Maintaining a Career while Moving Around

Tips for Military Spouses

spouse employment
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We all know how hard it is to move from place to place in the military without ever being able to tie down your dream job or advance in a company that you love because you’re moving again. It’s a painful process. You deserve major props for encouraging your military spouse to excel in his or her career. And you deserve even more props for following your loved one around the world, and putting aside your education and career to take care of children and manage your household. None of that means...MORE that your career dreams are over. So, if you’re struggling to maintain a career or thinking about getting into the job market after a long break, the following ideas will help.  

  • 01 of 08

    Take Classes

    military spouse taking class
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    If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while and you’re feeling like the time is right to get back in but you aren’t sure what to do, consider taking some classes or earning a certificate. These days, there are tons of fantastic online options for post-high-school education-many of which are quite reasonably priced. Even if you already earned your bachelor’s degree, your field may have changed, and taking a few courses to bring you up to speed could really help you land your next job. 

  • 02 of 08

    Use Your Marketable Skills

    You can also increase your marketability by sharpening the skills that you already have. If you’re great at organizing everything in your house, find a way to make that skill translate to the workplace. There are plenty of companies willing to pay good money for a great organizer. Another approach is to get and maintain skills that could be used anywhere, such as being a dental hygienist, teacher, nurse, office aide, or hair stylist. These jobs are always in demand, and no matter where you go,...MORE you’ll always be able to find a way in. 

  • 03 of 08

    Work Remotely

    Standard 9-to-5 office jobs are becoming less common, and for good reason. First, technology makes it very easy to stay connected with your colleagues and your boss. Second, many jobs offer instant messaging systems to let you maintain constant contact with your co-workers. Third, no more putting miles on your car and sitting in traffic. Working from home is a sweet option. If you just found out that your family is going to PCS, why not ask your boss if telecommuting is an option for you. If...MORE you’ve done a really great job and the company doesn’t want to let you go, this could be a great way to keep you on.

    Working remotely is a blessing—you get to keep your job and your freedom at the same time. But, make sure you still keep up with your work and meet deadlines. Don’t get distracted by cleaning, kids, or television. Be diligent, and this great gig could last a long time. 

  • 04 of 08

    Volunteer

    If you can’t find a job, go volunteer. If you don’t need or want to work right now, go volunteer. The time will be well spent, whether you’re working at the military post, at your child’s school, or at a community or civic center. Not only will you be benefiting others, you’ll also be keeping your skills fresh and filling your resume. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Network

    This is a big one. Networking can lead to your next job and all it takes is a little bit of talk. Don’t be afraid to mention that you’re looking for a specific job to every person you meet, whether it’s in the pick-up line at school, the grocery store, or the bank. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re a strong, capable person and this is the best way to get yourself noticed. The more people you talk to, the more likely you’ll learn about a job opening or a company that’s hiring. Also utilize...MORE online platforms like LinkedIn to search for a job that fits your skills. You’ll have a unique advantage on LinkedIn: Because you’ve moved to so many places and met so many different people, you can cast a wider net when asking for help. 

  • 06 of 08

    Broaden Your Horizons

    Let’s say you’re a social worker and you’re looking for a job in that field. But there don’t seem to be any available jobs in your area. Do you wait, keep looking, or switch gears? Well, if you’re in a bind, switching gears might be your best options. This doesn’t mean you’ll end up working in a fast food restaurant (although sometimes it might… and that’s ok), it just means that you should look for jobs outside your preferred field, but where you can use your skills. For instance, you could...MORE also work with people one-on-one at an agency or as a consultant, even if those jobs aren’t in social work. If you need a job to make ends meet, you can’t afford to be very picky. Plus, you never know, you might actually love a job that’s outside your preferred field. You’ll also gain new skills that will make you even more marketable in the future. 

  • 07 of 08

    Fill Resume Gaps in Your Resume

    One of the hardest things about returning to the workforce after years of being away from it are the gaps between your last job and now. But you don’t have to list only official employment on a resume. There are many skills that you’ve gained while living around the country and even the world. You should list these skills on your resume along with examples of how you used them. You can also fill gaps with the recent education or certifications you’ve earned or the hours you spent volunteering on...MORE post.

  • 08 of 08

    Add up Costs

    If the cost of transportation and daycare will rival the amount you’ll bring home in your paycheck, it’s not a bad thing to decide to stay at home with your kids or to find smaller jobs on the side. The Internet has created ways for people to be employed no matter where they are. You could join a freelance work website and look for jobs that fit your skills. You could make a career out of your hobbies or passions--start selling crafts on Etsy or open up a pop-up shop. Use Instagram and other...MORE social media to spread the word about your small business. There are many people who started selling things on the side just for fun and who are now making more money than their spouse. So, what are you good at? What could you contribute?

Whether you’re returning to work after a big gap or you’re trying to find a job to bring in some extra income, don’t get discouraged. The right job is out there. Use your brain, be creative, and be willing to work hard , and you’ll find what you are looking for.