Nobody has a tougher time getting and staying employed than military spouses. Military dependents have to move every couple of years. This presents them with a unique set of challenges to deal with in the ever changing and unpredictable job market. Constant moving and re-certification makes staying employable a difficult chore. By utilizing the five tips listed below, spouses will have a much easier time staying employable in new locations.
Transferable skills are the key to being employable anywhere. Skills should be just as useful at Fort Knox, Kentucky as they are at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Great care should be given to the following three categories, as there are usually positions available for these fields everywhere. These fields also have various positions available for different education, experience and skill levels.
The medical field is a great choice for any military spouse. There are positions available for nearly every education and skill level. Receptionists who specialize in the medical field are carving out a great niche for themselves. This can make an otherwise ordinary receptionist resume look specialized. There are also really great positions for nurses and certified nurse assistants. These positions are almost always in demand.
Education is also a great field to consider. There are usually teaching positions on base or in nearby towns. This transferable skill is perfect for dependents who have attended a four-year university. Teaching requirements vary from state to state. Most states and military bases have substitute positions for people with some college credits.
Most dependents will find work in some area of business. These positions may be in sales, retail or even industrial divisions. A dependent will be more marketable if they specialize in one niche. Retail sales or management is a great choice for many spouses. Legal secretaries are often in demand.
Timing is so important when considering certification requirements. It is important to get the ball rolling on state certifications as soon as possible. This means that the process should be started months in advance. A person doesn’t necessarily have to live in a new location to begin research on certification requirements. A potential candidate may not even be considered for a position until their certification requirements are satisfied. This can really hold up employ-ability in a new town.
Getting additional training is a great way to stay current with industry trends. Training opportunities should always be considered. This is something to think about at current jobs. Employers are usually quite happy to send employees to at least one training course each year. These course completions can be listed on one’s resume. This is a great way to become an expert in one’s niche of choice. Most other applicants are just going to have on-the-job training.
Telecommunication is a great choice for many military dependents. This gives them the freedom to work from anywhere. This eliminates the stress of the job search in a new town. Bilingual employees are often great candidates for work-at-home opportunities. A small initial investment may be necessary to get one’s home office up and running.
There are also great positions for work-at-home spouses in the medical field. Medical billing and coding is a great way to have a flexible job at home.
There are so many great educational benefits available to military spouses. This is a great way to enhance one’s resume. Eligible spouses may be able to receive up to $6000 in tuition assistance. These are great for education, training, licensing and certification in portable career fields. In addition, military bases often have education offices or coordinators that can help with the selection and application processes. Spouses that take advantage of these benefits are going to be ahead of the pack in a military town filled with competitive employable dependents.
Being a military dependent is ultimately all about marketing skills. Spouses have to market themselves in new areas every couple of years. It doesn’t matter how wonderful, well-trained or reliable a potential hire is. An employer needs to be sold on a particular candidate. It is important to stand out from other applicants. This is where certifications and additional training can really shine.
Some potential employers do not want to hire military spouses. They don’t like the idea of hiring somebody who is going to have to leave in a few years. This myth should be addressed during an interview or initial meeting. If an employer seems apprehensive because an applicant may only be at a given location for three to five years, the applicant should immediately address the situation.
Previous work history should be brought up. An employer should understand that they are getting a highly qualified, reliable employee for as long as he or she is stationed at a particular location. Most employers would be happy to have a few years out of an awesome employee rather than six months from a less qualified applicant. Potential employers can be gently reminded that permanent location does not make an employee reliable, hard-working or qualified.
Resumes should be updated before moving to a new town. Give them to friends and family members. This is a great way to get feedback before sending them out into the world. Don’t forget the cardinal rule! Resumes should only be one page in length. They should be highly readable and not look cluttered. An easy-reading resume is likely to get a call back.
Ultimately, staying employable is all about being tenacious, driven and hard-working. Military dependents have a tougher time than their traditional job-hunting counterparts. The job market is tough enough without having to move to a new city every three to five years. It doesn’t matter what their chosen field is, most military spouses end up becoming expert marketers.