Getting a job isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Getting a job as a military spouse is a whole ‘nother ball game. You can have every imaginable qualification and skill, but when you announce you’re married to someone in the military, most interviews shudder to a halt. Most employers simply don’t want to hire someone who may have to move in a blink of an eye. The time and resources required to find and train a replacement just aren’t worth it.
For milspouses who want or need a job, finding an employer willing to take the risk is incredibly frustrating. Some have even wondered if it’s ethical, or even possible, to hide their military spouse status. Unsurprisingly, it’s really not. Military spouses should fully disclose the reality of their family’s lifestyle and hope their prospective employer understands. Historically, many of them don’t.
As strange as it sounds, the global pandemic might change that.
When lockdowns first began back in March 2020, businesses nationwide shut their doors and opened their living rooms. While unemployment rose overall, many companies successfully adapted to operating remotely. Jobs that are traditionally done in an office are now being done from home.
For hiring managers, remote work is now closer to the norm. Spontaneous moves aren’t such a big deal. For military spouses, the employment playing field in 2021 is a little closer to level than it used to be.
Admittedly, many companies see this shift as temporary. Once vaccines are widely distributed, businesses may revert back to their old, in-person methods of operation. Some, however, have realized the benefits of allowing employees to work remotely.
Remote work allows companies to hire the best possible candidate; even if that candidate is a military spouse.
With no commute, workers enjoy a better work-life balance. They have more freedom to spend time with family, attend important events, or care for a sick loved one. Remote workers tend to be happier, healthier, and ultimately, better at their jobs. Since their productivity actually improves and saves companies money, opportunities for remote work are likely to continue to grow long after the pandemic days are over.
To prepare yourself for your next job search, these tips might help:
- Prep your resume for success. Don’t undervalue your unique military spouse skills! Even if you were raising young children or homeschooling, your experience applies. As a military spouse, you probably developed next level resilience, time management skills, and the ability to adapt in a flash. Don’t hide those qualities; highlight them!
- Be upfront about your military spouse status, and express your confidence in your ability to work remotely. The right employer will respect your honesty, and your confidence will help you convince them that you’re worth the risk.
- Network. You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. Connect with other military families. Someone might know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy who needs a great employee just like you. The more people you connect with, the more likely you are to meet the right person. Connections within the military community are the best because they’ll view your military status as more of an asset than a drawback.
- Don’t hesitate to use military spouse employment services. They’re designed to connect military-friendly employers with qualified candidates like yourself!
While a deadly virus definitely hasn’t eliminated the frustration of finding a job, it has made it easier to find an employer who’s onboard with remote work. For all the amazing military spouses out there, the door is open.