Whether it’s your first PCS or your fifteenth, moving as a military family can be challenging. However, for a military spouse, jobs can be especially tough. Maintaining a career while constantly on the move takes some planning. Here’s what to know about managing PCS orders and your career.
A permanent change of station, or PCS, is a transfer to a new duty station. Unlike temporary duty postings, a PCS is a long-term assignment that usually lasts between two and four years.
Depending on your spouse’s orders, you may be posted inside the continental United States, known as CONUS, or outside the continental United States, called OCONUS. An OCONUS transfer includes Hawaii, Alaska, and other U.S. territories overseas.
Moving to a new location and a new employer can be stressful, but organization and planning can make the process easier.
Sometimes knowing your options can ease the stress of the unknown. A good first step is to research your new base and learn about the local amenities, your housing options, and the types of workplaces available. Get your housing settled and your move scheduled as soon as possible.
Next, prepare to work in your new location. If your job requires a license, you’ll need to transfer your credentials and your licenses with the local state authority. You can also apply for reimbursement of up to $1000 toward these relicensing fees under the military spouse license reimbursement benefit.
Then start looking for a new position. If you have a license, your local governing body may have a members’ section for job openings.
You can also check the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), which connects employers with military spouses. Look for jobs that need to be filled immediately. These can be great temporary work options to gain experience, build your savings, or simply help you earn income.
Since the pandemic, employers are more open to remote work than ever. If you have a job you can do remotely, talk to your current employer and ask about switching to a remote role.
You can also search for a new remote position. Some jobs, like medical billing, can be done from a home office and are in high demand.
Finding a new position and managing your career can take time. However, alternative work options and training can help you find the right position in your new home.