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 https://www.veteranemployment.co.uk/

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: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/