To work or not to work that is the question on all of our minds at one time or another in our military careers.
It seems that the subject of employment comes up whenever money is tight, when the kids are all finally in school, or you PCS to a new duty station. I can't tell you how many times I have thought about getting a job outside of our home just so we could have a little wiggle room in the budget.
I even tried it one year to get some extra holiday cash, and frankly it was a disaster. Nothing got done, the kids were disappointed because I wasn't home when they came back from college, and my husband hated the fact that his life had to change, not to mention my home business began to struggle as well. (Yes, he is spoiled but the fact that he is a genius on the grill makes up for it)
For some military spouses working outside the home works for them, but for many of us the constant changes, multiple moves and unpredictability of our lives make employment very difficult unless you are fortunate to have a career that can move with you.
I chose to transition my motivational speaking business and now operate and serve my clients online through my blog and social media. Some people find that careers like nursing, medical billing and the like work best while others, a huge segment of military spouses actually, choose network marketing and home business services because they have the flexibility without having to start all over each time they move.
You may be wondering what options and possibilities are available to you as a military spouse. It isn't easy to find a solution that will work in a life that is full of change and transition, but it is possible. Whether you work for yourself or someone else, there are a few things that you should be aware of and consider before you jump into anything.
Option 1: Working for Someone Else. Depending on your skill set, degree or past employment experience, you may be able to find a full or part-time job in the local community or on the military installation where you are living. There are local and national job placement organizations that specialize in helping active duty families obtain employment. Check your base/post listings for the ones available in your area.
Working insures a consistent paycheck and an increase in your household income.
You can leave your work at the office and enjoy you time off
You are able to use your skills
You are not responsible for the business
Sometimes it takes several months to be able to get a job, and employers may not be willing to take you on when you move every 2-3 years.
You must re-establish your career with each PCS and the waiting and break in receiving a paycheck can be frustrating.
Your employer may not be sensitive to your military schedule. They may not allow for time off when your spouse is gearing up for or returning from deployment. Likewise they may not understand your need to change your shift or hours now that you are the only adult at home.
Side Note: If you would like a job but find that you need additional skills, there are many programs and financial aid opportunities that are available to spouses of active duty service members. Hop on the internet and you will be amazed at the options that come up.
Likewise if you are having difficulty finding a job, it may be a perfect time to go back to school and do something you have always dreamed of. You can go to school to get your bachelors degree, become certified in various medical or service professions or learn a specialized skill that is easily transferable when you PCS. One of the things that I did during our first deployment was to get an online Aromatherapy certification. It gave me something to do and now I have a marketable skill that I can use if I choose to go that route (not to mention the amazing health benefits and stress relief aromatherapy provides).
Some great professions for military spouses are:
Medical: Nurse, ABA Therapist, Physical Therapist, Marriage and Family Therapist, Pharmacist, Pharmacy technicians, Social Worker With Military Credential, dental assistants, clinical and medical lab techs, personal care aides, medical record techs, nutritionists, orderlies, Medical Transcription, Medical Coding and Billing
Service: Massage Therapist, Aromatherapy, Cosmetology, Beautician, Barber
About the Author: Judy Davis is a great friend and promoter of Macho Spouse and male military spouses everywhere. She is a motivational speaker, author, and blogger who provides support to the military community all over the world. You can find out more about her, read her blogs, or book her as a speaker at http://thedirectiondiva.com/