A Shift in Mindset Can Help Military Spouse’s Employment Search
Marriage – whether military or civilian – is about cooperation. It’s hard work making a relationship between two unique people successful. And when one (or more) of those people are committed to a military career, it can feel like there’s a third person in the relationship at times. A military marriage often contains the needs and well being of three: the two spouses plus the nation.
Most military spouses are extremely proud of their career soldier, and share similar views of service, honor, duty, and integrity, whether or not they choose a military career for themselves. But what happens when the career aspirations of one spouse need to take a back seat to the other?
That’s not an uncommon situation in marriage. The vision of a 50-50 partnership might be a bit short-sighted, when you consider that, very likely, the single constant in any marriage is the love and commitment shared between the two people. Everything else – jobs, homes, hobbies, possessions, kids – changes. Perhaps these few simple tips can help bring the military spouse some peace in their search for employment.
- Who you are is more important than what you do. Are you passionate about reading, or music? Do you have a passion for nutrition, or science, or serving others? Think about what you can contribute as opposed to whether your particular field has a set career path to follow (spoiler: most don’t). If you’re between jobs at the moment, just spending a little time doing something you enjoy – or even taking classes to learn about something you’re interested in – can help.
- You’re a professional. If you think of yourself as “an unemployed sales representative,” or “out-of-work aerobics instructor” guess what you’ll probably be? But if you shift your thoughts just a little bit, away from limiting job titles and toward what you want to do, that opens up your potential. For example, “sales rep” above might consider himself a “professional influencer.” The “aerobics instructor” might switch gears into “fitness professional.” This slight shift can help you make the leap from feeling like you’re being shuffled from job to job to realizing that you have knowledge and experience to give. Even if you have to wait tables a little while in a new town while you seek new opportunities, changing the way you think about your skills can make a huge difference.
- Remember why you’re here. It’s easy to get discouraged and bitter during a dry spell. Thinking of happier times, and remembering the excitement of the early days of your adventure will help the discomfort pass. Share your feelings with your spouse, friends or family, and remember that your service member also has days like this – you will carry each other through them.
Get more practical career advice and education tips for military spouses at militaryauthority.com.