Blog Posts


Why Successful Small Businesses Hire Veterans


The above picture is of a soldier sitting in his camouflage uniform in front of a flag.

As a small business owner, you look for certain essential skills and qualities in employees. These typically include a strong work ethic and the ability to be a good team player. Military veterans exemplify these attributes and thrive in almost every industry. That’s why more than 80% of small businesses value veteran employees. Small business owners benefit from supporting vets by providing them with jobs to transition back into civilian life. Job Openings for disABLED veterans is the best place to tap into this valuable talent pool.

Harness Unique Skills and Abilities

Veterans have several skills and characteristics your small business needs. They make highly dedicated employees and have a strong work ethic. Their time in the military has taught them to be organized and reliable team players. Vets are exceptional candidates for roles that require them to lead a team or oversee a project.

As employees, vets have proven to be valuable assets for small businesses thanks to their unique skills. They’re capable of handling highly stressful situations because they were required to perform exceptionally well in tough situations while they were in the service. Moreover, having worked in fast-paced, volatile situations, vets are skilled in communicating effectively with their colleagues, especially in complicated circumstances.

Benefit From Versatility and Nurture Success

Veterans are highly adaptable. They can excel in a wide variety of jobs because they can apply their military skills to civilian jobs. So while a vet whose military specialty code was health care can transition into civilian health care, they can also do well in an IT role, for example, as long as they’ve acquired the relevant additional skills. Vets can also function successfully as financial advisers, information security analysts, management analysts, and more.

When you hire vets, you need to find meaningful and appropriate ways to recognize their contributions and show appreciation for them as you would your other employees. Keep in mind that their career history differs greatly from ordinary workers, so learn what’s important to them and what forms of recognition they’re comfortable with.

Earn Tax Benefits

Another advantage to hiring veterans is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which can benefit both you and the vets you hire. You can earn up to $9,600 of WOTC for each vet. To qualify for this tax credit, submit an application to your state workforce agency for every vet you hire. The WOTC can offset some of your business’s staffing costs.

Create a DBA Name

In addition to hiring veterans, file a DBA (doing business as) name when you start your business. In case you need to sell products or services under a different name, you can use your DBA. Moreover, if the website domain for your first choice of a business name is taken, you can register a domain name using your DBA and use that domain to market your products.

A Win-Win for Small Business Owners and Vets

As a small business owner, you stand to benefit greatly from hiring veterans. In addition to gaining from their various skills and adaptability, you're also eligible for tax credits that can offset your staffing costs. 

Ready to hire? Learn all about job posting at Job Opportunities for Disabled Veterans today! 

Running for Office With a Disability | Factors to Consider


The above picture shows multiple I Voted stickers on a white tabletop. Image from Unsplash

running for office with a disability | Factors to consider

  • We’ve seen many in underserved communities such as women, Muslim-Americans, and African American candidates to name a few runs for office. But what about disabled candidates? One in four Americans is disabled, as are one in six voters. Then why are we not seeing significant representation from the disabled community when running for office?
     
    In this article, Job Openings for disABLED Veterans walks you through becoming an advocate for your community so you can get out there and be the change.
     
    Know Your Community
     
    There’s a lot of groundwork that goes into running for office. You’ll want to do lots of research on your county legislation, state rules, and federal policies - but above all, prioritize getting to know your community. You can do this by reading about current issues, researching historical problems in the county, and getting multiple points of view on the same topics.
     
    In addition, consider getting to the grassroots level - volunteer for local organizations, host free community events, and advocate for a cause or fundraiser in Clallam County. The more time you spend with the community, the more you’ll learn of the values and issues that need to be rectified. In addition, making yourself visible to your community will make it easier to be seen as a leader when it’s time to count those votes.
     
    Thoughtfully Craft Your Campaign
     
    After establishing yourself as a leader, you’ll want to start brainstorming your campaign strategy. The most important to-do is to develop a clear message that will win over voters and generate interest. Decide on your personal stance on issues in the community, and formulate your responses and solutions to that problem.
     
    Don’t be afraid to get personal at this stage. Share your story, why you’re running, and similar issues you might have faced in the community. According to the Democratic Audit, voters need to empathize and relate to your background to trust you with their support and loyalty. If you’re comfortable, share your experience and how your disability has challenged you or motivated you to reach this place.
     
    You will also want to ensure that you have foundational elements that will support your run. A well-designed website with pertinent information is critical for voters to learn more about your platform. Another must is setting up a consistent social media presence that caters to all kinds of people within your audience. Hire a speechwriter so that your messaging, communication, and talks have consistent language. A strong voice and brand will make you're run more accessible and understandable to a broader audience.
    •  
  • Surround Yourself With the Best

  • You will need an army of qualified and supportive organizers backing you up. A campaign manager will be your main point of contact - the person who helps with day-to-day tasks as well as more comprehensive strategies and planning. They can help everything from making sure a venue is accessible for your disability to political branding and management. Other team members you’ll need to hire include a financial manager, political consultant, and coordinator. In addition, set yourself up with a great group of passionate volunteers to take you further in the game.

