Military Members in the Workplace: Dealing with the Stress of 9 to 5

A worker gets excited at the end of the workday.
A worker gets excited at the end of the workday. (Adobe stock image)

One of the biggest changes that a veteran is going to see once they enter into the civilian workplace is the time they will spend at their place of employment. While in the military, many veterans worked hours that were very different from that of civilian employment.

They may have gone in at the crack of dawn and were home by midafternoon. Other times, they may have spent two days away from their home and sleeping in their tents, training for a deployment. When a member has spent the last four or more years of their lives like this, transitioning to the civilian world, where working 9 to 5 is standard, it can be difficult.

Problems with the 9 to 5 for Veterans

When most people think of a job as being 9 to 5, they believe that they have the best job in the world. They do not have to worry about being into work super early, nor do they worry about being out really late. They can have breakfast and dinner at home, so they see no problem in these hours.

For a veteran, it can be daunting because it's different. Many veterans often report that they dislike civilian employment due to the hours. They find this to be strange and different, which can lead to even more job stress.

Dealing with the Stress

Unfortunately, there is no simple way for a veteran to get away from the 9 to 5 job. That is, unless they want to stop working in the civilian world and go the route of contracting jobs or more different civilian employment that requires stranger hours.

These are options. However, it's best for the veteran to learn how to deal with the stress that they may feel. Some stressors that are often felt by veterans are:

  • Feeling as though there is little time to spend with family. This is especially true of those who were in the military and were home before their children were home from school.
  • They feel as though their life has become nothing more than a job that is not making as big of a contribution to the world as their military employment was.
  • They may feel bored or restless in a 9 to 5 job.

In order to deal with these stressors, here are a few ideas that other veterans have found to help with dealing with the monotony of civilian employment:

  1. Find a hobby that is exciting; for example, many veterans turn to competitive target shooting.
  2. On your days off, avoid thinking or talking about your civilian job. Instead, spend time with friends and family.
  3. Get involved with local veteran clubs to help adjust better to civilian life, but also to help in keeping some aspects of the military life in your life.
  4. If you are truly upset with your job, consider whether this is the actual job itself, as it may not be a fit for you.

Going from the military into the civilian world is difficult. Most people do not realize how stressed and lost many veterans feel once they are back in the civilian world. It will get better, as long as the veteran puts thought into their employment and realizes that they can cope with anything that comes their way.

For more information, contact our partners at Hiring our Heroes.

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