military to civilian resume

3 Skills Civilian Employers Look For From Potential Veteran Hires

Using Your Military Experience To Gain Civilian Employment Can Be Easy

I know firsthand how difficult it is just getting out of the military and trying to actually put your valuable skills and experience to good use. I knew through friends and family that being a veteran paid dividends in the employment world. My problem was I couldn’t figure out how to prove my value through my resume.

As you go out into the civilian world for the first time (some veterans this may be your second go-around at freedom!), you’ll quickly see that there are more jobs and opportunities out there than advertised. While still in service, you probably heard a lot from peer or friends who separated about how “bad” the job market is. Although thereThe truth is, as long as you keep your nose clean, there is ALWAYS a job opportunity right around the corner. Now don’t get me wrong, the pickings are still slim in some fields, but in general, those positions are usually a rung or two above entry level positions.

The most important trick to converting your military skills and experience to a civilian resume is paying attention to detail. No, I don’t mean this in a soft skill kind of way to add to your skills list (although you could). I’m talking about paying attention to what I call the “flash” words and phrases that employers often put in their job description. These include phrases like “Demonstrate attention to detail,” “Be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment,” “Ability to demonstrate excellent customer service.” These are phrases and words that you can easily connect your military experience to. The second part of paying attention to detail when converting your resume is paying attention to the little details of your past duties.

For example, I was an aircraft mechanic (crew chief) in the Air Force. My skills mostly involved using my hands and getting dirty. My first job when I separated was working as a Ramp Agent for American Airlines. Although I didn’t work on aircraft with tools or anything like I used to while serving, the position still required other commonly asked skills, such as being able to operate a forklift or heavy machinery. As an F-15 and MQ-9 crew chief, I regularly towed aircraft and operated other aircraft ground equipment. Needless to say, that bad boy was an easy one to put in my bullet points when I saw that the job required heavy machinery operation.

This particular job also required excellent customer service and experience in this field as well. Now this one was a tough one to tackle initially, but as I reflected further back on my experiences, I focused on the times I provided good service to someone. I started to remember the times I volunteered for squadron holiday cookouts and dinners and how I demonstrated customer service through preparing and serving customer’s plates (this was also a good one for my first restaurant industry job!).

It really is as simple as keying in on those little details. In the military, we’re required to do a lot more than what some of us initially thought we’d signed up for. However, that “gripe” is paid back tenfold in the civilian world (Remember the days of Entry Control Duty in basic training? Yea you’re now gold to contracted and private security services). Also note that the ability to sell yourself, albeit not coming naturally to many, is critical to your success carving your own path in the civilian world. Without further hesitation, here are three basic skills civilian employers seek when viewing a veteran’s resume.

1) Working In a Fast-paced Environment

This is one you’ll see in almost every job description you’ll see. In today’s day and age, the quickest way to go nowhere fast is to fail to move fast. This bodes well for veterans, as moving fast and with a sense of purpose was drilled into us from Day 1 of boot camp. Not to mention the vast majority of jobs in the military require moving fast in order to keep operations flowing. This is an excellent opportunity for you to give an example of a daily task you had to do with a sense of purpose.

2) Demonstrating Excellent Customer Service

You won’t find a job or business in the civilian job market where some form of customer service isn’t required. You worked with people and serving people in the military and you’ll be doing it a lot outside of it. Giving examples of duties where you demonstrated good customer service can be a tricky one, as this can be a really easy one or one that will have you thinking, depending on your job in the military. As I mentioned earlier, if you weren’t in a customer-oriented career field, focus on some of the miscellaneous tasks you performed or your volunteer service throughout the course of your military career. You’re bound to dig up some form of people-related duty you had to do (Kitchen Patrol Duty anyone?).

3) Taking Initiative (Being a Self-Starter)

Nobody likes to be babied. More importantly, however, is that nobody likes to play babysitter. Many civilian employers get a veteran’s resume and their eyes light up because they already know this person won’t have to have their hand held. They also know there likely won’t be a steep learning curve, as we were often thrust into “sink-or-swim” situations during our careers in the military, no matter what field you were in. For this reason, they know this is already half the battle and means they won’t have to spend time looking over your shoulders when they could be productive elsewhere.

You can be an E6 out after six years or you can be an E4 and done after four. No matter what you did or how long you served, the military provided plenty of opportunities to step up, take initiative, and be a leader. If you can’t think of not one instance or duty where you had to take initiative and get the ball rolling for a daily or frequent task, you may have bigger issues to worry about!

Transitioning Into A Civilian Job From The Military Is Easier Than You Think

The key to getting those employers to blow up your email and phone is to remember the key thing I mentioned before I went into the list: Attention to detail. Pay attention to the words and phrases in the description. Actively focus on what they’re looking for in you. Then think of times during your decorated service where you demonstrated what’s in that particular description. From there, use those experiences and tie them into what your targeted position duties. Remember that in today’s day in age, employers often have working in a fast-paced environment, demonstrating excellent customer services, and taking initiative on top of their priority list when looking for potential new hires. It’s up to you to color your skills and experience with the words you use on your resume!

For more articles with resources and information related to finding a job while transitioning from military to a civilian, visit my site here at anthonyjrichard.com. I update my posts weekly! For information regarding scheduling Health History Consultations feel free to email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com or leave a comment!

I do not own any photos used in this article.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

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San Francisco

I dream I’m at the beach often. Always at the beach and in front of me is a figure. A full-figured woman.

The sun is setting, so there’s a golden hue to the world. Beyond the view of her, where she gazes, the Sun is there.

