Onward To Alaska

Over the years, visiting Alaska has increasing climbed my to-do list. One of the things I’m looking forward to most now that I’m back in the airline industry is the cheap ability to explore. Not just travel and sightseeing the usual attractions, but really veer off course and explore the other parts of what this beautiful world has to offer. Working for Alaska Airlines, I am blessed with the luxury to travel free to many cities in the U.S. and very cheaply worldwide. As you’d expect, the airline has many routes to Alaskan destinations like Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kodiak, Bethel, Barrow (the northernmost city in the United States!), and many more.

My Outdoorsman Side Calls

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my brother about possibly traveling together (family gets benefits too!) to Alaska. To me, the thought of exploring the wilderness and tundra of such a beautiful land as Alaska excites me to my core. I’m a water, green trees, and snow-capped mountains type of man. I’ve discovered over the years that I’m far less inner-city-oriented than I initially thought. The peace and quiet of nature just started to settle in my heart as I grew older. Washington state’s scenery is one of a few factors that lured me here from my home state of Arizona. Even after a year of living here, having the luxury of looking at Mt. Rainier right out my window is one that never gets old.

He’s Not As Thrilled About Visiting Alaska. . .

My brother, however, wasn’t too thrilled of the idea of visiting Alaska. I strongly dislike the cold and wet. Brandon hates the cold and wet about as much as a cat does (well, he is a Clemson Tiger after all). Alaska’s weather isn’t for everyone, and there are plenty of other places Alaska Airlines flies. So Brandon kindly rejected the offer of visiting Alaska.

At least for now.

I’m sitting with my family watching The Cosby Show and I pull out the airport codes I had to study during training. As I was going over them, I started talking about the other benefits we received, such as flying anywhere in the world on a heavily discounted ticket from any other airline. We started talking about visiting Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, Canada as one of our first international trips. With Canada being so close to Alaska, I let her know I’ll be flying all over the place in Alaska to simply explore. Explore everything from the seafood and wilderness to the Northern Lights.

An Unlikely Travel Buddy While Visiting Alaska Later This Year

To my surprise, she said she was just as excited as I am. Sometimes I forget I get my urge to travel and explore from my mother. That is for sure without a doubt. I can’t even express how amazing it is to be able to be planning trips to Alaska and sight-seeing with my Mom! There was a reason I was lured back into the industry after almost a year and a half hiatus. It’s truly a privilege to be able to come to work and enjoy your job in such a positive atmosphere.

Some can’t stand the hustle and bustle of a busy airport. Me? I’m at home. I see thousands of different bodies likely en route to something new and exciting, or onto a new experience and step in life. They may be on a business trip, on their way to see family, traveling for a sporting event, or simply getting away from all of their stresses at home and on their way to vacation. Of course, there may be some negative reasons for traveling, such as a death in the family. In those cases, I just do my best to tune into passengers, making sure their trip is the absolute best it can be despite the circumstances for flying.

Thankful For Horizon Air

Even when having to work in the gloomy and soggy atmosphere Seattle is notorious for, I know that it’s a job I take pride in. I know I’m good at it. Both my seven years on the flight line in the Air Force and my year and a half of experience at Piedmont (American Airlines) gives me all the confidence I need in performing my tasks. My job is to stay safe first and foremost and ensure my passengers are safe and their luggage is taken care of. That way, I come home, travel, blog, and live life.

Pretty sweet gig, really.

But getting back to Alaska, I look forward to what awaits me. My mother booked my brother and I on a whale watching tour up here in the Canadian waters back in July 2017 and it was a spectacular thing to witness. I can only imagine the kind of wildlife I’ll see up there. And I’ve heard stories from my buddies from the Air Force who were stationed in Alaska, so I have a fair idea of what to expect. I love listening to people’s travel stories. If there’s anyone from Alaska or has lived or visited there, please feel free to share your experiences!

