Sometimes, as a military spouse, it can feel like the military lifestyle was designed to throw roadblock after roadblock against you. While others follow the maybe not always easy, but certainly more well traveled path of graduating high school or college and then entering the workforce, our path has a few more bumps along the way. We enter the work force only to leave it again and again. We face the fear of answering the innocent seeming question, “and why have you moved here?” at each interview. We feel pre-judged before we’ve even moved, knowing we’ll likely be sitting home for weeks, or even months at a time while we try to find a job. It’s enough to make you want to give up. But you shouldn’t. You absolutely CAN have a job as a military spouse. Is it harder? Definitely. Will you face more challenges? Unfortunately, yes.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Here are some tips to help you on your way to earning the title of “employed”.
1. Try Keeping Your Current Job.
You’ve finally found out where you’re PCSing to and automatically you get ready to put in your notice right? Not so fast. Stop drafting your letter and don’t assume you’re going to lose your job just because you’re moving. With today’s technology not being able to be in your workplace, doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t still get the work done. If you work with computers or in an office atmosphere, you may be able to talk your boss into letting you work remotely. Research ways you could still remotely do your job, prepare a detailed list of how you would still do your work duties remotely and present them to your boss when you inform them of your upcoming PCS. Tell them that although you’re moving, you don’t want your employment relationship to end, that you’re confident you’ll be able to still do your job and then present your case. Worst case scenario, at least you’ve tried.
2. Look For Military Friendly Employers.
I don’t know about you, but when I thought about going to interviews during our last PCS, I dreaded answering the question of why I moved to that area. I was convinced that the second I said my husband was in the military the employer’s eyes would glaze over and he would already be subconsciously stamping next on my face and rejected on my resume. Luckily, not every employer is hesitant to hire a military spouse. Try looking for jobs offered on base. Unlike most civilian employers, they give preference to qualified military spouses applying for the position. Additionally, there are lots of military friendly employers out there. Here’s a list of Military Spouse Friendly Employers.
3. Don’t Give Up.
It can be very disheartening to give up a great job and have to start over in a new area, again and again…and again. There will be days where you’ll feel like you’re never going to find your dream job and you may as well not even try but if working is important to you, or necessary to your family’s income, keep trying. You may have to branch out of your area and it may take a little longer than you expect, but if you keep trying and putting your resume out there, you will eventually find something. Don’t forget to have faith in yourself on your journey and never give up.