First things first, no one owes you anything. If you want to make it in business you have to realize it’s dog eat dog, there is no brotherhood (unless you forge it) and you must fight for everything you need. The American dream sold to our parents isn’t around anymore, companies don’t give pensions for 20 years of service; they give you a gold-plated watch and say, “get back to work”, but there is some good news.

Opportunity

With this decline of “the Man” more and more entrepreneurs are stepping out and starting business they care about, with cultures they stand by; we (dd-214 toting, goons that we are) are in great positions to take advantage of our experiences, skills, and gumption to launch these new companies into unicorn status. In America you can remain on your parents health insurance until you’re 25, effectively under their wing; by the time I was 25 I had already completed my 6 year obligation to the US Navy, and had such accomplishments under my belt as, “As Duty Armorer, he maintained 100% accountability of over XXX weapons, optics, serialized items and XXXX rounds of ammunition with a value of over $3 million” daily. That was a quote directly from an eval, not to mention I had XXX goons (Goon- someone who, through their actions, has proven themselves worthy of my respect, endorsement, and loyalty) I was responsible for as Section 4 Chief of the Guard.  Us handful of “kids” were culpable for the day to day security operations onboard and in port, these are just some of my accomplishments from my TAD days to Security on the USS Nimitz, I’m sure you have a dozen personal examples you can draw on, so don’t sell yourself short.

Adaptability

About 8% of America have served, that weeds out the 92% of Americans who have never pulled away from home, sat in a sandbox, or grabbed a M4 and watched the sea-lions fight over a spot on a buoy; you have a leg up. We’re not the forgotten, we are the well-equipped, experienced, realist; who might not have an exact answer, but we have an idea about how we can get it accomplished, whatever “it” is, adaptability is our greatest strength.  Google “veteran jobs”, you can provide your MOS/NEC and get job listings specified to your military work experience. You never know what making that initial contact will do, maybe your dream job is waiting on the other side of that phone call.

Perseverance

I know I had an easy transition because I had experience that is in high demand, but did you know companies like Microsoft will retrain veterans for IT?I If you are looking for a career in Cyber security there is free training for that as well. Not to mention entire hiring initiatives aimed at getting YOU empowered, employed, and embarked on your next mission without Uncle Sam. Lastly, if you’re looking to free yourself of the chains of employment the VA has campaigns to get you in front of investors and get you funded for your own entrepreneurial pursuits. With several companies and organizations pledging to help us, retrain us, and lend money to us, failure is only possible if you allow it. Cyberseek’s report is showing a roughly 2 to 1 employment gap for cyber security professionals, now is the time for action, get trained, and get to work.