It filled up the vast majority of the universe.

But I could still see her silhouette, clear as day.

For some reason, staring at this beautiful silhouette, her beautiful silhouette, unleashed a kind of internal yearning for her, for her soul.

It’s a familiar yearning. But a part of it is something I’ve never felt before. A feeling so familiar, new, and euphoric, I could never replicate it again despite my frequent attempts. It feels like eternal pain from missing someone. It was such happiness….I would actually wake up crying some nights.

And for some reason, I felt like I knew who It’d be when she turned around.

I enjoy going to sleep for this reason. There’s always a good chance I can catch that feeling again when I’m asleep.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

5 Credible Websites With Companies Hiring Veterans Now

They’re Actively Looking For You

Nowadays, there aren’t many companies not seeking out and hiring veterans. As a vet myself, I always keep an eye out for companies and jobs hiring veterans now. Even though I currently have a comfortable job, it never hurts to be aware of the opportunities out there given to veterans. Nobody knows you better than you do, and when it’s time to move on to bigger and better things you’ll know. Being a veteran in this country not only makes moving up the ladder easier; it makes starting fresh easier as well. Employers’ eyes widen when they see veteran service on the resume in front of them. Why? Your military service automatically says well-disciplined, self-starter, a superb leader, and humble professional.

Because of this, your veteran status gives you advantages in ways you’d never even imagine. I was an F-15 (Strike Eagle HUAHHH!!!) and MQ-9 (Reapers baby!!) aircraft mechanic in the Air Force for seven years. Of all the six jobs I’ve had since being a civilian, NONE required my mechanical skills. Instead, I highlighted other valuable skills I used during my time as a crew chief. For example, for my job as a security guard, I keyed in on the action words and phrases from the job description posted on Indeed (such as “Demonstrate a sense of urgency” or “attention to detail), thought of a time in my service when those descriptions fit the task I was doing at the time, and worded that bulletin in a way that accentuated those skills and actions. Just by doing that, I had literally four contracted security agencies contact me in the span of two weeks to schedule first and second interviews.

I have literally countless examples of ways I turned my experience as an Air Force mechanic into golden opportunities in diverse career fields. It’s a daunting task at first (as is working on any resume for that matter, much less working on one using experience from an unrelated field), but it’s well worth the time and effort. Again, I don’t know if I would’ve got offered half the jobs I worked if my veteran experience wasn’t on my resume. During the interviews, my service always comes up, and they always gush about the professionalism and leadership of the veterans they already have onboard their team.

With no further hesitation, here is a list of 5 credible websites containing companies hiring veterans now:

  1. https://www.veteranjobsmission.com/companies
  2. http://www.gijobs.com/6-companies-that-want-to-hire-veterans-right-now/
  3. http://www.military.com/hiring-veterans
  4. http://www.diversityjournal.com/15431-25-of-the-most-influential-companies-for-veteran-hiring-2015/ (NOTE: The jobs on this list still hold true for 2017)
  5. https://www.job-hunt.org/veterans-job-search/veteran-friendly-employers.shtml
A snapshot from Job-Hut.org of companies hiring veterans now.
A snapshot from Job-Hut.org of companies hiring veterans now.

Literally Hundreds Of Companies Hiring Veterans Now. . .

So what are you waiting for? You, my friend, have a golden opportunity in your hands. Take advantage of it and cherish it. Your service to this great nation can never be taken away. On top of that, this is a nation full of citizens who support their servicemen and women. One of the best ways the people, businesses, and companies in this country show their appreciation for us is through the job market. It’s all up to you to gather your resources, take this opportunity, and run with it like it’s your last PT test!

Check out other articles regarding companies hiring veterans as well as the transition process here on anthonyjrichard.com. More articles are on the way as I continue to develop my Holistic Health & Life Coach for Transitioning Veterans business and program. For information regarding my services, please feel free to email at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com!

I do not own the rights to the featured image on this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All rights reserved

How To Find The Perfect Job Fit As A Veteran

Just A Veteran Trying To Find The Right Job Fit

As a vet who’s held six jobs since I separated from the Air Force in 2012, all of which were in different fields, I can honestly say I have a good feel for what is considered being satisfied with what you do for a living. My positions ranged from a Ramp Agent at Piedmont Airlines (Transportation Industry) to a Client Advocate for Freedom Debt Relief (Financial Industry). I’ve been paid minimum and I’ve been paid some pretty hefty bucks. There were some great bosses and supervision, and there were some I felt weren’t worth the stress of working for (harsh, but true). With that being said, here is a list of things you should heavily consider as a veteran when trying to find the right job fit.

Discover Your Passion(s)

I want to stress this isn’t the same thing as discovering what you’re good at. For example, I’m really good at empathizing with my customers and clients, but that strong soft skill didn’t equate to personal happiness at my job at Freedom Debt Relief. Although great at connecting with people and de-escalating problems, the stress of overbearing, irate clients on the phone worried about being sued by their creditor was too much. It was enough to have me seeking a something different despite the excellent pay and great leadership the company provided.

Instead, focus on things you truly enjoy doing, whether you’re good at it or not. If you’re fascinated by crime scene investigations, law and order, and the criminal justice system in general, try looking for employment as a security guard (in-house or contract). Maybe while doing that, use your resources to search for schools or programs that give you some training in law enforcement to further advance in your passion and goals. Many of these programs accept your G.I. Bill.