Top Alaska Travel Books and Guides On My Radar

Alaska by Cruise Ship: The Complete Guide to Cruising Alaska – Includes Inside Passage and Glacier Cruises

3 Things I’ve Learned Since Starting My Blog

Blogging is an Art

From the day I officially started my online blog (Feb 4, 2017) to this very moment typing, I can honestly say starting a blog is one of the best things I’ve decided to do in my life. Blogging gives me the freedom to be me, write in my own voice, and write about my own life experiences. It also gives me the freedom to demonstrate my expertise in my fields, holistic health, nutrition, fitness, writing, and veteran resources. Although there’s technically no way I can fail at this, as I can blog about whatever I want to blog about, if you’re goal-oriented, chances are you set some expectations. Here are a few expectations I set for myself, and my experience with them thus far.

1. Gaining Followers is Not as Easy as Sprinkling a Few Key Words Around

When I first began writing my first articles, I couldn’t stop raving about the benefits of learning SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Knowing even the basics of SEO can certainly result in an increase in organic traffic, but oftentimes than not, it takes time for a considerable increase. I was reading plenty of ebooks and different articles on the ins and outs of SEO, so naturally, I hyped it up in my head before actually waiting for the results I was envisioning. Each article I put time, heart, and soul into it (as we all do in our blogs), but I received nary a view in a single day sometimes, much less a visit. As I learned more about social media marketing, I started connecting my social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, with my blog site. Doing this I immediately started to notice a spike in my visitors. But then the graph goes back to its regular, flat state about two days after the post and shares.

Needless to say, gaining followers is no walk in the park. It takes time, patience, research, hard work, and plenty of content to get noticed and gain regular followers. There will certainly be some inconsistencies in the beginning, but as you gain your voice and combine that with some basic SEO skills, you’ll see your efforts paying off.

2. Neither is Gaining Clients/Customers if You Are An Entrepreneur

I’ll be the first to admit: I underestimated just how challenging it would be to market myself as well as my services and products through writing. I’ve always loved to write ever since I learned cursive in the third grade. English, Writing, and Literature also happened to be my strongest areas in school. This meant blogging about a few things here and there and posting them on my popular social media sites would generate followers and clients in no time, right?

Wrong.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. There is so much more to marketing your business than just having a website and posting a few blogs. Copious amounts of hours are poured into learning about SEO techniques, social media marketing, and business plans. Countless time is spent brainstorming different content. Sometimes those brainstorms are for taking your business in another direction, something you’ll notice will happen a few times throughout your venture if you’re an entrepreneur.

Some Categories Just Don’t Get as Much Love

Another thing you’ll quickly learn is that some categories will get more love than others, simply for what they are. For example, travel is a crowd-favorite. Nearly everybody loves to travel in some form or fashion. It’s also often a way to get away from daily struggles. With these reasons in mind, it’s no wonder travel blogs are chosen more often to read over say home tool blogs.

As a blogger, the best thing you can get out of this is just to blog about what comes to heart. I’ve gone a couple weeks at a time without blogging but then published three articles in a span of 36 hours on the same scale. I write my best work when I feel it in my very bones. It has to come from the soul. If I feel pressured to write, whether if it’s for freelance work or I feel obligated to keep up with my blog, then I won’t feel as inspired.

Just do you and write whatever you want to write about. Write however you want to write. Write when you want to. Write where you want to. Whenever you’re feeling inspired, just write. The blogs where you’re not focused on a popular category or what keywords you’re going to use, but instead on unique, original content true to yourself are the ones that generate the most interest.

I do not own the photo used for the featured image.

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

A Quick Guide to Travel for the Recently Separated Veteran

Some Things I’ve Learned About Travel After Separating from the Military

One of the primary reasons people decide to join the military is for the travel. This aspect highly appealed to me, and as soon as my recruiter picked up on it, he took it and ran with it. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly appreciated him selling me on this. In the Air Force, travel is almost guaranteed, particularly for the AFSC I was in (Tactical Aircraft Maintenance,  or Aircraft Mechanic in layman’s terms). Not only did we have superb duty stations such RAF Lakenheath in England, Spangdahlem, Germany, and Kadena, Japan just to name a few, but we had the opportunity to TDY with our jets, giving us the option to basically travel anywhere there were U.S. training operations.

I Totally Choked Away My Travel Opportunities in the Military. . .

