Today I shall be featuring a guest blogger Emma on my site to basically talk about the military spouse employment myths. I definitely relate to this as when I moved from my hometown, to the middle of nowhere USA, I thought, “well there goes my career right down the drain!”
Being a military spouse comes with its own unique set of blessings and challenges, which are especially prominent in situations like finding a career despite moving every few years at the beck and call of the government. However, finding a satisfying career as a military spouse doesn’t have to be as hard as some make it out to be, especially if you break some common myths and know about the resources available to help you along the way!
Myth #1: Asking someone for a referral is time-consuming and it annoys them.
Truth: Actually, this statement couldn’t be more false. If you’re on good terms with the people around you, they’ll be glad to help you out or act as a reference for you. These days, with technology and real-time communication, you have a number of ways to ask people for help even if you’re shy. All you need to do is explain you’re in the market for a new job and would appreciate any leads or referrals. The worst case scenario is that someone doesn’t know of any leads and says, “Sorry, but good luck!” Furthermore, some particular tech-savvy companies like JIBE, a mobile recruiting company, offer platforms where you can ask for referrals directly from people working in your target companies that are already members of your online social networks! Easy, peasy.
Myth #2: Changing careers is basically impossible.
Truth: With technology rapidly changing the workforce and the way we work, most individuals will change careers many times in their life. Take a look at your current skill set and decide which of these skills are transferable, and which ones can be easily adapted into a new style of working or office environment. If you want to change into a career that is completely unrelated to what you’ve done in the past, don’t let not having the exact set of skills needed stop you. All you need is a step-by-step action plan to follow, and nothing is impossible.
Myth #3: Companies use online databases to screen for the perfect candidate.
Truth: Most of the time, online databases are only there to weed out resumes that don’t have anything to do with the job posting. The job poster tells the database a list of different keywords describing the job’s ideal candidate, and if none of those keywords appear in the resume, it’s considered irrelevant and kicked out. Ideally, you would be able to deliver your cover letter and resume in person, or at least have some sort of human contact, but some situations prevent this. To avoid getting your resume kicked out by an online database, simply review the keywords in the job posting and make sure they’re included within the text of your resume.
Myth #4: There are no preferential programs to assist military spouses with finding employment.
Truth: Just like some programs give preference to helping veterans find fulfilling careers, the Department of Defense started something similar for military spouses called the Military Spouse Preference program. The program understands the challenges faced by military spouses due to the PCS orders of the other spouse. Because of this, they give preference to military spouses in the job search and even offer resume assistance and help in advancing your interview skills.
At the end of the day, it’s important to realize that you have a lot to offer as an employee and the fact that you’re a military spouse is secondary to the work you’re capable of doing. Using some of the programs and services available to help military spouses and knowing how to navigate the online job search will increase your chances of landing a fulfilling job sooner rather than later.
Emma is a mid 20-something year old with a passion for life, love, fitness, and helping others. She loves to be active and get involved in as many sport and community activities as possible. Emma is currently studying to become a Career & Life Coach, and loves to network with people from around the world! Check out Emma’s blog at http://smileasithappens.blogspot.com/!