Former Marine Sergeant Finds Success at Office Pride
November 1, 2023 | AUTHOR: Office Pride
When Nate Alderette left his nearly 10-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps last year, the transition into civilian life was jarring.
As a sergeant, he was used to being in charge, people knew him, he mentored younger Marines and was often considered the go-to guy to get things done. But when his service ended, he discovered it was difficult to find a new career that gave him the same satisfaction.
He contemplated rejoining, but instead took a job in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that paid decently but wasn’t fulfilling. An email promotion from a veteran’s employment agency planted the idea of franchising with Office Pride as an option. The idea of running his own business was intriguing. Within a few months, he became the owner of Office Pride of Albuquerque-North Valley.
Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services is consistently listed among the nation’s best franchises for military veterans on two prestigious lists published by Entrepreneur magazine and Franchise Business Review (FBR).
About 10% of Office Pride franchisees and corporate headquarters team members are veterans.
Veterans are highly sought-after franchisees. Office Pride offers a 25% discount off the franchise fee to those who have been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces. Office Pride also is a five-star participant in the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program, a strategic initiative designed to offer incentives and support to veterans who are interested in franchise ownership.
Alderette says that while he never had anyone in his family serve in the military, he knew he wanted to serve his country. At first, he thought he would join the Army and that the Marines wouldn’t be an option because he didn’t think he’d be capable of what is required for that branch. But that changed one day after talking with a recruiter in high school.
“I just really wanted to serve the country,” he says. “I remember very specifically, they called over the intercom, ‘The Marine recruiter is here. If you would like to see him, come down to the office.’ I kind of stopped there in the office for a second and right at that moment, I just didn’t go to class. I went to see the recruiter and figured out I am capable of doing this.”
Following high school, Alderette found his home in the Marines, starting as a private and later stationed in Japan. During his career, he was never deployed for combat, which was originally part of his motivation for joining. Instead, his career took a different turn.
“I grew up watching the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I wanted a little piece of it,” he says. “As soon as I joined, it basically ended. So, that war was over and during my time in the Corps, I was part of the Air Wing in the avionics division.”
While working as a calibration technician at the base in Japan, Alderette met his wife, Jade, who was from the Philippines. They married and eventually moved back to the U.S. for his next station in Yuma, Arizona.
While there, he was promoted to oversee his section and work in a managerial role overseeing and mentoring other Marines, something he took great pride in doing. But after a few years, he decided it was time to pursue a career outside of the military.
He soon learned civilian life was significantly different than what he had during his military career. While in the Marines, he found purpose, recognition and respect that didn’t translate to his civilian life.
“I had no idea how much of a purpose that I had until I left service,” he says. “Everybody knew me in my unit. I was the go-to guy, and I took a lot of pride in that and a lot of ownership of my Marines.”
He applied to numerous jobs, but nothing was a match, and he was becoming frustrated. At one point he wanted to go back. “I was losing my mind,” he says.
And then he received an email from an employment agency that recruits veterans about the opportunity to start his own business as an Office Pride franchisee. He made the call.
The opportunity Office Pride presented was enticing. He could be his own boss, have his own employees, be in charge of his business’ future – and it was affordable.
“What I found attractive is that, as much effort as I put into it, is how much it’s going to grow,” he says.
Within a few months, he was operating his new location in Albuquerque and trying to line up new clients. Starting a business from the ground up took hard work, he says. But it wasn’t anything that he was unprepared to do. Several months into it and with a few clients under his belt he sees his hard work paying off with a great team that he’s developed, he says. “If you put in the hard work and keep hustling, it works.”