Needless to say, all the traveling I did in the military spoiled me. And the worse part of it was that I didn’t even take full advantage of my opportunities because I simply took them for granted. However, I quickly figured that travel opportunities do not end upon separation from the military. As a matter of fact, it’s arguably easier to travel when you’re out. Why? You’re not tied down to things like getting your leave approved or sudden unexpected deployments.

Since getting out of the Air Force, I got a job at Piedmont at American Airlines for about a year and a half. Working there, I quickly re-discovered my passion for traveling. I’d learned about the many different places in the country and around the world that I could travel for free or discounted. Through experience flying standby, I’d learned all the odds and ends of traveling wisely. This includes researching the weekends with good discounts on cars and hotels, such as Veterans Day weekends and other holidays. I’d also quickly learned how to travel lightly and the things I considered a necessity on my adventures.

You’ll Learn the “Life Hacks” As You Travel More

For example, after my first trip flying standby (just one of many benefits for working for an airline!), I learned that bringing things such as an extra pair of shoes was unnecessary, as they took up a large amount of space in my travel backpack. I also learned what not to forget, such as phone chargers (whoopsieee!!), my computer charger, and hygiene items such as my toothbrush and hairbrush. Now I know the latter really aren’t that big a deal, but when you arrive at your destination and realize you have no toothbrush to neutralize the dragon breath within, after hours of being on a flight, and you’re just ready to get the vacation weekend started, it can be quite inconvenient making a trip down the local CVS for these things. Although I also learned that many hotels actually have these items downstairs. It just depends on what time of the day you arrive and check in at the hotel.

A few key things to keep in mind as you explore your many different travel opportunities as a newly separated veteran:

  1. Travel lightly

    – This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly your travel bag starts to fill up with unnecessary items. Leave the extra pair of pants and shoes at home. I guarantee you’ll find a way to make it work if you arrive and feel you don’t have enough outfits.

  2. Travel cheaply

    – Try and base your adventures around certain deals and discount packages going on at the time. For example, I found excellent hotel and car rental deals for Labor Day weekend in Ogden, Utah. The deal was so sweet I couldn’t resist the offer. I’d never been to Utah before either, so this was just a win-win situation all around. And if you’ve never been to Utah before, I highly recommend it. My word what a beautiful state.

  3. Travel with the right company

    – Even if this means traveling alone. There’s nothing worse than traveling with a buzzkill who wants to do nothing but drink their night away, sleep all day, then wash, rinse and repeat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the nightlife, but when you’re hungover all day from drinking yourself into a stupor and unable to truly experience where you are, regret quickly consumes you. That regret is even worse when peer pressure is a large factor in that. The most important thing about traveling is experiencing new things, different cultures, and immersing yourself in different lifestyles you’re not accustomed to. Why not just save the heavy drinking for when you’re at home?

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With whom you travel with makes all the difference in the world. And you’re never too old for Disney.

Travel Wisely My Friends

These are just a few tips for traveling wisely. I’ve been to quite a few places on my journey to finding my passion and calling. I’ve also written a few pieces on the ins and outs of traveling. As an Integrative Health and Life Coach for Transitioning Veterans, part of my amazing job is to guide my clients towards their passion and freedom, which often includes travel and exploration. If you enjoyed this article or have any questions regarding the airline industry or cheap travel deals, please leave a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you. You can also email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com for any questions about this as well as any inquiries about my 1-month health coaching program!

I do not own any photos in this blog post.

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

How to Land the Job Interview in 3 Easy Steps

Landing the Job Interview is as Simple as These 3 Key Steps

If you’re just separating from the military, the idea of putting together a resume and converting it to job interviews can seem like an extremely daunting task. This is especially if you’ve never had to interview for a job prior to entering the service. Although the job hunting process can very much be difficult and frustrating, it doesn’t have to be. Guidance, direction, preparation, and a blueprint can go such a long way. Believe me when I say once the ball gets rolling, the calls and emails keep pouring in like weekly CBT’s. In this article, I’m going to cover how to land the job interview with these 3 easy steps.

