No matter what your background, there will always problems you encounter. Some are minor bumps in the road and some can make you feel like Chicken Little screaming, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” What can make these moments easier to handle? Maybe it’s just knowing that you’re not alone. Our experts have revealed to us what challenges they faced when coming out of the military and planning their next moves. Here’s what they had to say:
It takes a long time to find the right franchise " one that you are passionate about, is well run, and has a corporate team that takes great care of the brand’s reputation and their franchisees.
Dave Dequieljoe, Flip Flop Shops
I happened upon Sure Step and at first passed it by because it seemed to be one of those “too good to be true” opportunities. I am so glad I decided to investigate further and to become a Sure Step Distributor. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and I have not had even one moment of regret since making it. This business meets all three of my criteria with flying colors…
Joe McBee, Sure Step
Withdrawal from a large system/support network that was a daily part of living. Systems are still in place, but not unless you seek them out and become involved.
Ken Duenzl, Caring Transitions
I have been out of the military for some time now but I would say as I’ve alluded to earlier, there is a lack of duty and pride people put into their jobs. People with military backgrounds seem to always have a strong and structured work ethic.
Cliff Hudson, FreshCoat Painters
Most corporations are hesitant to hire veterans because we don’t have relevant work experience. This is not entirely accurate because a lot of what people deal with in corporate America are people issues and leadership. The military more than adequately prepares us to handle these situations, so in essence, we are more than qualified. The challenge is finding organizations that need strong battle-tested leaders to fill these leadership roles in their companies, and framing our military experience in a way that allows them to see the parallels.
I did not fully understand this coming out of the military, so I opted to get an MBA to supplement my leadership skills with academic credibility. This better prepared me to face the challenges of having relevant experience to bring to a company.
Armando Garza, Araya Cleaning Property Services
I was young when I got out of the military and so I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted my long-term future to look like.
Dana Litman, Araya Clean Property Services
Back when I came out there weren’t any programs like there are now to help veteran’s transition out of the service. I was on my own. Thankfully, Araya Clean was one of the more veteran-friendly businesses and their management team really helped get me started.
Tom Martin, Araya Clean Property Services
The biggest challenge I’ve had is trying to translate my military skills to the civilian work force. Most people think that because I was in the military I spent my whole career shooting weapons. In fact I have a lot more leadership experience than most people in the civilian sector.
Will Coulter, Araya Clean Property Services
Having retired as a young Lt. Colonel, and having managed hundreds of personnel and millions of dollars of material, I was convinced that my MSEE in electrical engineering would result in many tech industries vying for my talents. I received a rude awakening when this wasn’t the case. While at Texas Instruments as an engineering manager, I was given a supplemental task of recruiting other engineers. After receiving scores of resumes from other pending retirees with my background, I realized that the supply of applicants far exceeded the demand.
Mike Brill, CruiseOne
I always wanted to become a teacher to help guide the younger kids, (that is what I did in the Navy, raise new sailors to become seasoned sailors) so it was easy for me, I thought I would become a high school history teacher but instead (which was a blessing) I became an ROTC instructor teaching history and leadership.
Isaac Ingram, CruiseOne
I left the Army over 20 yrs ago. Back then there wasn’t anything in place to help with the transition. The perception in the civilian world was I didn’t have “experience” and needed to start from scratch. What experience I did have was shooting and blowing things up. This couldn’t have been further from the truth ….. but that was the perception.
Greg Steinig, BungoBox
When you are in the military, you get used to following orders. It can be difficult having a lot of choices. Plus, some jobs seem like a letdown. You don’t feel as though you have the respect of your peers or supervisors in some cases. You can also feel like your life is just Monday through Friday, rest up, then head back to the grind with no true purpose.
Andrea & Robert Houk, FirstLight HomeCare
Job security isn’t much of an issue in the military. I also had a new family and 4 years of college to complete. Balancing my time to complete school while supporting my family and paying the bills was my biggest challenge, but in the end it all paid off.
AJ Cosmo, BrightStar Care
These bumps in the road are not what define you. How you handle these ups and downs will. So what has been the greatest struggle when starting and owning your franchise? Let us know in the comments. And find out next time about the moment our veterans knew for certain that franchising was for them.
About the author:Stephan Baldwin received his B.A. from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in Interactive Design. He went on to start Traffic Media, a successful online consulting firm specializing in website design and marketing for real estate professionals in South Florida. Looking for a change in scenery, Stephan accepted the position of Marketing Director with Franchise Gator and moved to Atlanta where he currently resides. Stephan brings over 10 years of experience in UI design, SEM, SEO, email & affiliate marketing to Franchise Gator.