As a military spouse, you face a lot of uncertainty, including when or where you might get your next job. It can be frustrating moving just when you've settled into a new position or career.
On the other hand, you may feel it’s not even worth it to try and find employment when you're just going to move again.
There’s plenty of benefits to creating your career or job path alongside your service member’s military career. It may seem overwhelming or even impossible at times, which is why we've compiled a list of career-boosting tips for military spouses.
Here are 4 tips for boosting your career and finding military spouse jobs:
1. Talk with a Career Coach
Your first step in securing the best job for you would be working with a certified career coach. A career coach will guide you and offer support and information to help you find your ideal career path. Through the Department of Defense (DoD) MySECO program, nationally certified coaches can help military spouses through the job hunting process.
Coaches may also help you:
Identify current skills and determine needed skills
Explore your career goals and options
Discuss education and/or additional training options
Prep you for job searching, including creating a resume
Give feedback during a mock interview process
Share insights on scholarship opportunities, like MyCAA
2. Be Open to Temp Work
Military spouse jobs aren’t always something to write home about. Sometimes you’ll need to take whatever job you can find to pay the bills. Don’t worry if it’s not your dream job. Consider it a stepping stone to gain new skills and better employment.
If you don’t have the necessary skills or education for what you want to do, you may consider going back to school. Scholarships are available for military spouses, too. Your career coach or education consultant can offer in-depth answers to your questions about this as well.
3. Seek Education or Additional Training
Once you’ve chatted with a career coach, you may find you need additional education or training. If so, know that you have some options for advancing your skills.
Here’s a few:
MyCAA Scholarship: The My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) Scholarship is an educational benefit specifically for spouses to use. The program offers up to a $4,000 grant for spouses who want education or training to land a job in high growth, high demand industries.
MySECO Industry-Specific Coaching Packages: These DoD sponsored courses are for military spouses in all phases of their career search. Whether you are getting your first job or want to stand out with new skills, these packages offer personalized consultations with certified career coaches.
4. Use Your Military Spouse Employment Resources
This is just a snapshot of some of the military spouse employment resources available to you. Some of these are online, but you can also find plenty of resources in-person on base, at job fairs, and even local employment offices.
USA JOBS: Federal agencies often use the military spouse noncompetitive hiring process to fill positions on both a temporary or permanent basis. You can learn more about federal job listings and the unique hiring process for military spouses on the website.
Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP): Through the Department of Defense (DoD), this partnership offers targeted recruitment and employment options for spouses. Through this site, you’ll find Fortune 500 Plus companies to work for, employment prep services, and employment opportunities.
MySECO: The Department of Defense (DoD) started the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program to offer career guidance and education to military spouses worldwide. Tools include employment readiness and career connections, along with access to a large job database.
Military Base Family Center: On any military installation, you’ll find a family support center. It’s called different names by each branch, but each one offers spouse, service member, and family support. Just a few of the benefits include life skills classes and employment opportunities.
5. Work For More Than the Money
A paycheck is nice, but at the end of the day, you don’t want to hate your job because it’s not a good fit for you. Sometimes military spouses will take any job they can find the minute they land at their newest duty station. And they stick with it until PCS orders arrive. It’s unlikely that will bring you or your family anything other than a paycheck and stress if you despise your work.
Consider these three factors when you start looking for work:
Self-esteem booster - When you find work that you’re good at, it makes you feel confident in your skills and yourself. Look for a job that challenges you enough, but doesn’t overwhelm you in a way that leads to more anxiety or stress.
Resume builder - With each job you have, you create a solid resume that will look better with each high-quality position you land.
Beat boredom - You’ll have to get used to being alone, a lot. Between duty days and deployments, there’s a lot of downtime for military spouses. Make the most of that time by finding a workplace you enjoy with skills you can take with you to your next job.
With the above resources and counseling opportunities, you should be able to find a military spouse job you enjoy. You may need to go back to school or receive extra training, but if it means you’ll love waking up to go to work, it’s worth the extra time and effort you put forth.