1) Make Sure Your Resume Matches Keywords From the Job Description

Honestly, I feel this one is often overlooked. It’s too easy to put together a resume for one job and then use it for other jobs similar to the one you just applied for. Sometimes this may actually work, depending on where you apply and their need for employees. However, I’ve discovered that when you tailor each resume for the desired job, you’re far more likely to get an email or call-back. Believe it or not, this is one of the very few times you could actually get away with copy and pasting online. Do it with certain clauses from the job description and add your own words around them to show you at least put some effort and time into carefully sculpting your resume. This is actually recommended because many jobs now have a system of weeding out resumes that don’t fit their description and have those literal words and phrases.

2) Send a Cover Letter Even If It’s Optional

I used to be one that got right onto Indeed.com and sent my automatic resume from there. Needless to say, I did not get too many of the pleasant emails. The practice of scanning resumes and determining a candidate’s qualifications in 6-7 seconds is still alive and well. With that in mind, to land the job interview, you really have to understand that you must stand out. There is no better way to stand out from the crowd than to put a sincere, well-thought-out cover letter together thanking them for the opportunity to be a part of their team while highlighting your experience and strengths at the same time. This is also the document to explain any gaps in employment or the credit hours you’ve taken that relate to the position if you do not have your degree just yet.

3) Send An Email Thanking Them for Their Time and Consideration

In my honest opinion, this is the most important step of the three for standing out above the others. Why? It shows you’ve taken the time to research their company and human resources. That time and effort alone shows them the caliber of employee you could potentially be for their company, especially if it’s customer service related. The email doesn’t have to be long and drawn out; remember their day is extremely busy as well. It just needs to be sincere.

The Job Interview Is the Best Part of It!

Now that you know 3 excellent ways to land the job interview and stand out from the rest of the workforce crowd, fine-tune that resume, go out there, and get that job! I’ll be writing more on this subject as my clientele continues to grow, including what to expect in the job interview process itself. In the meantime, if you need any assistance with converting military skills to civilian skills on a resume, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. I also have an excellent template that employers really take notice of. If these tips helped, please share with fellow veterans and friends and let me know they work!

I do not the rights to any pictures in this article.

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

5 Healthy Whey Protein Benefits You May Be Unaware Of

Whey Protein Benefits: What Are They?

Every supplement shop has their featured protein shake, their bread and butter. In particular, whey protein is the most commonly sought after protein supplement. But why? What exactly is the craze? What are some whey protein powder benefits we should really know about?

I’m comfortable saying I’m an avid supplement shop visitor and regular whey protein user. I’ve never taken the time to really explore their benefits, however. All I know is one thing about protein powder: gains. Although there are many more whey protein powder benefits, I’m only going to list these 5 from Healthline.com because they’re mostly related to our fitness health. Here are some of the benefits of whey protein:

1) High-Quality Protein With Essential Amino Acids

Amino acids are key to muscle growth and gains. Packed with all of the essential amino acids, whey protein powder’s also the fastest-digesting kind of protein. What this means is whey protein is best for muscle growth. This is particularly true right after a workout. Your muscle fibers and tissue are broken down and benefit most from immediate repair post exercise. My top high-quality whey protein powder of choice is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder. The link is Amazon’s Top Choice 5lb tub, but you can also get a smaller sample size with the 2lb tub for only $30, whereas the 5lb one is closer to $50.

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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, a popular choice on Amazon and in many supplement shops.

2) It Contains the Amino Acid Leucine to Prevent Age-Related Muscle Atrophy

As we age, our muscles mass and strength decline. The amino acid leucine helps to prevent age-related muscle atrophy. It is also the most muscle-building component of all the amino acids. What does this mean? Whey protein shakes contain plenty of leucine. Consuming this amino acid regularly paired with routine exercise will both increase your muscle mass and preserve your gains.

Can you say win?

3) Glutathione in Whey Protein Powder Increases the Body’s Antioxidant Defenses

Our bodies produce glutathione, a very important antioxidant. It’s a key antioxidant for your minimizing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. An abundant consumption of amino acids, cysteine, in particular, is required for your body to produce healthy levels. Another whey protein benefit is that it’s plentiful with cysteine. It’s just another example of how everything needs to work together in order to keep us at peak optimal performance. This cysteine supplement, Solgar- L-Cysteine 500 mg, an Amazon’s Choice, is a good quality supplement and my choice for this particular amino acid. It has 90 vegetable capsules and has Free Form L-Cysteine, making them easily digestible and absorbed.

