April 12, 2019
Right at this very moment, you can hop over to Google, search “Military Spouse Career Resources,” and scour pages upon pages of results. I’m talking networking groups, meetups, career roadmapping, in-person and virtual training, workshops, resume assistance, mentorship, licensure help, and so much more.
There’s truly everything under the sun these days to support us military spouses who are attempting to paddle our way through the treacherous waters of finding and maintaining a career that not only accepts us, but also allows us to thrive—despite the unpredictability that comes with military life.
Though, with these resources in hand, you may feel like you’re on the right path towards land—land being a flexible job opportunity. Then, all of a sudden, the current carries you back out to sea because you quickly realized that dreamy job opportunity wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Don’t get me wrong. These resources are tremendously valuable. But, what good are they if the military spouse-friendly job opportunities available to us are often few and far between? And I’m definitely not the only one posing that question.
What are military spouses saying?
Military spouses have iterated these exact words to spouse employment advocates:
“We have enough resources. We need you to help employers design military spouse-friendly work options.”
And that’s not all. In Blue Star Families’ 2018 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, military spouse respondents (47%) identified their top recommendation for improving spouse unemployment and underemployment was for advocates to work with large corporations to design military spouse-friendly work options.
We don’t want just any kind of military spouse-friendly job, however. Instead, we want one that becomes a career, helps us contribute to our family’s income, allows us to pick our own hours that cater to our current schedule, and gives us the ability to share a job with another spouse. (The latter is what’s known as job sharing, which is especially ideal if we’re simply looking for a lighter workload so we can continue to wear all the hats.) Most importantly, the position must be meaningful and not merely one that we’re overqualified for or doesn’t allow us to fully utilize our unique set of skills.
So, how have those facts impacted the future of military-spouse friendly jobs?
For starters, companies nationwide have committed to hiring military spouses. Now, Blue Star Families, alongside other organizations, are helping Blue Star Corporate Neighbors better understand how they can set military spouses up for success within their company.
Blue Star Corporate Neighbors hiring military spouses and offering flexible job opportunities include:
What’s worth mentioning is that much of the work of these Corporate Neighbors couldn’t be done without the help of our #BSFVolunteers. They’re the lifeblood of our organization, and we honor and celebrate your support during this Volunteer Appreciation Month and every day and month that follows.
Additionally, our Spouseforce platform was designed by military spouses, for military spouses, offering you the ability to input your experience and the conditions under which you need to work. From there, we match you with employers who have jobs that fit your definition of “military-spouse friendly.”
Plus, when you build your Spouseforce portfolio, you help us share the kind of work you’re trained and interested in, how you prefer to work, and under what desired conditions with policymakers and employers. And, together, we can improve military spouse employment.
How can you continue to move the needle for military spouse employment?
“Military spouse-friendly” job opportunities mean many things to many people. Join #BSF and get ready to tell us what it means to YOU by taking the 2019 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, which launches on May 6 and runs through June 14. Then, encourage those in your military community to do the same!