Unless you decide to stay in the service for life (which is impossible, considering its mandatory retirement age of around 60—a bit more if you’re a general or admiral), you’ll eventually need to think about how you’re going to support yourself and your family when you get out. The military teaches you some invaluable skills, many of which could help you get a job. In addition, a number of employers have instituted employment programs geared specifically for veterans.
But a lot of service members are taking the big step of owning their own business. Is being an entrepreneur right for you?
Being Your Own Boss
According to the United States Census Bureau, there are nearly four million veteran-owned businesses in the U..S. Together, they have more than $1.6 trillion in annual revenue and employ more than 8 million people.
Those are some pretty big numbers. And you’d be surprised at the amazing variety. It’s definitely not all about security work. Veterans become lawyers, CPAs, farmers, skilled tradesmen (electricians, plumbers, etc.). There are even six veteran-owned breweries around the country.
Is Owning Your Own Business Right for You?
Not everyone can (or should) be a business owner. You need a dream, certainly, but you also need to be business savvy and have the willingness to put in the time and effort necessary to start and grow a business. If that sounds like you, entrepreneurship might be exactly what you’re looking for.