Military Mondays: Tips for Having A Career As A Military Spouse | Anchors Aweigh


Military Mondays: Tips for Having A Career As A Military Spouse

Happy Monday! I have had a few people email me over the last few weeks asking for tips on having a career as a military spouse. I thought today would be a perfect chance to dedicate this Military Mondays post to that topic.

I have mentioned before on this blog that I work from home and have been blessed with a job that has gone with me wherever we go. Having a career as a military spouse isn't always easy and can prove very, very difficult to find, but I thought I would take today to share a few tips and pieces of advice for having that career while moving every few years. 

A little backstory... I started out working for a company in College Station, TX (where Texas A&M is located) right after I graduated. Parker and I were engaged, and he still had a year until he graduated and commissioned into the military. I took a job in that city so we wouldn't have to be long distance, knowing I would likely be quitting a year later to start our military journey. 7 years later, I still work for that same wonderful company. 

I am not going to sit here and say that if you follow these tips, you'll have a steady career while being a military wife. Luck and timing play a part in it too, but here are some tips that could definitely be of help. 

1. The #1 tip I could give anyone: do NOT mention the military in your interview. 

Companies don't want to hire military spouses because they know you may not be there long. Legally, companies are not allowed to ask if your significant other is in the military, but many will, especially if you are wearing a wedding or engagement ring. The company I work for today saw my engagement ring and asked what my fiance was planning on doing after graduation. I kept it vague and said he wasn't sure. 

I don't want to promote lying here, but there are ways to vaguely answer the question "What brings you to Pensacola?" or "What does your significant other do?". Examples:

- "He isn't sure yet what he wants to do"
- "He works in the city"
- "I just moved here and am excited to experience a new city. I am young and want to broaden my horizons, so I am excited to be here"

2. Some jobs are more easily transferrable than others. 

Administrative jobs are on the easier end of the spectrum to get. Nursing is another good one that you can do anywhere. Teaching is harder because, while you always need teachers, I *think* you have to get certified in every state you teach in. I interned for Enterprise Rent A Car in college, and that's something I literally could have done anywhere. Look into the type of work that transfers easily and the companies that have offices everywhere. 

3. Research work from home options. 

Talk to friends who work from home. There are ways to work from home without doing direct selling on Facebook (not that there is anything wrong with that at all). A good example is VIPKID. This is an online tutoring program that is pretty flexible and can be done anywhere. They pay well, and you just need a bachelor's degree to do it. I have several friends that work for VIPKID. There are other options like this out there if you're willing to do a little research. 

4. If you are currently working and know you are about to move for the military, ask your employer if you can work remotely. 

This is 2018, yall. Many jobs can be done remotely. Instead of going into my boss's office to let him know I needed to quit, I instead walked in and asked if I could work remotely from another state. It is nerveracking and can feel awkward, but the worst that can happen is they say no. You never know, they may say yes. Go in there confident in the work you do and ready to pitch why it's in the company's best interest to let you keep your job. 

5. Be flexible. 

You may not get to work in your field, and you may not make as much money as you would if you were in a big city long-term. If you go in demanding to make as much as your civilian counterparts in the exact field you majored in, you're going to have a tough time. Go in open minded and stay positive. 

Alright guys, I realize this was long, but I wanted to pack it with as much information as I could. I know it can be hard to have a career and follow your significant other around the country, but you can do it! 

1 comment :

Jen said...

I definitely agree about being flexible. It makes it easier to not be disappointed when the job you really want doesn't pan out.


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