As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I enjoy being around fruits and vegetables. I like to learn about the different kinds of a single type, where in the world it’s grown, whether or not it’s organic, how it was grown, and all that good stuff. I even enjoy simply being around the vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables. For all of these reasons, I sought employment handling fruits and vegetables in some form or fashion.

Best Job Fit For Veterans Produce Clerk
My baby (the vegetable wet rack). The fruit tables look even better.

I’m very blessed to say I now work as a Produce Clerk at my local Safeway while simultaneously building up my Holistic Health coaching business. Although I don’t get paid as much as I did at my previous place of employment (Freedom Debt Relief), the work itself is not nearly as stressful. I get a full night’s sleep, feel energetic and enthusiastic during the day, and come to work genuinely happy and ready to display some well-culled, scrumptious-looking fruits and vegetables for my customers.

Once you get a feel of exactly what it is you enjoy doing and separate that from what you’re good at doing, from there you can begin researching jobs related to that.

Find A List Of Places Hiring Veterans

Luckily for you, I’ve already done most of your homework! Provided in this link is my favorite list to go to when I feel it’s time to move forward in my professional career. You wouldn’t believe the amount of companies actively seeking veterans like yourself to be a part of their team. Even better, you wouldn’t believe just how much of an impact your veteran status on your resume has on almost any employer. For example, even if the skills you used for your military job don’t directly correlate to the position you’re applying for, employers still see military experience as leadership experience. They also immediately know they’re getting someone with discipline and a self-starter attitude.

Image result for mission veterans job
Veterans Jobs Mission. Literally hundreds of companies looking for YOU!

 

Be Open To Change

The most important thing I want you to get from this article is that you have to be open to change. As a young service member fresh out of the military, you have the world at your fingertips. My articles and services are mostly geared towards my specific clients (single newly transitioning veterans) but this tip applies to everybody.

We may not be able to see it right now, especially during a time of transition and such a life-changing decision as separation from the military, but a lifetime is a loooong time. Take advantage of that. Use this newfound freedom to truly discover yourself and what you would like to do for 8-10 hours out of your day that you would actually enjoy. Even if you initially get it wrong (remember, I’ve had SIX different jobs in SIX different fields since separation!), keep that resume sharp and up-to-date, always add to it and never rule out moving on to bigger and better things!

Part of my Health Coaching service is 1-on-1 resume-building sessions focused on structure and what employers look for, so always feel free to reach out to me at provided in the last paragraph for any questions!

Find The Right Job Fit For You!

Even when it seems like you may have made a mistake by separating from the military or feel like you’ll never find your calling in the civilian world, the key is to never lose sight of what you genuinely enjoy. Even if that means working a job you’re unhappy with for a few months while you plan your next move, try doing something related to what you want to do. For instance, you could always read up on a job or position to prepare for it or even volunteer to get yourself some free experience. No matter what you choose to do, remember that no decision is permanent in regard to your future and the rest of your life!

For more information regarding my Veteran Holistic Health Coaching services, please email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. In the meantime, look for more articles like this on my site here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own the rights to the featured image or the Veterans Jobs Mission image.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved.

 

Why I Carry a Travel Backpack With Me

Why I Never Leave The House Without A Travel Backpack

NOTE: This blog contains affiliate links.

Travel Backpacks Make Life That Much Easier

If you know me you know I’ve always gone everywhere with a backpack. Not just any old backpack though; a rather large one that seemed to carry everything I own. In the military, my buddies used to bust my balls about it all the time. They used to often call it my “life bag” because everything I needed it seemed I just pulled it out of my bag. Whether you call it a “life bag,” travel backpack, or just simply a backpack, they are some of the most simple, yet valuable inventions we’ve been blessed with. In this article, I’m going to share why I feel backpacks are so important in our daily lives, and the different kinds of backpacks that I use for different occasions.

Travel Backpacks Epitomize Convenience

Ever been out on the road or out with friends and all of a sudden needed something to snack on, like ASAP? Or maybe it’s cold and you’re feeling a nice, warm sweater, but unfortunately, when you checked the weather, the temperature looked good and you didn’t keep in mind the train or bus may be cold. It’s little stuff like this why I always have a travel backpack on me. It seems like it’s when I don’t have it on me is when I either need it or want it the most. For this reason, I pack my bag as if I live on the road. For the most part, I do live on the road.

Different Travel Backpacks For Different Occasions

Just like you wouldn’t wear jeans and a tank top a boss’s engagement party (well at least I wouldn’t), not all travel backpacks are for the right occasion. For the most part, when I’m out, it’s on my own time and the setting is informal. Subsequently, my backpack of choice is usually nice and casual with plenty of space to keep my writing journals and diaries in. The one in this link, for example, is the primary one I use for my travels through Downtown Tacoma.

 

Image result for g4free backpack

 

What I like about this particular travel backpack is that is extremely spacious for a bag so cheap. One of the previous travel bags I had cost about three times as much as this one. The funny part was it wasn’t even waterproof like this one is. Inside the backpack, there is an open compartment. It’s not quite as big as the main compartment, but it’s big enough to hold say a full sweater without taking up too much space. Of course, this all depends on what you prioritize when you pack, as there is still only limited space with this travel bag. It has a nice sized pouch at the top that zips. It’s great for putting things like pens and pencils, candy, lighters, gum, or anything of that size. Altogether the bag has about five different compartments not including the two side pouches for drinks.

