Active duty transition options
Are you making or want to make the transition from active duty military to civilian life? Are you unsure of what direction to take? There are a ton of resources (coming soon in another post) for veterans in your situation to help with the transition. There are organizations willing to train you in new skills. There are companies who make special considerations for hiring veterans. There is the post 9/11 GI Bill and various scholarships to put towards a degree, certification or license. Syracuse University and the Small Business Administration offer entrepreneur classes and continuing support for those of you who aspire to run your own business. Each state (click here) has their own veteran resources too. There are, really, many, many opportunities. Or, you can do what I’m doing and start a blog.
Transition from active duty to blogger
Like many military personnel, you are probably considered a subject matter expert in your field. Why not take the knowledge you’ve gained and build a blogging platform (without violating OPSEC of course) ? There are plenty of skills in the military that would transfer easily to produce a well respected informational blog. Some ideas that come to mind are:
- IT / security / networking
- medicine / TCCC / survival (<— I’m starting a blog on this topic too)
- military gear and equipment reviews
- electronic repair
- mechanical repair
- “life on active duty”
Building a loyal following may enable you to monetize your site (think ads) or allow you to sell something (think gear, eBooks, educational courses). Once you are earning money from your site, a transition from active duty may not be that worrisome. I’m not saying you have to blog the rest of your life but wouldn’t an extra 2-3 k a month make your next career transition smoother?
What to do next
Setting up a blog is relatively easy. It will take some work AND consistency to build it up but you definitely can do it.
Quick guide to starting a blog:
- Determine and purchase a name for your site (ie mine is www.morethanonebasket.com). I do a lot of domain name searches using bluehost.com. Searching is free. Cost is minimal to own the name for a year (around $8-12)
2. Decide on a service to host your site. This is where your site will “live” on the internet. It can be any host really. I went with Bluehost.com because that’s the company a blogger recommended in her “How to start a blog” post. I’m happy I did too. They are super user friendly (easy blog setup) and responsive to any questions I’ve had. Maybe I got lucky. Cost here is around $4-10 per month depending on the package you buy. Again, cost is minimal. I purchased my domain name here as well for simplicity. Who needs yet another login and password? One stop shopping.
3. Install WordPress. This is how your blog will be displayed and how you’ll mange your posts. Think of it as an online Word document that you can add any media to. Once again, bluehost made this very easy to install. It was just a matter of clicking on the “install wordpress” icon”. Cost is included with hosting. No extra costs!
4. Start blogging! Just get out there and do it. Pick a subject, research, write and post. Posts don’t have to be long either.
Read my post on “How to Start a Blog Today” for a more detailed step by step on how I did it!