Self-Employment Guide for Veterans and Middle-Aged Dropouts

By Alexander Muller

When you are a part of any corporation, it is not easy to re-incorporate yourself into the non-corporative world once you decide to leave that very entity. The process becomes even more difficult if the corporation you have left is the military. After years of serving our country, I found myself faced with the rest of my life, at first not knowing how to start over. Luckily, I have always been interested in computers, so I completed a coding course and started working from home. That’s why I’d like to share a few useful tips with my fellow soldiers, as well as other unemployed middle-aged people, to show them that life after leaving your long-term job can be both productive and purposeful.

Following my instinct
As I grew up in the 1980s, I developed a strong desire for computers and information technology in general. This is why opting for a programming course was the most logical decision I could make. However, it does not have to mean that my choice will be the right option for you, so try to choose a career that will suit you in the most natural way.

For instance, if you know how to play a musical instrument, you can make video tutorials from your living room and post them to YouTube and/or play live gigs. If you are more proficient at a certain skill, you can even create entire courses and get some significant financial benefits for your work. On the other hand, if you start manufacturing hand-made products, make sure to offer them on the web, since they can bring a substantial income, too.

Best use of (military) self-discipline
Every fresh start requires leaving your comfort zone. Of course, the same moment you even start thinking about making that step, you will be occupied by your fears and inhibitions. What you need to do here is to create a clear set of rules that you are going to hold on to no matter what happens. If you are self-indulgent at this stage, your career shift might not be as successful as you had hoped.

First of all, plan your work schedule for every day. You do not have to work your head off, but you need a frame inside which you will know the rules. Secondly, always leave a few hours a day for socialization. Your friends and family will inspire you to keep on trying. Also, taking breaks will clear your head and make you ready for new challenges. Finally, conduct a regular self-assessment to track your progress.

Ensure an efficient home office
If you are planning to work on the Internet or sell your home-made products that way, you need a reliable computer. When I started working, I bought a used desktop machine. It was a great machine, but I had a serious problem with my Internet connection which affected my efficiency. Therefore, I made an effort to test my Internet speed and it turned out that the provider was delivering a lower speed. I changed the provider at once and had no more problems whatsoever. So, if you have any similar problems with your providers, do not pay them if the service is not in accordance with the agreed terms. The bottom line is that you have to ensure perfect conditions for your home office to be as productive as it gets.

Although the change was huge at the beginning, now I feel more comfortable. I realized that finding a balance between work and my family life was that secret ingredient for a relaxed life that I wasn’t able to find during my military service. I hope you will succeed in finding your own way through this period of life and start a new career that will give your life a new value.

About the Author
Alexander Muller joined the army in 1996. After participating in peace missions in Kosovo (1999), he transitioned from the army to a new mission: to start a small web developing firm. He is currently focused on collaborating with skilled entrepreneurs to gain increased knowledge of the industry and learn from their experiences. Connect with Alexander on LinkedIn.

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