Me personally, I like to live a minimalistic lifestyle and spend as little as possible while traveling comfortably, so my priorities when packing my travel backpack are: 1) Things I may buy on the road i.e. snacks and instant coffee, and 2) Things I need for bodily comfort i.e. sweaters, neck pillows, travel-sized deodorant, and things of that nature.

“Life Bag” For Life On The Road

Nevermind the jokes from friends, having the freedom to have virtually anything you may need right on your back and within reach is such a liberating feeling. It gives me a sense of security that I’m in control of. Ladies, I know you already have your purses and pouches for most of your stuff, but it never hurts to have a little more on you (make the hubby carry the backpack if need be)! Fellas, nothing wrong with having access to some of the things you personally feel would be ideal to have on you at all times. The convenience of having a travel backpack with you far outweighs any inconvenience of carrying it around. Even if you’re not one to travel heavy, consider carrying with you a backpack you may already have from your old college days, make a list of things you wish you could keep on you at all times (keep it clean of course!), pack it, and spend a Saturday out with some friends in the town. Who knows, you may even set a trend within your circle!

For more on traveling, exploring, and finding yourself, view some of my other blog posts related to the topics on this website. Otherwise if you have any questions or inquiries regarding my Health Coaching Services and 6-month program please never hesitate to reach me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com!

No pictures in this article belong to me.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

 

Personal Experiment: Sexual Abstinence For How Long?

Let’s Talk About Sexual Abstinence, Shall We?

 

Sexual abstinence isn’t a popular subject. Especially since the world revolves so much around sex nowadays. It certainly isn’t an easy thing to admit you’re committing to either, as going without sex today could actually be met with more question than respect. With apps out like Tinder and POF (these are old, I know!), it’s so easy to get sex that there are almost zero excuses for someone who’s still seeking it to be a virgin.

But the key phrase here is “seeking it.” Why is it that so much of what we consider a “good night” involves hooking up with someone? Sure, I get the thrill of getting hit on by a 9/10, then going so far as to get the number, but after you get lucky, what next? For some, this is the life. I sort of answered the question myself; it’s the thrill of sex (and for men, the chase) that keeps us hooked. From the ages of about 20-23, I was all about my numbers. Especially after I turned 22 after a messy little break-up. Once I caught on to the rhythm of the dating game and the numbers were coming in, I was hooked.

Sexual Abstinence Can Be Liberating. . . Say Whaaat?

So I totally get the thrill of sex; chasing it, the act itself, all that good stuff. But what if you hit a snag in your game and now you have to go without sex for an extended period of time? Maybe you had some kind of surgery that requires bed rest and sexual abstinence for a few months. Or maybe you moved to a new town and the crowd just isn’t worked the same way as the crowd from the other place (happens all the time for us military folk). Whatever the reason, you’re now in a dry spell. But is it the end of the world?

For about 7 months now I’ve been doing a personal growth experiment as part of my journey as a Holistic Health Coach. The last time I had sex was in February of this year (2017). The reason for it is a little of everything; healing from a failed long-term relationship, finances, and focus. And what I mean by focus is that during this 7-month stretch, my priorities shifted, and I had to change focus. I went from focusing on a toxic 3-year relationship with amazing sex regularly to focusing on re-discovering who I am again. This meant separating myself from the idea that I need sex to define my masculinity and who I am as an individual. As cliche as this may sound, this shift in focus has had profound positive effects in my life. Allow me to explain.

You’ll Find A Form Of Freedom

Believe me when I say that I used to laugh at the idea of sexual abstinence. But in life, you’ll see that personal growth can happen at any stage. Right now I’m trying out an idea for my Holistic Health Coaching services that includes local cheap traveling, touring, and exploring. Basically, on my spare time, I grab my travel backpack (my buddies in the Air Force referred to it as my “Life Bag”), start walking, maybe take a bus, maybe take a bike, but I just go. I go to cafe’s, restaurants, bars, sometimes clubs, parks, lakes. You name it, I’m there.

What if I told you more self-growth can come from sexual abstinence?
What if I told you more self-growth can come from booty abstinence?

When about 10pm hits and the nightlife in Tacoma starts buzzing, I hit the bars. But here’s the kicker: I go by myself, with my nerdy purple backpack (just got a new blue one though!), my hair grown out in what can best be described as fro-twists, and my beard shaggy. Sometimes I go home, brush the teeth and wash up the vitals, and go straight out in my work clothes. Impressing nobody.

Although my appearance and gear don’t scream, “take me now,” women still approach me and chat. However, most of the time, I’m just enjoying my drink to myself, listening to the music, and enjoying being immersed in the social scene. My focus isn’t on getting laid, but rather discovering my true self in social scenes without the heavy burden of chasing sex.

So What Has Sexual Abstinence Given Me?

What have I learned from this 7-month experiment thus far? Well aside from bracing from the flack I’ll be getting from my friends, it’s a lot like trying a new diet for the first time: Initially, it’s a little rough, as the temptation doesn’t just go away just because you decided to try something different. But once you’re about a month into it, you feel liberated and see no reason to look back. I mean, why fix what isn’t broken right? I’m so focused on improving myself that I have no desire for sexual satisfaction at the moment.

The biggest blessing that’s come out of my sexual abstinence experiment is that I am literally me at all times. There’s no hidden desire to impress anybody. There’s no fear of saying the wrong thing and risk not getting laid that night. There’s no worrying about my breath (although I still always carry Orbit), my unpopped collar, or whether or not the drink I have in my hand is perceived as “manly enough” for the beautiful but drunken lady across the stool from me. Nope. None of that. It’s just me speaking the way I speak, looking the way I look and acting the way I act. I am literally free and doing me in every way, and there is ZERO pressure to impress and please nobody else but myself. Through 27 years of life, I’ve never felt this kind of freedom.