     

    In addition to the best people, surround yourself with the best skills. Are there aspects of the campaign that you’d like to understand better? Watch online videos or speak to other politicians who have been through the same experiences. If you want to boost your personal and professional skillset, go back to school; for example, if you want to get your doctorate, online universities can help you achieve that goal with flexible schedules and affordable classes. And who knows? Going back to school may help inspire others in your community to do the same.

     

    Running for office is an excellent way to bring about change within your community and beyond. While people with disabilities often feel intimidated at the thought of handling an entire campaign, never fear. Implement these tips to navigate your time in politics and give voice to underrepresented groups across the country.

     

    Job Openings for disABLED Veterans provides job listings and resources to help veterans learn marketable skills. Click here to learn more about us.


Home Ownership for Veterans


Photo by Benjamin Faust on Unsplash. The above picture is of a person's feet in suede shoes, with a backpack and an American Flag.

Homeownership is a huge part of the American dream. Realizing that dream can be an overwhelming experience for anyone. From prospecting to finding an agent to getting your finances ready to planning for the move, it’s difficult to know where to begin. For disabled veterans, the process is uniquely challenging. Transitioning into civilian life is hard enough without the added hustle of finding and financing a home.

Fortunately, there are mechanisms and resources put in place to make home buying easy and painless for veterans. With the right information about veteran benefits like down payment assistance, reduced interest rates, property-tax relief, and discounted homeowners’ insurance, purchasing and owning a home can be a breeze. This guide from the Job Openings for disABLED Veterans highlights the important aspects of home buying for veterans to help you make one of the biggest decisions of your life. 

Considerations to Make When Buying a Home 

There are many considerations to mull over when buying a house. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the nitty-gritty and forget to prioritize what is important to you and your family. Following the four steps outlined below should help you stay true to your priorities and make a sound investment:

  1. Get your finances in order

Buying a house is expensive. Costs include inspection, appraisal, down payment, and closing fees. Before you even consider this commitment, you need to get your finances in order. The first step is cleaning up your credit report. Qualifying for a mortgage and getting a good deal on it hinges on your credit score. Lenders have different measures for what they consider an acceptable credit score but paying your bills on time helps.   

  1. Find the right home loan

Veterans have the advantage of qualifying for a VA loan. A VA loan is a mortgage issued by private lenders with the backing of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

VA loans allow veterans to purchase a home with no down payment. Since the upfront funding fee can be rolled into the loan, veterans could potentially finance 100% of their homes with a VA loan. Additional benefits of VA loans include:

-          Low interest rates

-          Ease of refinance

-          No private mortgage insurance requirement

-          Low closing cost

-          Low credit score is accepted

-          Higher debt-to-income ratio is accepted

 

  1. Search for your dream home

Finding the right home takes time. There are numerous factors to consider if you are to make an informed decision. Do you want to live in a suburb, city, or remote location? What is the ideal home size for you? Which amenities do you want nearby? What is the cost of living for your preferred areas? 

The average homebuyer visits up to 15 different houses before choosing one. You should take your time considering it is a huge life decision. Find a good real estate agent. Take enough photographs of the houses you like and feel free to go back for a second look.

Affordability is a key consideration when choosing your dream home. Make your calculations to find out if you can afford a mortgage. Ideally, your mortgage should be 28 percent of your gross monthly income. Note that mortgage is inclusive of homeowners insurance and property tax. Your total monthly debt payments should also not exceed 36 percent of your pretax income.  

  1. Mortgage Closing

Closing is the final step when purchasing a house. It is at this stage that you receive the keys to your new home after signing all the proper paperwork in the presence of various legal representatives. Your lender should send you a closing disclosure before the closing day. The disclosure features the loan terms and outstanding closing costs.

Closing costs include loan fees, commissions, title charges, and transfer fees. You can negotiate these costs throughout the mortgage process with options ranging from applying for assistance programs to rolling over the costs into your loan.  

  1. Hire Movers

Last but certainly not least, make sure you connect with professional movers, who can help make the transition from your old home to your new one a little easier. Use sites like Angi to find “top movers near me” to locate local movers with good reviews.

Finally

Buying a home is a huge part of transitioning smoothly back into civilian life. It is also a major financial commitment. Take your time to find the right home that you can afford and consider a favorable financing option.  


How to Pursue a Career in Finance



If you are eager to pursue a finance career, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of landing a great first job in the field and going on to achieve your ambitions. Keep reading for tips on how to get started.

Your Education

First, you need to go to college and get a bachelor's degree. If you already have a degree and are changing careers, you may want to take some finance classes. Depending on exactly what type of specialty you choose, you might eventually want to pursue more education or certifications, such as becoming a certified public accountant. However, to begin with, you should get your undergraduate degree in finance or a related field.

