Whether you served four years or 35, most Veterans transition back to civilian life and look for a new job or even a new career. And your service makes you an attractive candidate in many fields. As you consider the many opportunities, borrow some of these tips to keep health and well-being as a priority in your work lifestyle.
Since the military uses advanced technology for communication, security, weaponry and many other tasks, the transition to a job in the information technology field is often a fit for former military personnel, from a cybersecurity specialist to a database administrator. The skills you learn in the military like adapting quickly and working under stress can be immensely useful in this profession.
How to Stay Healthy on the Job: Consider stretches to counteract your “hunch posture” over the screen and get up and move around every hour. Consider special glasses for computer monitor use, drops for dry eye and regular eye exams to help keep your eyes healthy. If you’re straining to see, laser eye surgery is another good option to consider.
Law enforcement and security
For many Veterans, a transition to security or law enforcement is a no-brainer after the skills they learn on the battlefield. Leadership, connecting with the local community and ensuring safety–you’ve got this nailed, after the necessary certifications and training of course.
How to stay healthy on the job: To keep yourself healthy and safe in this job, stay current on all of your training and be sure to stay in top physical shape. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule as much as you can. Follow protocol for being alone and always remain on guard. Some law enforcement and security jobs require frequent driving, therefore it’s important to have your sight tested in a regular basis.
Teaching is also a top job for Veterans, especially those who trained or taught their fellow personnel while serving. For most jobs, you will need to use the GI Bill and obtain a teaching certification, but instructional assistants or private school teachers can often teach with a college degree in any field. Many Veterans are attracted to the opportunity to share knowledge with children and adults and continue serving the community. Some also consider the teacher’s schedule, which includes several weeks of vacation in the summer, a perk of the job.
How to stay healthy on the job: To stay healthy, a teacher should stretch, change positions and wash their hands frequently. Also make sure that you take micro breaks, change your posture and rest your eyes regularly.
Entrepreneur / business owner
Nonprofit SCORE says that 25 percent of Veterans start a business or seriously consider it. The leadership and discipline skills learned through military service are a great fit for starting and leading a small business.
How to stay healthy on the job: The flexibility of being your own boss can be great, but if you don’t maintain a schedule for exercise and healthy eating. Don’t forget about your eye health, if you use hazardous or airborne materials at home or at work, wear safety glasses or protective goggles.
Also, be sure to explore all eligible VA benefits and have a plan for medical insurance coverage for yourself and your family.
There are many more job opportunities for Veterans due to many employers hiring those who have served in the armed forces. The unemployment rate for Veterans is the lowest since 2001 and it is expected to continue decreasing.
In any sector you decide to continue growing your career, always remember to find the balance between doing a job that you enjoy and keeping a healthy routine of diet and exercise.
Carolina O. Polo is a writer at the Eye Laser Surgery blog, where she covers eye health and technology. She also writes for blogs in Miami on career related topics.