You’ll also see that you gain respect for yourself for not giving in to desires. It shows you have willpower, restraint, discipline, and focus. It’s a rewarding feeling when you discover such powerful traits completely on your own.

Battling The Urge Is Worth The Personal Reward

Sexual abstinence isn’t for everyone, and in no way was this article meant to judge singles who have sex regularly. As one who’s previously pursued and partook in that lifestyle for a couple of years, I can personally vouch for the thrill of it. It’s not just about the sex; it’s about the crazy night, the people, and the memories, ON TOP of the icing on the cake if one got lucky that night. So I completely get that world. In fact, talking about it still gets me excited. Honestly, I plan to keep this going for at least another year. I feel like there is so much more I can discover about myself without the distraction of chasing tail. For those looking to take that next step in self-growth and discovery, you may want to explore sexual abstinence. Man or woman, there’s no greater pleasure in the world than the pleasure being one 100% true and real to yourself. When you’re focused on that, the right people flock into your life. And who knows, when that starts happening, maybe your sex life will pick up again with the Right One?

As a Holistic Health Coach, my field of scope includes the relationships and making sure you’re getting what you need from them, including the relationship with yourself. For coaching services regarding relationship and self-discovery, please feel free to email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com or ask any questions you may have in the comments!

I do not the featured image.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

The Gift Of Travel From A Different Approach

Have a baby steps approach to traveling. The world is really ours to see. There should never be a reason to say you haven’t been able to travel anywhere new in a long time. Outside of time (more articles on time management coming), money is the primary factor holding many of us back from traveling more. Sure, you may live in California and New York isn’t necessarily a short bus ride, but you have to think smaller first. Think baby steps; where in your very city have you not been? A certain district? Maybe there’s a museum you never got around to yet, or a new Greek restaurant around the corner your co-workers have been raving about.

Unlocking The Next Level Of Traveling. . .

Once you’ve experienced more of what’s around you, then work your way to your longer term goals. For example, while sticking to local places to visit this weekend, set your sites on a point of interest in a nearby city or town within the next month. I live in Tacoma, Washington. There is plenty, and I mean plenty, to do in this city alone. From parks to boat rides in the Sound, Tacoma has it all. But every once in a while I get out to Lakewood, which is about 15 minutes away, by local bus ($2.75) just to view beautiful American Lake and the other bodies of water around the area.

Travel cheaply
….and this was only $3.75

Once you’ve hit the weekly and monthly milestones (and hopefully were wise with your money in that time frame), you can start setting your sites on quarterly trips that require flights. Even then, start close. I’ll keep using myself as an example: From Sea-Tac, I’ll be flying out to Vancouver, Canada for New Years (fingers crossed, but currently in the works!), which is about an hour long flight. Then in April of next year, I plan to fly out to New York (for my first time ever!).

When you break your traveling plans down like this, it makes it a lot easier to see just achievable it is to maintain that traveler’s high!

Travel Cheaply

Now that you have a better idea of a travel blueprint (more on my blueprint as I go out and create more experiences) not burdened by finances, let’s talk about saving money and traveling cheaply. While you’re out trying something new that’s close to you and you want the full-on experience (meaning you’ll be partaking in activities that render you incapable of legally driving), try walking part way, then taking an Uber or bus the rest of the way. This way, you won’t feel obligated to walk the whole way and you’ll be saving money by shortening your Uber or bus distance. Personally, I recommend using Google Maps Transit to find your nearest bus stops and utilize this handy way of cheap transportation if you’re blessed to live in a city or town that offers this service. Even better if there’s a train or light rail available!

Port of Tacoma/Mt. Rainier
Port of Tacoma/Mt. Rainier

As you start to expand out and travel fares logically go up, you can still keep the traveling cheap. I plan on taking bus route 605 all the way to Olympia for only $3.75. This beats the hell out of driving in traffic, plus, as I mentioned earlier, it gives you the option to have a few alcoholic beverages without worrying about driving!

Travel Can Be Affordable

You can travel at will. Don’t let money hold you back. This article was focused primarily on being financially savvy while traveling, but it does need to be noted that time is really the only thing that can truly keep us from experiencing the world around us. But with that being said, you have to ask yourself: whatever it is that is devouring so much of your precious time, is it worth it? Is it even worth the money you can’t spend experiencing new things around you? Only you truly know the answers to those questions of course. Not to mention only YOU pay your bills!

For my Holistic Health Coaching services related to travel therapy and money management, email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. Otherwise look for more articles about travel here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

3 Things To Ask Yourself When Getting Out Of The Military

Getting Out? Ask Yourself A Few Things…

Getting out of the military is an emotional roller coaster. You’re excited because you’re taking off the shackles, yet putting on the uniform for the last 4-6 years has become ingrained in your daily life. So much pride goes into that uniform and everything you’ve done in it.

The greatest thing about being a veteran is that the status never goes away. No one can ever take away your experiences, skills, and the comradery you gained while in. With that being said, relax and enjoy the good feelings! You deserve it, and Lord knows the pride you take in your country. Getting out of the military is one of the most euphoric things you can experience. So many opportunities await you on the outside. The possibilities. . .

And keeping on that thought, try not to get overwhelmed with thinking you need to know exactly what you’re going be doing for the rest of your life now. That is simply unrealistic and unfair for you to do that to yourself. BUT, there are some questions you do need to ask yourself both before you get out and as you’re embarking on your new journey. Here are some things you should ask yourself through this process:

1) What Kind Of Lifestyle Am I Seeking?