You can get your degree and pay for it with loans from a private lender along with other sources of money for college, such as scholarships. Look for a lender who offers you a favorable interest rate and a repayment plan that you are comfortable with. Eventually, you might want to get an MBA, but most programs look for students who already have some work experience, and you will benefit most if you spend a few years working between your undergraduate and graduate degree.

Interning and Other Work

College is a great time to pursue internships and other opportunities to get real-world experience. Unfortunately, not every internship is paid, and you may feel that you are at a disadvantage if you cannot afford this opportunity. However, there are plenty of other ways that you can network and get experience. Look for a regular part-time job where you get to work with finance. Join any related organizations you are eligible for, whether they are student or professional groups. See if your school can connect you with a mentor.

Choose a Specialty

Finance is a large field. Can you narrow down what type of job you'd like to do and what industry you'd like to work in? You might work in banking or government, entertainment or sports. You could become a financial advisor, a financial analyst or a securities sales agent. You might want to work in New York City on Wall Street or in your hometown on Main Street. Thinking about what you will specialize in while you're still in college can help you direct your studies and the experience that you get so that you are better prepared.

Your First Job and Beyond

At your first job, it will be important to accept that you're the junior member of the team. That will often mean doing unglamorous work, but your willingness to do it with a good attitude will get you far. Look for training opportunities and other chances to show your supervisor that you are eager to learn more and move up. When you leave your first and subsequent jobs to move on to something better, try not to burn bridges. Work on your relationships as well. Some people say networking as though it is an undesirable word, but there is great value in getting to know people, building relationships and maintaining those relationships across years and even decades.

Post-Pandemic Employee Productivity: How to Motivate People Returning to the Office


If you’ve been living under a rock, it’s no surprise that the pandemic has shaken up the workforce like never before. Employees, as well as their employer companies, have seen tremendous shifts in their workflow.

 

Depending on the situation of lockdown in your country or region, your company might still be embracing work from home — or could be starting in-office work very soon. In both cases, motivating your employees to be more productive is crucial.

 

In order to make your workforce get the most out of their time and get things done faster, you can take certain steps. To help you out with that, I’ve compiled some tips which you can use to motivate your employees.

 

Showcase genuine gestures of appreciation

Any employee would love the idea of a kind gesture during these hard times. If you decide to start appreciating your workers for their efforts, every once in a while, they’d stay motivated to perform at their best.

 

Start by verbal appreciation. If you want to take it to the next level, you can offer a drink or dinner after work. Just remember, be nice and appreciate what they do for your company — and they’ll eventually want to do even more.

 

Communicate, communicate, and communicate

Communication is the key to a healthy and thriving employee-employer relationship. Be clear and concise with your communication. Provide accurate requirements for the tasks they have to do. Be sure to listen to what they have to say about an assignment.

 

Moreover, you don’t have to make important decisions entirely on your own. Yes, I understand you’re the brains of your company, but even you can, sometimes, use some bright ideas coming from your employees. Give them the freedom to speak up and showcase their ideas and views. Listen to them carefully and provide feedback accordingly.

 

Be available and accessible

Employees hate bosses which are hard to reach. Don’t cover yourself under several layers of security and diminished reachability. Don’t ignore their phone calls and emails every time.

 

I’m not saying you have to attend every employee’s phone call all the time — because you don’t. If you’re busy with something, decline their call and send them a message stating you’ll call them back. When you’re free and ready to talk, call them back and listen to their queries.

 

Don’t make them wait for long periods outside your office. Call them in as soon as you’re available and ready to talk.

 

Provide productivity and quality-of-life tools

Believe it or not, the latest tools and pieces of software can boost the performance of your employees by a good bit. Moreover, as upgraded pieces of software come with quality-of-life improvements, it’ll make different tasks easier for your workers.

 

When they find a task easy and streamlined to perform, they’ll be more interested to finish it off quickly. For example, to help them easily save the format of their documents in PDF, get them a Word to PDF tool that can perform this task seamlessly. It sounds like a simple tool, but it counts and makes things streamlined for your employees.

 

Take care of their physical and mental health

People are now very aware of their health conditions and want to work in a safe environment to keep their health in shape. To showcase a gesture of care and trust, promote employee programs that revolve around their health. You could even encourage them to visit nurses and do check ups on their health. Certified nurses have completed the NCLEX RN exams and they are qualified to take care of patients, communicate with doctors and check vital signs.

 

These programs could either grant financial support or could provide physical or mental health awareness. Remember, mental health is as important as physical health. Alongside providing physical health support, never neglect the importance of mental health counseling.

 

They say “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” — but I say, “keep your employees the closest”. Keeping them happy is the key to making them perform at their best and produce the best possible results.

 

Final word

 

Your employees now need your support more than ever. Using the tips mentioned above, you can make sure you’re building a close, meaningful relationship with them. It will keep them motivated and eager to work for you at their best.


Written by Tom Rich