Image result for solgar cysteine
Solgar- L-Cysteine 500 mg, 90 vegetable capsules. Excellent to have in conjunction with whey protein.

4) Whey Protein is Highly Satiating

Protein fills the stomach regardless of source. Not to mention many of us just get the downright bubble-guts anyways, regardless of which type of protein we consume. In my program, if one of my client’s goals is steady weight loss, I introduce some diet theories high in protein. This helps them to “crowd out” the bad foods by eliminating random cravings throughout the day. The great thing about whey protein powder is that you don’t always have to take it in conjunction with a workout. You can wake up early in the morning and drink one, or late at night before you hit the sack, although casein protein is best for this situation, as it’s slower digesting, therefore slowing down the catabolic process (muscle breakdown).

Image result for casein

5) Whey Protein May Have the Added Benefit of Reducing Inflammation

In the world of holistic health/integrative nutrition, inflammation may as well be public enemy #1. Inflammation is the cause of many illnesses and diseases around the world. What’s worse is that we cause internal inflammation to ourselves through poor diet choice. We weren’t meant to consume grains, sugar, and dairy at such high rates. For this reason, our bodies don’t know how to respond, often igniting our immune systems to counter some of this junk entering our bodies.

Thankfully for the gym rat, A benefit of whey protein may be that it reduces inflammation. A randomized controlled study published by PubMed in 2015 suggests that people with high levels of C-reactive protein, a regular component in inflammation, is reduced, although more conclusive studies are needed.

There Are Countless Whey Protein Benefits

These were just a few examples of the benefits of whey protein and how you can incorporate them into your daily life. To recap, whey protein powder is a high-quality protein with benefits including prevention of aging muscles, keeps you full, may reduce inflammation, and has many amino acids for muscle-building and antioxidants for immunity and disease prevention. I frequent supplement shops often and buy from Amazon often, so be on the look-out for more articles like this as I expand my online marketplace community for veterans!

If you feel I missed important information or would like to add your favorite whey protein supplement, please feel free to comment below and share this! To schedule a free Health Histories consultation and get your fitness goals going, email me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com or schedule it through my FB page at https://www.facebook.com/Anthonyjrich11/!

I do not own any pictures on this blog.

The links in this blog are Amazon links that I do get paid commission for if the reader decides to purchase the items listed on this blog.

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

3 Healthy Ways to Have More Energy During The Day

Keep Those Energy Levels Up

Having energy is not the hard part. We wake up in the morning, do our little routine, grab our cup of joe, then go about our day as perky as can be. It’s maintaining those energy levels throughout the day that’s the tricky part. Of course, there are obvious ways of keeping your energy levels high such as simply drinking more coffee, getting eight hours of sleep regularly, and midday power naps. But for the sake of understanding and respecting your efforts to maintain energy levels, I’m going to only list three unique and healthy ways to get that internal furnace burning.

1) Drink Water

Surprisingly, not drinking enough water is a common reason for midday energy slumps. Think of your body as a vehicle that needs oil regularly to keep it running or it’ll experience burnout. Dehydration can be responsible for symptoms like dry mouth, headache, and sleepiness. Staying hydrated is critical not only to your energy levels but also in keeping your system fresh. It flushes toxins from your body that too can be responsible for low energy. It’s recommended to drink regularly throughout the day rather waiting until you’re thirsty before slamming a glass or three down. What this does is keep your body refreshed and rejuvenated while also preventing symptoms of low energy levels, such as sleepiness and headaches. This also helps prevent over-indulgence in calories and caffeine, which is ironically is a frequent culprit of midday slumps because of the sugar and sweeteners that usually accompany it.

Image result for drinking water and energy infographic

2) Deep Mindful Breathing

It’s no secret that deep breathing is good for your health. Your stress levels plummet as your mind eases into a calmer state, making it nearly impossible to remain worked up or beaten. Deep mindful breathing gets blood better circulating throughout your body, which improves your energy levels and alertness. Try this 4-7-8 technique from Dr. Andrew Weil outside on your next lunch or break at work when the load is starting to catch up and you’re just ready to be home. This has such a rejuvenating effect on your mind and current mood.

