Career Coping Military Life PCS Spouse 101

6 Strategies for the Career-Driven Spouse

People love tuning into the Olympics because they get to experience the amazing rush of winning as their favorite athletes earn the right to the podium.

Even more drawing, are the amazing stories of athletes who overcame seeming insurmountable obstacles and yet still rose to compete on the world’s most elite stage. Just watch the “P&G Thank You, Mom” commercial. You will feel their pain, frustration, and sadness of the journey as they endure the long and rough road. There are hardly words to explain the feelings that we, as viewers, get when we see them succeed-anyone with a beating heart usually has a healthy outpouring of joyful tears.

The commercial would be totally different without the support of mom. Perhaps the athletes would have strayed to an easier path, thrown in the towel after their setbacks, or given in to pressure from others that what they were trying to do just simply “couldn’t be done.”

Military spouses who pursue their career aspirations ride a bumpy road very similar to the one of a climbing athlete. You can read my journey in the recent ABC News article, “90% of Military Wives Jobless or Underemployed ‘Not Acceptable’.” You can also read the article, “Military Spouse Unemployment, Is It Really a Problem” here on this site. There are many obstacles, naysayers, and setbacks but the ultimate goal carries ultimate satisfaction that can’t be found elsewhere. With skillful navigation and the many hands that push us back up when we fall down, we can overcome, reach our career goals, and inspire the many spouses that need to know, “it can be done.”

If you are ready to confront the challenges posed by the current competitive job market, then consider these six military-spirited strategies that will help you compete.

1. Get Squared Away

Competitive candidates know their value and can communicate it well. If you don’t know what you have to offer an employer and how you stack up to your competition, then you need to spend some time figuring this piece out. What do you have that other candidates don’t? How do you intend to perform? Are you bringing extra experience that most people don’t have? How are they going to benefit? Tackle all of those questions first so you have the information you need to highlight the key qualifications that will make you stand out. Get “Squared Away” so you are prepared to talk about yourself confidently and make every networking interaction an effective one.

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