Overcoming Military Spouse Unemployment in the U.S.
It is not uncommon to hear the word unemployment from a military spouse. The two unfortunately go hand-in-hand. This is not because the spouses of active military men are unqualified to receive employment, but rather has to do with the lifestyle of military husbands who are often reallocated. Such is the lifestyle that does not allow military spouses to continue their employment for longer than 2 years on average. It is pretty much a fact that military spouses will face unemployment at some point during the service of their husbands. As an employer, it will be tough for you to bet the vacancy on someone you know is not going to stick around long enough. It is why such employees are not given promotions. As your CV continues to build up, it would appear that you are a job hopper. If there is a long enough trail of job hopping, employers will find you an unattractive candidate for the job. According to a report by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), the unemployment rate of female military spouses is about 90 percent. The government of the United States acknowledges the services of its military and has established beneficiary programs to facilitate spouses in finding jobs or receive grants towards education. Here is how military spouses can work towards overcoming unemployment.
- Communicate the Situation to Current Employer. Before you begin to find alternatives, the first thing you need to do is count all your options first. If you are currently employed in a company, your first move should be to communicate the situation to the employer. They may provide telecommute arrangements. If you have been at your job for a while, they may view you as someone who understands work and should not be a complication while working remotely.
- Remote Jobs. The cusp of unemployment woes is that spouses of active military men relocate with their husbands, which does not allow them to reap the benefits of long-term employment in a company. To overcome this challenge, jobs that allow one to work from home are the best alternative. However, finding work-from-home jobs that are professional and pay well at the same time can be very difficult. Such jobs also may not provide the kind of career growth as a work-from-office job would. However, for most individuals, anything would be better than being unemployed. You can also pick up freelance work from contractors on the internet.
[bctt tweet="To overcome this challenge, jobs that allow one to work from home are the best alternative."]
- Go Network. One thing you will realize is that you are not the only unemployed military spouse – there are many others like you. Networking with other people who have been in a similar situation as you will allow you to learn new perspectives. Best of all, they may be able to point you towards opportunities.
- Seek Benefits from the Government. As we previously stated, the United States government seeks to facilitate military families in their best capacity. The Department of Defense has established the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) program to help military spouses pursue education that would enable them to hold a portable career, through trainings programs like Meditec.
Through MyCAA, military spouses can acquire professional credentials by receiving maximum education benefit of up to $4000 with an annual fiscal year cap of $2000. To be eligible for the program, military spouses must be in a legal marriage with an active service member with pay grades E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, and O-1 to O-2. Spouses who are nearing the date of separation from their military sponsor can still be eligible, as long as they are in a relation during the time of enrollment. Spouses who are legally separated or divorced cannot seek benefit from MyCAA. Meditec provides great opportunities for military spouses. It is designed in a way that requires only a computer and an internet connection. It provides a flexible schedule which suits you, by allowing you to study at your own pace. We will assist you in finding a job through its Career Services department. The following fields are available through military spouse scholarship:
- Medical and Healthcare
- Creative Arts
- Digital Media.