Moving Forward with Planned Actions
Leaving the Military Service can often be a difficult transition
Thousands of civilians may well dream of the day that they can ‘retire’ and live a life of leisure. For military men and women, the abrupt transition to retired civilian life can often be one that is hard to handle.
One of the wonderful things about working in the Armed Forces is the sense of purpose and responsibility that such a job imbues an individual with.
Every minute of every day is accounted for – leaving little time to stop and pause for breath. It’s a whirlwind career choice that, although definitely not for everyone, has the capacity to channel many individuals’ efforts into one combined force. Being a part of a squad is akin to having a new family; there’s a sense of camaraderie and brotherhood that is rarely found in other occupations – this makes leaving the forces even harder.
So what happens when we leave the forces? What happens when we are suddenly given all the time in the world, with no direction?
Although we are given some preparation for the seismic shift in lifestyle change, by the Government and our superiors, nothing can really prepare you for the endless expanse of spare time you are gifted with upon your discharge from service.
If you’ve recently left the forces and are struggling to find purpose – try considering these ideas as a jumping off point:
Start a Blog/Vlog
All you’ll need is access to the internet and an electronic device. Setting up a written blog or video diary costs nothing and is really easy to do. It can be about anything – your favourite films, experiences in the Services or even your predictions for the Football scores!
By writing regularly you can keep your mind focused and your literacy skills focused, starting up a video diary is also a great way of expressing emotions and sharing your feelings with the world – without having to open your front door. By engaging with the online community, you could even end up making a few friends along the way.
[Try sites like: WordPress for written blogs and YouTube for video blogs.]
Volunteer For A Charity
England is a wonderfully generous country that has a reputation for fostering charitable causes, from the big cases to the small ones. In addition to the major charities, such as Oxfam and Red Cross, who have their headquarters in London, there are hundreds of smaller groups who operate out of smaller towns, throughout the country.
Thanks to the internet, it’s a cinch to find out about the causes that are being championed in your local area. If your access to the internet is limited, then you can always go to your village hall or religious building to see if there are any events happening soon.
[The Government’s Database on Charities can help you find a local cause – alternatively, search your town name with the word ‘charity’.]
Join a Sports/Social Club
Now has never been a better time to start exercising. If you’ve just left the armed forces, then you’ll know how strange it is going from an active lifestyle to one that is completely sedentary. Be careful that you don’t put on the pounds once you’re discharged!
Your local council-run gym will be the most affordable place to attend classes, but a brief search on Google, cross-referenced with your chosen sport, should also bring up some good results. The internet’s a great place to find other people with like-minded hobbies – so why not go out and find them?
[Try Meet Up, for finding other people with similar interests – similarly a search in Reddit might also turn up some local clubs that could be of interest.]
Find A Self-Employed Part-Time Job
Although some part-time jobs might not be ideal for certain veterans, there are plenty of self-employed occupations that offer the chance of flexible hours and good pay. These can range from the simplest act of delivering leaflets door-to-door to even offering an oven cleaning service.
With the development of technology, there are now loads of great opportunities open to veterans with some spare time on their hands – they often include meeting people and exercising too, which is never a bad thing when trying to adjust to civilian life.
[Companies like OvenU offer opportunities start to own your own cleaning franchise, alternatively Deliveroo and Uber always have part-time vacancies open for those looking for more casual work.]
Visit A Veteran’s Support Centre
If you’re struggling to find ways of filling your days, or simply feel like you need to talk to someone, then there are hundred of Veteran Supports Centres dotted around the country. These places are often run by Veterans who have experience in what you’re going through – they can offer you advice and support, if you need it.
[Search: ‘Veterans Support’ and your area – to find local branches nearby that can help you out. It’s what they’re there for, after all.]