It’s no secret military spouses face immense challenges as they look to find jobs that suit their military lifestyle, education, and work experience. The lack of employment is a constant topic of discussion in both casual circles and when researched thoroughly as in the case of the most recent Blue Star Families Military Family Lifestyle Survey. There, the lack of employment is ranked as the number two issue of military spouses concern-- just behind the amount of time the family spends apart from one another.
Finding a job in Alexandria is likely a concern for a military family headed to Virginia, not only for the typical reasons a family faces, but because Northern Virginia is a region where dual incomes are the norm, and military families likely won’t be an exception.
To get a head start on your job search, review the Ultimate Guide for Military Spouse Employment.
Although Alexandria is probably one of the most expensive cities for a military family to live in, the opportunities for finding jobs are better than most duty stations. In general, the city’s proximity to Washington, D.C. allows for jobs not only in government, but throughout the industries that work alongside government. Everything from healthcare, to security, to customer service is needed. An added bonus is that this area is one that embraces remote or flex working hours, which are often helpful for a military spouse.
According to LinkedIn, these are the other in-demand skills desired by employers in and around Alexandria: sales, retail store operations, lean manufacturing and quality management, logistics and supply chain management, purchasing and contract negotiation, and product development and management. View a graphic of the largest area employers in Fairfax County here.
Job Connections Using LinkedIn and Amazon
LinkedIn recently started a program to address military spouse employment and to prepare spouses to begin their job search. Partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program, LinkedIn is offering one free year of LinkedIn Premium after a PCS transition.
With this service, there are additional perks. Spouses have access to 12,000 LinkedIn Learning Courses and training specifically geared toward finding freelance, flexible, and remote work. The partnership is also providing a military spouse specific LinkedIn group.
After researching homes in Alexandria, there’s no doubt you’ve heard about Amazon HQ2 and its location with many names: Crystal City, Arlington, or what is now being called National Landing. No matter what you call the city, the location is in Alexandria’s back yard.
Amazon’s presence is an opportunity to allow spouses the chance to work for a global company in close proximity to their homes either in Alexandria City or Alexandria, Fairfax County. The company’s promise of supplying more than 50,000 jobs is beginning, as they have begun advertising openings for this location.
Amazon also has a division that works to hire veterans and spouses. It’s a great idea to connect with their military recruiters on LinkedIn and keep up to date with job openings as they become available.
City of Alexandria and Fairfax County Job Opportunities
Fairfax County is an enormous entity and a hotbed for many of the sought after companies that military spouses are looking to work with, to include the county government, which happens to be the gateway hiring teachers and other education professionals.
If names like Kaiser Permanente, Lockheed Martin, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Washington Post sound like good options to begin a job search, you’re in luck because they’re located in Springfield, Alexandria’s easily commutable neighbor.
Depending on where you live in Alexandria, these well-known companies might offer an even shorter drive time because of their location on the Richmond Highway Corridor: Access Home Care, Inova Health System, SAIC, Sunrise Senior Living, U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Postal Service.
The City of Alexandria also has a department dedicated to finding its citizens jobs, not only for the city itself, but through the City's Workforce Development Center. There, applicants are offered workforce development opportunities, which include career readiness workshops and assessments and access to local hiring events.
Fort Belvoir is always a good starting point for spouses to inquire about job opportunities on and around base. Start with the MWR and the ACS Employment Readiness Program. There, job seekers will find resources for job availabilities and guidance for improving skills from resume writing to interview skills. Also under the MWR, The NAF Human Resources office (703-704-4872) supplies appointments for those hoping to find work with USA Jobs, Army Civilian Service, and Avuecentral.
Last, and certainly not least, because these organizations are known to actively recruit military spouses for jobs, are the for profit and nonprofit military family support organizations like Blue Star Families, Military Officers Association of America, and the National Military Family Association. All have offices in Alexandria and not only provide options for volunteering, but each supplies various forms of support for spouses to advance professional skills and conduct job searches.
Spouse employment truly is one of the top stressors for military families to deal with before and during a PCS move. For those who need the job opportunities, Alexandria presents several good avenues to explore.
Read over these MilitaryByOwner blog posts for more general job finding options: