Career Options: Going Self-Employed

Harness the skills you learnt in the forces and work for yourself.

Regardless of the rank that you achieved or the sector of the forces you were stationed in, the personal skills that you would have developed during your years in the service will make you an ideal candidate to start your own business.

In order to be a successful business owner you need to be a motivated individual, be able to manage your time effectively and also have the confidence to put yourself out there in front of customers or potential clients. Deciding what business niche you want to work in will depend on the time that you have at your disposal, the amount of manual labour that you’re capable of doing on a daily basis and your ability to travel. If you own a car and have a clean driving license then you’re options will be a lot wider, but you can still earn good money without leaving your house – it just takes some perseverance!

Have a look at these potential streams of revenue and consider whether one of these might be the right fit for you:

Buy a mobile cleaning franchise

You might think that you don’t have the slightest clue how to set up a franchise business, but the best thing about this option is that franchises will give you a huge amount of support and training, so that you can best represent their brand. Buying a franchise like the oven cleaning business, Ovenu, is by no means a cheap venture. Purchasing the rights to use the brand, access the training and equipment starts at £15,900 – however yearly returns can rocket up to £50,000, if you play your cards right. Remember that a jobs such as this would be intensely physical and would involve a fair bit of driving. 

Selling on eBay

There are many ways to make money online; selling items on eBay is one of the oldest and most reliable methods. There are minimal set-up fees should you wish to open a business on the popular auction site; for £19.99 a month you can open a store and list up to 100 items.

What you choose to sell is up to you, it’s usually best to pick a niche that has a relatively small investment cost to start with, unless you’re happy spending big money on stock up front. Choose a product that belongs to a niche that you’re passionate about, so that you can sell goods you believe in.

Personal Trainer

Many veterans miss the active lifestyle that they have whilst working in the Forces, but there are ways that you can continue to life life in the fast lane post-retirement. Although any one could feasibly become a personal trainer, without any formal qualifications you risk opening yourself to law suits if one of your clients injures themselves. For this reason, it’s best to gain a qualification in Personal Training first, so that you can use legitimate techniques and protect yourself from liability issues. Build up a wide-base of clients and you could find yourself exercising every day and getting paid for it!

Taxi Driver/Delivery Driver

If you live in a relatively urban environment and have access to either a push-bike or a car, then you’ll be able to sign up to work for one of the rising tech startups of the on-demand sector.

If you’d like to get some good exercise and aren’t worried about earning a lot of money, then you can ride for Deliveroo, delivering restaurant meals to people’s homes. A car and a clean driving license will make you eligible to drive for Uber, where you can make decent money if you work the busy hours of the week. Either of these options offer you a decent amount of flexibility, it’s totally up to you when you decide to work.

Understandably, not all of these occupations will be ideal for everyone and each one comes with it’s own set of pros and cons. Working for yourself can be a rewarding experience, but it’s not necessarily for everyone. Should you get sick or injure yourself, you won’t have a safety net to fall back on, so it’s important that you consider these risks before you invest any time or money.

For more information on how to get back into the working world, check out our post on Training Opportunities or head to

Five Charities That Help Veterans In Need

Here in the UK we have great respect for our veterans…

…this is reflected by the huge range of charities that are supported throughout the country.

The vital work that these charities achieve, thanks to the hard work and determination of their employees and their patrons, cannot be underestimated. Leaving the military is a big moment for any soldier – it symbolises the end of their life as part of a squad and the beginning of their new life as a single unit. This transition from being part of a supportive team to operating solo can conjure up a series of mental challenges that, until recently, have not been properly recognised by the military. 

Thankfully, there are a number of UK-based charities that specialise in providing in-depth counselling and support for veterans who are struggling with making the transition, or are perhaps still dealing with psychological issues that have developed during their times in the service.

If you’re in need of counselling, know someone who does, or perhaps just need a friendly voice to talk to, check out one of the following charities to see how they can help:

Help for Heroes

Probably one of the most recognised armed forces charities in the UK, the money that Help for Heroes raises gets divided amongst a variety of causes, covering anything from Housing Support to Physical Therapy for injured troops. In order to qualify for help you need to have sustained an injury or illness during or as a result of your service in the forces. Recently, the charity has been focusing a lot more on mental health, helping soldiers suffering from PTSD to effectively combat their issues.

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PTSD Resolution

Whilst the government remains a little cagey in their treatment of Gulf War Syndrome and the debilitating effects of PTSD, there are a few charities that focus entirely on this issue. PTSD Resolution uses a nationwide network of 200 qualified therapists to provide treatment sessions to Veterans who suffer from mental health problems that are a result of military trauma. Their help reaches out to veterans who are struggling to cope with civilian life, as well as those with drug addictions or who are currently incarcerated.

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Veterans Aid

Founded in 1932 as The Embankment Fellowship Centre, Veterans Aid has been finding accommodation for homeless veterans since it’s inception. Initially set up to combat the huge number of ex-military men who were sleeping rough on the streets of London after the fallout of World War I; the charity has built up international recognition for it’s methods that seek to find immediate solutions rather than delayed ones. VA immediately house any veteran that seeks their help in temporary accommodation and then put a programme in place to find the veteran permanent residence and stability.

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SSAFA: The Armed Forces Charity

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association is the oldest national Armed Forces charity in the UK. Founded in 1885, the Charity has been helping soldiers and their families for well over 130 years. During World War I, the SSAFA paid out more than £1m to the families of soldiers and commanded it’s own army of 50,000 voluntary workers who were committed to helping out their fellow Brits. Flash forward to today; thanks to high-profile patrons like the Queen and the work of its president Prince Michael of Kent, SSAFA has successfully helped thousands of veterans’ and serving soldiers’ families – providing housing advice, debt advice and help with mental illnesses.

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Making The Transition: Who Can Help?

When Military life ends a new chapter of a serviceman’s life begins.

It’s important to take time to plan your transition out of Service life, back into the world of the civilians.

You should not only consider your personal health, but also your psychological state and your relationships with your friends and family. For those that have been in the Armed Forces for a particularly long stint, there might be a whole slew of practical skills that need to be learnt so that one can continue their life with stability and independence. Health issues, both long term and short term, should be checked up on and assessed, so that you can ensure that you’re in the best shape possible when entering your new life.

Practical things such as housekeeping, basic accountancy and childcare aren’t necessarily skills that Veterans develop during their time in Service, so it’s important to find some help in these matters if you want to make a smooth transition from military life to civilian life.

Thankfully, Personal Recovery Centres exists that can help you make this transition smoothly, ensuring that you’re never alone during what can be a challenging period in your life.

As part of a government led initiative, the Ministry of Defence working with Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion, have been working to develop and build a number of Personal Recovery Centres across the country with the aim of giving access to important services and resources for wounded, injured or sick personnel. Working in conjunction; both the charities and the MoD formulate individual care plans which give the recovering troop structure whilst they get used to civilian life.

For these troops, questions like: ‘How much does a CT scan cost?‘ and ‘How do I receive my military pension?’ can be easily answered by a team of well trained staff who work at centres in Edinburgh, Colchester, Tidworth House, Catterick and even Germany.

One centre that has gained particular public recognition is the Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall.

Established at the National Sports’ Centre, this programme is tailored to ex-servicemen who have been wounded or injured and are in need of support. The programme offers residential housing for up to 24 servicemen and gives them the opportunity to take part in adaptive sports and adventure activities which are aimed at rejuvenating the participants and instilling them with the confidence that they need to either re-enter service or transition into civilian life smoothly.

Establishments like the Battle Back Centre are crucial to giving the Veteran a chance to re-build self-esteem, but they provide more than just a confidence boost for injured soldiers, they also give the MoD an opportunity to assess the individual’s psychological state, as well as their life skills, so that they can be appropriately trained for life as a civilian. Practical projects and training is also provided for ex-troops, so that they can re-enter the working the world with the skills necessary to succeed.

If you think you could benefit from support from a Personal Recovery Centre then head to this site to find out more:

Upcoming Events: September-October

We’ve got a busy couple of months coming up!

If you’re a Gulf Veteran who’s looking to get involved in an outdoor activity, or a friend of a veteran who would like to raise some money for a worthy cause, then there are a number of great events being organised by big and small charities in the run up to this year’s Remembrance Day that you can take part in.

From international athletics competitions to uplifting concerts in the capital, there’s some great opportunities on the horizon – so get involved!

Invictus Games 2017

In 2014, Prince Harry created the Paralympic-style event in order to give wounded or injured armed service personnel the chance to compete at an international level. The first games were held in London at the Olympic Park, with the second games following in 2016, this time in Florida, USA. After another successful event, which saw 16 teams from different countries compete in a number of events, the next games were announced to be held in Toronto.

When? 24 September-30 September 2017 Where? Toronto

Visit for more info.

Driffield Dog Show

Although it might seem like half a world away from the games in Toronto, support for our veterans comes in all shapes and sizes! For the second year, the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association will be attending the Driffield Dog Show. The clue’s in the name, the Wetherby Racecourse & Conference Centre, which is equidistant between York and Harrogate, will be home to hundreds of dogs and their owners, all of whom will be hoping to pick up awards for their efforts. Make sure to stop by at the NGVFA’s stand to say ‘Hello’ and see how you can help out – entrance is free!

When? 28 September-1 October 2017 Where? Wetherby Racecourse, Wetherby

London Pride Concert

Thanks to the resounding success of last year’s London Pride, the Central Band of the Royal British Legion are back once more to wow another packed out audience – will you be one of them? Southwark Cathedral will once more be the venue, with musical director David Cole leading the Central Band through an evening’s programme of London-themed music, which is sure to create a truly uplifting ambience in such a grand historical setting. Tickets start as cheap as £10 with central nave seats costing £30.

When? 14 October 2017 Where? Southwark Cathedral, London

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The Poppy Run

It’s never too late to start to take part in one of the 5km races that will be taking place all across the country throughout October and November this year. Take your friends, family and even your dog along for the ride. It’s up to you whether you decide to run, jog or walk, either way you’ll be raising money for a good cause. Entry fees, payable to the Royal British Legion, are £15 for an adult and £7.50 for 7-17 year olds – anyone younger can run for free! Whilst there is no minimum fundraising target, every penny that you raise will go to helping the armed forces community, including Gulf Veterans.

When? 28 October-5 November 2017 Where? Nationwide

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