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« What is a Cover Letter: A Great Cover Letter Guide | Main | Military Employment Transition in the News - May 28 »
Wednesday
May302012

Developing a Career as a Military Spouse: How to utilize your skills for a successful career in the workforce

Military spouses can find it challenging to start or sustain a career in their chosen field because of the various challenges that come with being the husband or wife of a soldier. Though it may be challenging, having a career while being a military spouse is entirely possible with the knowledge of a few tips and helpful advice for how to find the right career field and consistently translate your abilities into skill sets attractive to employers.

Employers are Looking for Your Talents

Translate Your Household Management Skills into Job Skills

Often times, military spouses want to start their own careers but are apprehensive about the process either because they have never been in the traditional workforce or have been out of it for a longer period of time. These individuals have, in addition to the concerns and perceived barriers mentioned above, the added challenge of building a resume and articulating a skill set they acquired primarily from household management.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, though it often does, that organizations look for exactly these types of skills. A spouse with a background in household management already has great planning and organizational skills. Military spouses should know that if you can run a household, you’re flexible and possess logistic skills that are necessary to many private sector positions. Articulating your skills so that the potential employer can easily envision utilizing your skills in the workplace will be a focus for you as you write your resume and cover letter, among other things.

You should also keep in mind to pay close attention to the skills needed for the job or career path you are interested in.

Take a look at the job, and then try to see what kind of skills it requires. For example, if the job calls for project management skills, you should relate your experience managing a large-scale home project you completed, as evidence of your project management and contracting skills. The key, really, is how well you can articulate and speak about your skills when asked. If you can you phrase them as skill sets that employers are looking for, you’ve made a great step towards your next career.

Summary

Military spouses should not shy away from pursuing a career in the “traditional” workplace. Many of the assumed barriers to career success – difficulty choosing a commonly needed career field and translating household management skills into workplace skills – can be overcome with a little research or change in perspective. Furthermore, other barriers no longer exist. In particular the often-voiced concern about regular relocations has become a non-issue in a world where all employees spend an average of three to five years at a given company. Thus military spouses should feel confident that they can have a career of their own while being a military spouse and may even find that their life has given them skills employers will find highly valuable.

Key Take-Aways

 

  • Having a career as a military spouse isn’t easy, but it is well within your reach 
  • Constraints aren’t always constraining - the prospect of a relocation shouldn’t be a “dealbreaker” 
  • Know which fields are the most location-flexible, consider positions in these fields 
  • Don’t underestimate your household management skills and other abilities you’ve developed while being a military spouse

 

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