3) Aromatherapy With Lemons

I write and talk about lemons frequently because they’re such an underrated and underappreciated health food. I mentioned earlier that hydrating with water throughout the day can prevent headaches and sleepiness. You can even take it a step further by adding freshly squeezed lemons to your water for added flavor and natural electrolytes. But the benefit of adding it to water isn’t the only thing that makes lemons a powerhouse for energy throughout the day. Some studies and mood assessments showed that lemons can help to improve mood by elevating norepinephrine, a hormone that can increase the number of calories burned for fuel in adipose (fat) tissue, dilate your blood vessels, and restrict gastrointestinal mobility and energy towards digestion. What I like to do is boil some hot water, put a tea bag of Bigelow Green Tea in it, and squeeze half a fresh lemon in there. The combination of the scent of mint from the tea and the lemons brewing in steaming water perks me up immediately. Furthermore, the smaller amount of caffeine in green tea, as well as its digestive and immune benefits, makes it a healthier choice than coffee.

Image result for green tea with lemon

Final Thoughts On Sustaining Energy Levels

Our world is a very fast place. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down for anyone anytime soon. Subsequently, an increase in sleep-deprived and stressed people in the workplace will likely continue. However, when you take good care of yourself, you can feel like a million bucks regularly. All it takes is some dedication to your home and eating habits as well as seeking out quick tips. Of course, hydration, deep breathing, and adding lemons to your arsenal aren’t the fix-all solutions. They do, however, provide simple fixes for you that you can try immediately.

To schedule a free Health History consultation, please contact me at anthonyjrichard17@gmail.com. If you have any questions or comments about this post or any other health-related topic please leave a comment below!

Disclosure: This blog post contains an Amazon affiliate link that I receive compensation for if a purchase is made through it.

I do not own any photos in this blog post.

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

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

5 Credible Websites With Jobs and 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 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. I had four contracted security agencies contact me in a span of two weeks just by doing that.

The Opportunities Are Out There

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.

 

What Traveling Alone Does For Your Soul

Everybody gets the traveling bug, but how do you feel about traveling alone? You finally muster up the courage to actually invest in a trip you’ve been planning for months. You start getting ecstatic as the plans become more in place. So much so that you begin extending invites. Soon a coworker is in for the ride. Then a close friend within your circle suddenly becomes available. Before you know it, you’ve got at least two cars full of people ready for an awesome weekend!

But then you guys start coordinating plans. All of a sudden the way you imagined your trip going, it’s now quite the opposite. On the road, friends and coworkers start suggesting ideas and stops that were neither in your plan or budget. Of course, to keep the peace, you go along with the suggestions. Hell, some of these suggestions don’t even sound half bad.

However, despite branching off from original plans and having fun with your friends’ suggestions, you can’t help but feel like you didn’t quite get what you wanted out of the trip. Maybe you imagined more bar hopping. Or you might have wanted to stay put in a town a lot longer than the time actually spent there. When it’s all said and done, these are the little details you can’t help but recall.

This is why traveling alone can be such a good thing.

How Traveling Alone Can Be Therapeutic

When you think of traveling, you often think of memories; all the goofy things that either yourself or your company will do. The new things you’ll see and explore together. The random, sometimes insane conversations on the way there and back. These are all, of course, valid reasons to invite the buddies. However, what if you just took off all by yourself? What if you just hit the open road with no one to worry about but yourself?

When I was stationed in England, I used to never imagine traveling by myself. For one, I was a youngin’ (18-20). Since the legal drinking age in England is 18 and our military abides by the host nation’s drinking laws, my attention was focused elsewhere. But when I did travel, I was never the one to come up with the idea. I never had the plans. I was always along for the ride if I were invited and always had an incredible time. Despite the good times, I never thought about just picking up and traveling alone when I had the chance. I mean, I was only stationed in one of the most popular, well-known, and historical countries in the world; one with neighboring countries just as rich and diverse in culture and history as itself.