Before getting out of the military, ask yourself this: What is my main goal? Is money my motivator? Time? What about structure and order? Maybe I’m ok with a minimalistic lifestyle after all bills are caught up?

As someone who is getting out and making strides towards complete independence, it’s wise to have answers for at least a few of the above. You don’t need to have your ten-year plan calculated down to a Prison Break-like schematic, but you should at least have an idea of how you’re going to start out making a living on your own.

 

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Getting out of the military. That’s all that matters.

 

It’s important to keep in mind that your plans will frequently change. The key is just to have a plan or two. Not to mention having some money saved up can really come in handy when you least expect it. When I first separated from the Air Force, I had about $6,000 in savings and a USAA credit card with about $3,000 credit left on it; I wound up using all but about $2,000 of it ($1,000 savings, $1,000 credit card). In other words, expect the unexpected. You never know how long it will take to land a job. And this, of course, depends on the kind of job you’re looking for. Not to mention other expenses such as moving and personal issues in the form of vehicle problems or hospital treatment. You never think it will happen to you until lo and behold, it does.

Whatever your motive or goal is when you separate, just make sure it’s sturdy and smooth. Even if your initial plans fall through, at least you have an idea of where your next paycheck is coming from.

2) Do I Have A Strong Support System?

I can’t stress the importance of having a strong support system when getting out of the military. No matter which route you take, if you don’t have anyone to share your experiences with, both the ups and downs, the joys and the fears, it could do you a lot of harm in the long run.

When I got out, my heart was set on moving to California. As an Arizonan (a Yuma, Arizonan to be exact) and living so close to Cali, I frequently visited there. I immediately fell in love with the scenery, the weather, and the vibes. My awe of the state inspired me to vow to live there one day. With the GI Bill covering my out-of-state tuition for many California community colleges, I found my golden ticket to the Golden State. Two of my military buddies, one of them happening to get out of the military the same time as me, were from California. We all decided to room together to ease rent. While it was a great time, with both some good and bad times, they were the only people I knew moving there. There were times where we just sort of got tired of one another’s company and did our own thing. That wasn’t a bad thing always until I wanted some human interaction again.

I wound up joining a veteran’s cohort program at Pasadena City College, a program geared toward helping veterans from all branches find transition smoothly into student life while having a support system of veterans who are going through the same thing they are at the same time. This decision proved to be one of the best decisions I made throughout my college years, as I found some people in that group I can call brothers to this day.

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Your plans may sound great and look flawless on paper, but when things get tough and life starts throwing curve balls at you (and it’s not a matter of if but when), you’re going to need people who understand you and know where you’re coming from. This may be family, close childhoods friends, former military co-workers who are now civilians, or people you just met through a community event or group. What’s more important, when Plan A involuntarily turns to Plan B, you’re going to need the kind of company around you who support your decisions, not push you towards something you may not want to do just because it sounds like the “natural” path.

3) Am I Willing To Press Reset Again If Necessary?

Finally, as a single man or woman with no dependents newly separated from the military, are you willing to reset if necessary? I want to put emphasis on this point because it is one that is often overlooked. Why? Because no one likes to admit restarting because it’s equated to failure. Many see it this way: they hyped up their plans to all their former co-workers in the military and bragged about how good they were going to have it on the other side, so if things don’t go according to plan, they feel ashamed or embarrassed.

But why? Understand that you’re still young. There are many successful businessmen/women and entrepreneurs who started out trying to do one thing, failed at it, then came back at it with something else. Since getting out of the military in 2012, I’ve held six different jobs, switched my major once (adding two years to my plate), and enrolled in a year-long course that wound up changing my life in more ways than all four of my years at Arizona State University combined. I went from nearly being engaged after a three-year relationship in my mid-20’s and moving up the ladder in a plush corporate job in Phoenix to living with my mother and brother in Tacoma, Washington, a state none of us had ever lived. My new occupation(s)?: certified Holistic Health Coach and Produce Clerk at Safeway, a job I take so much pride in because of my direct involvement with healthy foods. One year before I took this job, I never would’ve considered this position within my pay range.

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You never know what your heart has in store for you when you allow yourself to really explore what you like and what you want. At one point you may be focused on racking up the Benjamins (as I initially was), until you realize the things you wanted to do with that money, you could do for a lot less or even free. It’s always important as a single man or woman with no dependents that you take advantage of the golden opportunity your veteran status gives you. You can explore and try so many things. Not to mention there are companies literally looking to hire veterans!

You’re Young And Now A Civilian: No Need For Clear-cut Answers

If you ask yourself these three things and even vaguely dwell on them so you know exactly where you stand in terms of your immediate future, you’ve already set yourself up for success. It’s important to note that these questions are all very broad, open-ended questions with no right or wrong answer. They’re just questions to ask yourself and to give you basic guidance in what you both need and want.

As you’re getting out of the military and dipping your toe into civilian waters for the first time, recognize that the kind of lifestyle you want (and more than likely a major factor in your decision to get out of the military), the support you have around you, and the ability to roll with life’s punches and be willing to start over again are extremely critical in determining how soon you reach you find your calling!

For information regarding my Holistic Health Coaching services to veterans, please feel free to email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. Otherwise, check out more articles like this one geared toward helping veterans smoothly transition into civilian life here on anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own any photos in this post.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

Getting out of the military

Ways To Be Successful Outside of the Military

Getting Out Of The Military Is Scary. . .

