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Airmen on the hunt for jobs

Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore. -- Despite the difficult job market, airmen from the Oregon Air National Guard continue to press on in their quest for employment. Is it time to stop looking?
     With more than 200,000 Oregonians out of work, it would be an understatement to call the job market "competitive." As state budgets wane and technician jobs vanish, veterans are the seekers scouring online classifieds for work.
     One rather unconventional way to overcome the challenges of this recession is to give up the job search. That is to start your own company and hire yourself. Obviously, this decision is one that should be taken after a great deal of consideration, but great risk can lead to opportunity for great reward.
     To help keep this potential reward within reach, veterans can draw from some free business resources provided by the Federal government. The Small Business Administration offers one-on-one counseling services designed to help teach veterans how to draft a business plan, find an experienced business mentor, or find funding sources for your small business. The goal of these services isn't to do the work for you, but rather to offer assistance to create a solid foundation for success.
     According to military.com veteran business center website, one of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is failing to write a business plan. A business plan becomes a problem solving exercise for small business hopefuls, helping to define the business structure, financial needs and long-range strategic plans for your burgeoning next-big-thing. In addition, if you are planning on seeking funding, public or private, the business plan will be essential to selling others on the viability of your future business.
     No matter where your interests lie, starting a business on your own provides an avenue to create your own destiny. Some prominent veteran entrepreneurs include the late Dave Thomas, former army staff sergeant and founder of Wendy's fast food restaurants; Charles Walgreen, soldier and founder of Walgreen's drug stores.
     It has been said that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.  For some service members, starting a business may be the perfect way to make this dream a reality.