Just Hit The Open Road

It wasn’t until I was getting ready to separate from the Air Force that I discovered the euphoric appeal of traveling alone. To get out of the house I stayed at in Vegas, one with four other residents, I had to drive. Just drive.

Sometimes it was just to run errands at the Wal Mart across the town in North Las Vegas. Other times it was to hit The Strip, have a few drinks, and talk with the tourists and locals. Then there were the times I just needed to hit the open road. I mean get the hell out of dodge.

Traveling alone in East Washington
Nothing better than being to yourself, music up, on the open road!

There aren’t too many things that beat being on the open road at 2 pm, your own choice of music blaring, and no destination in mind. All of a sudden your mind is unshackled. When you were once thinking of simple, obvious trips that tourists often go on every weekend, now you’re realizing that the world is truly yours to explore.

The Endless Possibilities Discovered When Traveling Alone

I’m drawing mostly off of my driving experience, but make no mistake I’ve done my share of alternative traveling as well. As majestic as it is to see the beautiful landscape from the air, there’s just something about being on the open road that can’t be beaten.

For one, you have the option of completely traveling alone when you’re on the road (unless of course, you’re a pilot). You have the complete freedom to be on your own time. Literally nobody to alter your plans, with the weather being the only true exception.

After I got out of the military, one of the first things I did was use my new-found freedom to explore via driving, travel backpack in hand of course. With my hometown of Yuma, AZ only a 5 1/2 hour drive south and Phoenix only about 4, I was always hitting the road. Not to mention Los Angeles was only 4 1/2 hours west and San Diego 6 hours.

Some of us don’t mind solitude. In fact, most of us need that solitude. There is no other place you’ll find solitude, peace, and answers than traveling alone on the open road. Sometimes all I’d bring is another pair of underwear and shirt and call it a weekend. It wouldn’t even have to be that far from Vegas sometimes. One weekend, I spent the night out at the Red Rock Canyon Casino near the national park of the same name, about 25 minutes west of Las Vegas. There I had one of the greatest nights of my life just enjoying the luxuries of the casino and the surrounding beautiful scenery. Nowhere in the country will you find sedimentary rocks so finely colored and layered. All this and it was cheap and all by myself.

Discovering Yourself, Your Surroundings, And The World

Traveling alone definitely has its share of perks. Not only are you in control of your trip, you’re also in a judgment-free zone. Unless of course, your hardest critic is yourself, which isn’t a bad thing. Being by yourself while getting away, whether you’re the one driving or you’re taking other means of transportation, allows room for introspection.

And plenty of it.

Especially en route to somewhere new where you’re subjecting yourself to a different and unique experience. When you’re alone and exploring new places, you gain a level of respect and understanding of that place and culture. This is even if you’re just traveling only thirty minutes away from where you stay!

I’d say my favorite part about traveling alone is the “me time” I get. It doesn’t matter how I travel, whether I’m driving or if it’s by bus or airfare, I always figure so much out when I’m out there and undistracted. Undistracted is the keyword. There’s something to be said about the freedom of having an unoccupied mind. You add this to the fact that you’re about to go on a whole new journey with new pictures and experiences to share, and you can see how traveling alone can be therapeutic.

Try It Out For Yourself!

Discover the amazing, therapeutic experience of traveling alone. It may sound nerve-wracking at first, but when you wake up that morning already packed, do your final walk-around to check house security, and head out the door, you’ll quickly see that euphoria fills your mind, body, and soul almost instantly. Of course, I’m not saying don’t travel with buddies. That too is one of the greatest joys on this blessed Earth. Not to mention there’s safety in numbers. I am, however, saying don’t underestimate the beauty, pleasure, and unique experience of traveling by yourself. Appreciate the break from your daily routine as well as cherish your solitude and independence. Take this time to regroup, meditate, breathe, and focus on the moment. Come back to yourself and cherish your current situation. Then come back home and share your experience through pictures, writing, and stories!

I hope you enjoyed my reasons why traveling alone is good for the soul. For more stories and articles like this one and other lifestyle story and tips, be sure to follow my lifestyle and recreation blog at Anthonyjrichard.com!

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

 

 

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