But it’s exciting. One of the first things that come to mind as your time nears and that DD214 slip is put in your hand is stability: Where is your next steady paycheck going to come from? How hard is it to hold a job in the civilian world? What about medical benefits and vacation? Will my pay be enough to sustain me since Uncle Sam is no longer paying for my roof? I know these were all questions that came to mind when I first got out of the Air Force in June 2012. I wound up going to school full-time and putting off my job search until a few years later when I separated from the California National Guard in August 2015.

One thing I will say; I wish I’d started the process sooner because I’d have even more experience now. There are so many opportunities for veterans it’s almost hard to remain without a job. As part of this series of blogs, I’ll be researching and interviewing veterans, the different jobs they have, and the routes they took to get those jobs. I’ll be interviewing single, married, divorced, and veterans with children to cover the different jobs and careers required for them to sustain themselves and/or their families. However, the jobs in this post are primarily for single veterans with no dependents, as the pay in these jobs is not enough to sustain a family. Here are some excellent jobs you can apply for once the shackles are off and you get your first taste of freedom!

1) Work For An Airline

Sometimes the thing you’ll miss the most when getting out of the military is the traveling. Whether you were Air Force, Army, Marine, or Navy, unless you CHOSE to stay close to home, Uncle Sam brought you somewhere you’d never been before. Many of us actually joined the military for the opportunity to travel. I know that was an excellent pitch by my recruiter when I enlisted in 2008.


This is why working for an airline is an excellent job and opportunity for the military travel bug at heart! I worked for Piedmont at American Airlines for about a year and a half, and I can honestly say it was the best job I’d ever held at that time. I was only part-time and didn’t qualify for the medical benefits or 401k, but the travel benefits were beyond amazing. You can travel on standby anywhere in the United States for free as long as seats are available. Furthermore, you can add a spouse OR domestic partner (girlfriend, roommate) to your travel list and they too travel for free! Well sort of. The seat is free, but the tax of their ticket comes out of your paycheck, which, by the way, is chunk change usually. I’m talking about like $20.

It should be noted that starting pay for a ramp or gate agent is usually minimum wage. When I first started at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, AZ, I started at minimum wage, which was $8.05/hr. Thankfully I was going to school and I was receiving my GI Bill money. In other words, this job is EXCELLENT if you are single and/or don’t have any children, or if you are with a spouse who makes a great deal of money doing. This way you can put your whole family on your travel benefits list and use the money you make from your hours at the job to spoil the fam bam!

You could always check for jobs and position availability here at http://www.jobs.aa.com. You can also check out other airlines, as many of them have very similar benefits and some start you off with more than minimum wage pay.

2) Security

Sure, this may sound like a “demotion,” but I’m here to tell you there is no job not worthy of taking when it puts money, and therefore food, on the table. Now bear in mind that this particular list is geared primarily towards single individuals with no kids. If you’re getting out of the military after 4-6 years, you’re still young and have plenty of time to figure out exactly what you want to do. In the meantime, great jobs like security are all over the place. Think about it; everyone needs security. You could do in-house security or go for a company who’s outsourcing security via contracting. Hospitals, schools, retail and grocery stores, and apartments/condominiums are great places to start looking for security jobs locally. When I got out of the military completely in 2015, my Air Force experience got me instantly hired for IPSA Security at the Phoenix Convention Center. If you live in a city with heavy public transportation services such as light rails or trains, they’re always looking for veterans to hire.


The pay working as a security guard varies. First, you’ll have to get your security guard card (check your local government laws on working as a guard and how to obtain your card). I only had to sit through an eight-hour course, most of the material of which I already knew from my military training and background. It wound up costing me about $75, as I had to get my fingerprints and background check and all that good stuff. Once all of that was completed, I got my card (I was already hired at the time), and was put to work immediately the following day. I started out making about $10/hr before receiving a $1 raise for both time (six months) and performance.

Security is an excellent job to have when you get out of the military because it’s fairly easy to get and the job itself is not that stressful. Of course, this all depends on where you work and who you work for. As a single man with no kids and a GI Bill to take care of other bills, what I was making as security walking around the convention center asking transients to leave (my least favorite part of this job), securing doors, and performing simple routine tasks was more than enough to be thankful for!

3) Grub Hub Delivery

When I first got out of the military, there was no Uber or Lyft. I started from scratch on my job search, attending resume shops and driving around the city handing out hard copies of my resume. Now all you have to do is have a car.

Literally.

Signing up for Uber and Lyft is excellent and you can really make good money on your own time and dime. Unfortunately, though, you can’t predict awful passengers. Enter Grub Hub, a contracting company that partners with restaurants that don’t normally deliver. The best part about Grub Hub is that you’re driving all alone and never have to pick up passengers. This means you can have your music up and cruise the city on your own time, enjoying life all while making money. It doesn’t get any better than that, right?


All you have to do to is sign up is have a vehicle, current insurance, a quick background check (mine was done in 24 hours), and fill out the online application. The pay varies, as times of the day, holidays, and weekends can all affect how many deliveries you make that day. Whenever I drive, usually for some extra money for a trip I’m planning, It’s for about six hours. On average I make between $75-$100 depending on tips. Now keep in mind that you’ll be driving around a lot, so take gas into consideration when adding up expenses. This is very handy money, especially when it’s just a few hours spent on the road in a day on your own time.

