A few weeks ago when reader Emma contacted me about doing a guest post for my fellow military spouses on the job hunt, I have to admit I was hesitant. This topic is not only something that I believe to be very important, but is one that I have personal experience with. It is a touchy subject. After moving halfway across the country twice and halfway around the world for the Viper Pilot, I understand the struggles of finding a job when you’re ambitious and won’t just settle for anything. In fact, it is a topic that I get asked about by fellow military spouses and spouses-to-be frequently. You can read my general response to your questions here.
The more I worked with Emma, who recently started a blog of her own, the more I realized we would become quick friends if we were to ever meet in person. She shares a lot of the same beliefs as I do regarding this topic and I really enjoyed our conversations. She offered to share advice and clarify common misconceptions surrounding the civilian job search. As an aspiring career and life coach, she has seen, through personal friends and family members, the struggle that happens when a spouse is constantly relocating every few years and can’t have a steady career. With her background and experience in assisting people pursue career and life changes she is able to provide us with valuable information and insight in her well written article. Enjoy!
When you married your spouse, you knew that life in the military
also meant dedication to preserving the country’s freedom, even if that
entailed frequent moves and being subject to governmental whims. Perhaps you’ve
been advised by well-meaning individuals to put your dreams of having a career
on hold until the service term is finished or your spouse retires. They argue
that finding jobs is next to impossible while your spouse is employed by the
civilians would not normally face, you can still have a fulfilling and
productive career. The key is to understand and utilize the opportunities
available to you, as opposed to being overwhelmed by the fact that you have to
relocate often. Having a job that makes you happy is entirely possible, but
here are four job myths that military spouses need to dispel first.
Military spouses can only get jobs if they have a great education and
significant job experience.
Employers also look for relevant skills, whether your personality is suited for
the job position, and background. Military spouses can gain experience through volunteering in places in and around the base
community. There are also educational programs available to assist in job
The job-finding resources available only cater to active duty military
personnel and veterans, not their dependents.
military spouses. The Military
Spouse Employment Partnership, for example, assists spouses in searching
for jobs, provides career training, and offers services such as resume and
cover letter writing. Similarly, Joining Forces, a
nationwide program, was recently put in place to help military spouses find employment
by putting them in contact with military and family-friendly employers.
Applying for jobs is hard and time-consuming when you’re a military spouse.
for jobs doesn’t have to mean pounding the pavement all day or spending large
amounts of money on postage to mail resumes. Many companies post their job
openings online or have the ability to let job candidates submit their
materials through internet application portals. Some have even started to
partner with services like JIBE, a mobile
recruiting company, that allows applicants to upload resumes and other
job-related documents from smartphones and tablets while on-the-go.
Employers don’t want to hire people who frequently change jobs.
it is estimated that everyone, civilian or military, will have to change
careers at least once in their lifetime. Employers today
understand that people frequently switch jobs for a number of reasons,
including military relocations. According to quintcareers.com, when writing
your resume, instead of focusing on the length of time you’ve been at a
particular job, list the skills and jobs that are most relevant to the one you
are applying for.
negative myths about job opportunities for military spouses is the first step
towards finding fulfilling employment. Like anything worth obtaining, finding a
job requires patience, dedication, and being positive. A willingness to
confront misconceptions of employment and the ability to keep working towards
your dreams will take you far.
Emma is a
mid 20-something year old with a passion for life, love, fitness, and helping
others. She loves to be active and get involved in as many sport and
community activities as possible. Emma is currently studying to
become a Career & Life Coach, and loves to network with people from around
the world! Check out Emma’s blog at http://smileasithappens.blogspot.com/!