Military service is demanding, but it provides those who serve with a structure, a chance to do great things for the country, and incredible honor. For most service members, serving in the military is a calling. While there is a lot of skills and experience to be gained during service, many in the military find returning home to be even more challenging.
A study by Pew Research Center revealed that more than 40% of men and women who served faced difficulties when readjusting to civilian life. Some preparations are needed. If you are facing the same transition soon, here are the things that you can do to better ease into life as a civilian.
Get Finances in Order
The task of preparing for civilian life starts when you are still serving. One of the first things to attend to when preparing for post-service life is getting your personal finances in order. This is something you want to get out of the way as early as possible, mainly because finances can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and may turn into a big obstacle.
There are a lot of programs designed to help veterans and provide financial benefits for their families. Even when you haven’t been managing your finances correctly, you can still prepare for life as a veteran by taking the necessary steps.
Ideally, you want to have enough to survive an entire year without income. If you don’t have enough money to do so, you can turn to programs such as the Service Member Civil Relief to help you get your finances in order.
Start Building Your Future
Another important thing to do while you are still in service is planning for life as a veteran. You want to start thinking about what you want to do after serving. If you want to start a business, for example, slowly work your way towards a solid set of goals, a business plan, and know how you will achieve your goals.
You can also consider a career in various fields. It is easy to find a military-friendly online school and pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree of your choice. Online courses allow you to study for a degree while still serving; all you need is a working internet connection and a laptop.
Taking the first steps towards building your future removes potential stressful thoughts from your mind. When you know what you want to do, you have something new to focus on as you enter life as a civilian.
Give Yourself Time
There is no need to do things right away once your time serving the military is over. You have already made the necessary plans; now is the time to give yourself enough time. Take several weeks and allow yourself to adjust to the new life.
More importantly, find fellow veterans that can support you through the transition. The goal is to ease into life as a civilian, not rush into it. Have fun, be with friends and family, allow yourself to heal, and start working on your future whenever you are ready.