Individuals who have never served in the military do not always understand the commitment that military members make when signing up for service. Fewer still understand the difficulties of leaving the military and rejoining civilian life. Some of these challenges include social connections, entering the workforce, adjusting to new life structures, and finding a new life/work balance. Making this transition to civilian life can be challenging, but there are ways to help veterans make this adjustment and be successful.

Social Connections

Many veterans fear they will not fit into the family unit when they get out of the military and take a larger role in everyday life. To help them feel more confident in this new role, a routine needs to be set, and each member, including the veteran, needs to have their responsibilities. Defining roles can help everyone feel they have something important to contribute.

A social connection to the community will help the veteran adjust better. The family could begin getting involved in the local community, including school, events, and activities. This will help the veteran make new relationships and build up a natural support system. It will also give them something to focus on and look forward to.

Entering the Workforce

Ex-Military members must learn to navigate the civilian workforce. This includes creating resumes, job hunting, interviewing, and determining how their military experience translates into the civilian job market. Many veterans have little to no experience searching for a job since the military tells them what their job is and how to complete it. Online and in-person classes can assist veterans with their job search and everything that this entails.

Another way to assist with the transition into the civilian workforce is to help veterans understand insurance needs and offers. In the military, insurance is provided at no cost, so understanding how private insurance and VA benefits work can make a difference in helping a veteran with their changeover.

Work/Life Balance

Shifting from working various work hours and under countless conditions to a daily schedule and predictable environments may be difficult at first. Working with a veteran to teach them how to balance life and work will go a long way in helping them to make this adjustment. Patience and understanding when difficulties arise can make all the difference in allowing a veteran to adjust to civilian life.