Having a Career Path as a Military Spouse

Gabriella LobiancoCareer Seekers, Career TipsLeave a Comment

As she wonders about her career path, a military spouse with reflective glasses sees a "Now Hiring" sign while clenching dog tags. The yellow "Now Hiring" sign is reflected in her glasses.
Written by Gabriella LoBianco
Graphic Design by Andrea Dove

Starting a Career Path

No matter how big or small the career path, starting over can be terrifying. As a military spouse, not knowing when the next job will come can add uneasiness when thinking about your future. Luckily, there are resources that will lessen the blow of all of that. Below, you will find ways to make sure that you are on the right track of finding your ideal career path.

What to Consider

As a military spouse, you want to find a company that understands your lifestyle. By typing “military spouse jobs” in Google, you are on your way to finding the most accurate results to fit your career path. Make sure that you are enthused about the career path you are starting. Also, know about the business you are interested in.  Just as you would do for anything you are unsure about, research the business.

If you are choosing a new career path altogether, consider these questions:

  • How do you see this field changing in the future?
  • Are the advancement opportunities broad and will they work with your schedule?
  • If things develop as you would like, what does the future hold for your career path?
  • Would remote jobs fit your lifestyle needs?

If you are looking for a more flexible career path, remote jobs are an excellent option. They allow you to move around freely without the hassle of starting the career path process all over. Luckily, more and more companies are offering remote jobs and are specifically targeting military spouses such as:

  • Aetna
  • Amazon
  • Capital One
  • Dell

There are many people who fit this criterion, and there are sites that are solely devoted to helping military spouses to find their ideal career paths. Help is being brought to military families in more ways than finding a job. Even in their daily lives, companies such as Verizon Wireless are offering product discounts towards military families.

What to Create

Now that you have assessed your new career path, it is time to put your resume out there. Whether applying for jobs online or in-person, make sure your resume is neat and well organized. In your summary, add in any specific needs such as family obligations and being a military spouse. Many of these companies want to know these accommodations and look forward to hiring military spouses.

By creating a LinkedIn account, you will be exposed to recruiters who are looking for a candidate in your career path. You’ll be a part of the 2.4 million active servicemembers and veterans that utilize this resource. The site is highly attentive to recruiters and job seekers. In fact, LinkedIn will give military spouses a year of LinkedIn Premium for free during relocation.  That means access to a library of over 12,000 LinkedIn courses. These courses are designed to help military spouses succeed and receive remote job opportunities.

LinkedIn has also collaborated with Microsoft Military Affairs to launch a program that will train spouses with technology skills. They are continuously seeking ways to help military spouses with their career paths by partnering with the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

What to Plan for

Preparing for any change requires ambition and excitement. These two qualities are what interviewers want to see as soon as you walk-in or join in on a Skype interview. It’s hard to display confidence when you’re nervous. Showing that you’re energetic and positive can be a way to mask those jitters.  Just remember it’s okay to be scared. You’re starting a new career path that requires a change in environment or lifestyle. It’s normal.

There are ways to lessen the anxieties you may feel during an interview. Planning how you will react to certain questions or situations can ease the blow of the unexpected. It will make the scenario more familiar, therefore making you more comfortable.

Four Ways to Plan:

  • What to wear
  • What to have on hand or bring to an interview
  • Plan responses
  • Plan follow up questions

While in an interview, don’t be afraid to ask questions to the interviewer. Ask how their daily workday goes or how long they have been in their career path. Remember that you are learning from the meeting just as much as they are.

Another way to show that you’re a serious candidate is to follow up after an interview. This is where you can better replies to questions that you were stumped on while in the interview. If you are brand new to the career path you are applying for, this will allow you to stand out from those who have existing experience.

Take Control

A service woman and her husband are holding hands before going to work .

Sometimes, we get so caught up in searching for jobs that are pre-existing, we don’t think outside of the box. With the unemployment rate of military spouses at 16%, a lot of spouses consider becoming entrepreneurs. Being an online entrepreneur gives you a job, no matter what the move. It can also provide a sense of purpose for any individual. It is a career path that will work for many military spouses. Many spouses start a business that focuses on military professions or veterans. A business can provide the couple with a clear future. It is helpful for when the enlisted spouse is retired from the military. They will have a job in sight thanks to their military spouse. It is also a great way to make the spouse feel more connected to their loved one.

Conclusion

When facing a change in your career path, consider every option available to you. Analyze your lifestyle and see which one best suits you. Explore being an entrepreneur or maybe working remotely. Either way, prepare yourself. Employers are looking for military spouses because they’re resilient and resourceful. You will already have the upper hand by simply being who you are.