Plenty Of Opportunities Outside Of the Military

If you’re planning on getting out of the military or you’ve already gotten out and you’re just getting your feet wet in the civilian job world, hang in there! I know the mixture of worry, anxiety, and excitement can be overwhelming, but we have support, community, and plenty of resources to be successful outside of the military. Not to mention the skills gained in the military that transition to civilian jobs is unmatched.

The three excellent jobs I mentioned in this blog post are just a few of a slew of jobs I’ve been blessed to gain experience from. As I cull experience from other previous jobs and current jobs as well as gain more experience in my own business and services I’m growing, I will be writing more blog posts regarding this subject. What these three jobs all have in common is that they are perfect stop-gap jobs for the single person still finding out exactly what they want to do as a career. The pay is great, especially if you’re going to school, and all of these jobs offer some form of flexibility, especially Grub Hub. No matter what job you choose when you get out of the military, just remember that this is only the beginning of a wonderful experience. Most importantly, you have a support system and resources at your disposal if you’re willing to reach out and look for it!

For my Lifestyle Coaching services related to transitioning from military to civilian, please feel free to contact me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. Otherwise, look for more articles like this here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own any photos in this blog post.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved

3 Lower-Ab Workouts To Do From Home

Lower-Ab Workouts You Heard Of, But Have You Tried Them?

Most of us are well aware of how to get stronger, sleek-looking abs by now. We know that sculpting the core takes calculated effort and motions that you can only get from certain workouts. Unfortunately, that means machines and equipment you may only have access to in a gym. If you’re like me, once there’s been a long period of absence from the gym (about a week), it’s tough to get back in there full throttle. Sometimes it’s just easier to start from home with a couple of simple workouts first to at least get a little volume (and thus a little motivation) back. This is why I’ve slowly constructed home workouts, as I’ve fallen off the wagon to a point where I’ll be staying fit from home more often than not. Here, I’m going to discuss and show demonstrations of three home lower-ab workouts that will produce results without even setting foot in a gym.

Flutter Kicks

The flutter kicks exercise is one of my favorite lower-ab workouts to do at home for two reasons. The first reason is that you feel these bad boys when they’re done properly. The amount of energy it takes to lift the lower half of your body and move in a controlled, flutter-like motion for an extended period of time is enough to have you tap out for the day. Of course once they’re done regularly you start to get used to the burn, but believe me when I say you’ll always somewhat feel it. The second reason is that you can compound this with horizontal scissor kicks, which I will go more in detail in the next workout.

To properly perform this exercise, lie flat on the ground with your hands underneath your buttocks. Next, lift your legs about six inches above the ground. Lift your head so you can see the motion using only your neck and not your trunk. From this position, alternate kicking (or fluttering) your legs in a controlled up and downward motion. The cadence should go something along the lines of, “1, 2, 3, ONE! 1, 2, 3, TWO!” with the reps usually ranging from 10-15. Here is a YouTube video demonstration of a properly executed flutter kick:

Horizontal Scissor Kicks

The second lower-ab workout from home you’ll really feel, and thus see quick results from is the horizontal scissor kicks exercise. This one is similar to flutter kicks in that the starting positions are basically identical. The only difference is in the motion of the workout. With scissor kicks, you simultaneously kick your feet outward and back in with a controlled motion, whereas flutter kicks are upward kicks. As I mentioned earlier, this workout can be compounded with flutter kicks. Usually, after I’ve done about 10-12 reps of flutter kicks, I stop and hold my legs six inches above the ground for about five seconds, then I switch to scissor kicks. I try and do at least 5 reps with the exact same cadence as I use with flutter kicks, but of course, go for more when I feel I can do more.

To properly execute horizontal scissor kicks, begin in the same position as you would with flutter kicks. Next, spread out your legs simultaneously (1-count), then back in (2-count), then back out (3-count), then back closed (ONE!). Repeat this motion for about 9-14 more reps, or compound them with either flutter kicks or this next lower-ab workout…

Leg Raises

Another lower-ab workout that is so simple it’s almost mind-numbing, yet at the same time just as effective as the first two is the leg raise exercise. Like the other two, you begin lying down with your hands underneath your buttocks with your feet six inches above the ground. From here, you simultaneously lift your legs up, toes pointed, directly upward to the 12 o’clock position, then slowly lower your legs back down in a controlled motion. Unlike the other two lower-ab workouts, this one is a one-count cadence. For this reason, I like to compound it with both flutter kicks and scissor kicks. First I do my set of 10-12 reps of flutter kicks. Then I actually do a combination of the latter two workouts by doing one leg raise rep, then lowering my legs down to the six-inch position and spreading them out in the horizontal scissor kick motion. After I close my legs, that’s one full rep of the combo workout. I repeat this for about 5-8 reps.

This YouTube video demonstrates in detail the proper way to do leg raises:

These Lower-Ab Workouts Will Start Bringing Out The ‘V’ In No Time

No Gym needed for these three home workouts. All it takes is some dedication, focus, and a few minutes out of your 24 hour day to make these lower-ab workouts a regular part of your daily routine. When all you have to do is wake up, do your morning routine (I like to meditate for 10 minutes), knock out the exercises, then have your cup of coffee before work, there’s literally nothing to lose and everything to gain trying them!

For questions regarding my Integrative Health Coaching services please feel free to contact me at anthonyjrichard@gmail.com. Otherwise view more tips on lower-ab workouts from home as well as other fitness tips on my other blogs here on Anthonyjrichard.com!

I do not own any pictures or videos used in this blog.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anthonyjrichard.com, All Rights Reserved