Being an army spouse sure has its ups and downs, but that’s what makes it worth it. You know for a fact that when you married your partner, you’re in it for the long haul (Remember that “till death do us part” bit on your wedding vows”?). For some of you who may have to find a new job due to your spouse’s peripatetic career as a military personnel, set your worries aside. We’ve talked to a few military spouses on how you can ease your transition into a new career at your spouse’s new OCONUS (Outside Continental US) station. Here’s what they have to say:
1. Ask around. As clichéd as it may sound, asking around can lead you to some people who can teach you how to use your spouse’s privileges to land a job. Talk to other military spouses, especially those who’ve work for a decade or more as general schedule (GS system) employees. The GS system has many career opportunities that not a lot of people know about, and it’s good to take advantage of these jobs. Many army spouses also recommend getting into the DoDDs system (Department of Defense Dependent Schools) where speech therapists and instructors are needed for kids. By asking insiders, you can start small immediately with a rewarding career.
2. Use your military spouse preference. As soon as you get to your new station, go to the local civilian personnel office to ask for your military spouse preference (MSP). As per Military Family Act of 1985, or Public Law 99-145, the MSP was established to provide equal and improved job opportunities for military spouses. This preference is helpful in the candidate selection process, where employers have to prioritize army spouses over other candidates.
3. Take advantage of the MyCAA program to get your credentials. Use your army wife benefits and get a military spouse education. Through the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts, military spouses get to receive $4,000 to fund their portable career training. Spouses can use MyCAA funds to train for a portable career like those in social work, nursing, speech pathology and online medical billing and coding jobs.
4. Keep an open mind. You have to start somewhere, right? Don’t be so adamant about acceptimg low rank-and-file positions at your chosen place of work, especially in the GS system. Many of those who’ve started low and have worked their way up the system are enjoying careers where they can be assigned to new GS bases and can financially support their mobile lifestyle. If you’re still on a job hunt and find limited careers options in your area, visit USAjobs.gov, the US Government’s official portal for federal jobs and employment information–maybe you’ll find something of interest there.
Meditec can help you match your profile with the right portable career for you. Visit our course library to find your exact career match or download our career guide for free today!