If opportunity came knocking, would you hear it?
The U.S. economy (and employment opportunities along with it) was a nightmare for so long, the hope of getting a dream job was nothing more than just that—a dream. It's even harder for military families who put their career plans—indeed their very lives—on hold to answer the nation's call to serve. Your career path can be long, winding and unpredictable. Most kids have some idea what they want to be when they grow up, but very few of us end up at age 25, 35, 45 or 55 in the jobs we imagined for ourselves. After all, the world can handle only so many ballerinas and NBA superstars. Fact: If there's anything the spouses of active-duty military and veterans know how to do, it's roll with the punches. Planning a career is difficult when these punches include having to pull up stakes and start a new life in a new place. Add the responsibilities of raising a family and it's easy to feel like there aren't enough hours in the day to pursue your dreams. This is why you need business training programs and the military family benefits that can help you pay for them. Military family scholarship programs such as Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts can give your life a new direction. These MyCAA schools, as they're known, tend to focus on practical skills in high-demand fields such as healthcare, office administration, legal transcription, insurance claims, technology and real estate. Don't want a nine-to-five job? No problem. Programs like the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans’ Families are great for military family members who want to be their own boss. The EBV-F gives you the push you need to take on the challenge of small business ownership. We aren't talking about sketchy “careers from home” that involve stuffing envelopes, either. We're talking about learning to research business ideas, develop a business plan and make entrepreneurship a reality. Unfortunately for a lot of students, the EBV-F and many MyCAA programs have one big shortcoming: They are classroom-based. Thanks to online coursework, career training for active service men and women, veterans, and military spouses is more convenient than ever. Meditec's career training programs combine instructor-led training with the flexibility to build your own schedule. Meditec also works with MyCAA to help eligible military spouses and active reserve members get up to $4,000 for the training they need. Student financing make it even easier to get enrolled and start learning, especially since some plans offer zero-percent interest. As with anything worth having, you'll have to work hard to get your foot in the door. You won't be doing it alone, however. You'll have interactive course modules led by expert instructors ready to answer your questions and guide you to successful completion of your program. The instructors bring years of expertise in outsourced medical transcription, coding and billing, medical office administration, patient information and management, and software development, among other fields. Life brings many surprises. Some of the twists and turns can't be predicted. That doesn't mean you have to leave your future up to chance. Whether you want to be your own boss or just fire your old one, there's no time like the present to make the first step towards dreaming up a new career, then making the dream come true.