteran ownership includes finance, insurance, transportation, warehousing, construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, utilities, manufacturing, scientific and technical services.
For those veterans that aren’t looking to get into entrepreneurship, the list of veteran-friendly companies is endless. Not sure where to start? U.S. Veterans Magazine released their list of top veteran-friendly companies for 2021, which includes hundreds of employers and organizations. Ranging from Bank of America to Honeywell and Verizon, these companies, among many others, offer positions and programs that help employ veterans returning to the civilian workforce. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website also offers an online list of Directory of Veterans Service Organizations that is published by the Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Other veteran resources include the GI Bill, which helps pay for college, graduate school, and training programs. Some of the benefits include tuition assistance, scholarships, technology education courses, tutorial assistance and more. You can also apply to receive Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) (formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment) to help with resume development, job training, job-seeking skills coaching and employment accommodations. The VA also offers personalized support and counseling to veterans through the Education and Career Counseling program that helps guide career paths.
CareerOneStop, which is an organization sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, has a Veteran and Military Transition Center that offers resources for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses. The center offers a plethora of resources that will help match military experience and skills to civilian careers, while also featuring a job search for local work or jobs across the United States and providing information about accessing other benefits for veterans.
Between local employment centers, Federal jobs, state employment websites, entrepreneur opportunities and the organizations listed above, veterans returning to the workforce have many resources to help with transitioning back to civilian work life. Those looking for more resources can consider joining a military community-focused group or organization, or networking with veteran-owned businesses to offer support and services to help each other grow and improve.