The secret is definitely out: military spouses are a work force to be reckoned with. We’re educated and motivated, not to mention flexible. So why does it seem employment resources are hard to come by? Well, because there are so many helpful options, it can be difficult to sort through.
Although this is a good problem to have, it’s hard to find a place to begin. MilitaryByOwner has assembled a thorough guide to the most inclusive and information filled federal agencies and nonprofits for military spouse employment seekers.
Don’t be tempted to pay private companies to run job searches for you! Many of the following programs are funded because they are used regularly by military spouses for support. If the audience isn’t there, these free resources dry up. Military spouses have the largest spotlight on them they’ve ever had. Don’t waste precious opportunities for help.
Spouse Education Career Opportunities (SECO)
This program was designed by the Department of Defense and remains a dominant option to explore a new career or education. The SECO website is packed with information about career exploration, training and licensing, employment readiness, and networking. SECO is an all-encompassing resource which makes it an excellent first step to begin a career search.
Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP)
MSEP resides under SECO, but focuses tightly on matching military spouses with companies who are interested in hiring them specifically. At its jobsite portal, MSEP features popular corporation partners such as Amazon, Hilton, and Microsoft. MSEP has teamed up with LinkedIn in to make networking easier.
Military Branch Resources
Each branch of service offers their own versions of spousal employment help, either virtually or on an installation. Branch programs are typically found in their associated community services buildings, but can be accessed by spouses of all branches. Resources include job counseling, résumé advice, guidance for applying for federal jobs, and interview techniques. Workshops are often offered which include topics such as job searches and career planning.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Hiring Our Heroes is a program under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s affiliate, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which supplies military spouses support for job hunting. They offer opportunities to attend both virtual and local hiring fairs and résumé services to update skills, employment, and volunteer histories.
Blue Star Families, partnered with Hiring Our Heroes and Career Spark, have an online résumé program to get your perfected résumé in front of hundreds of military friendly companies.
Military Officers Association of America schedules several free military spouse symposia throughout the country each year. With their partner, Hiring Our Heroes, they conduct a full day of information for career oriented spouses. Workshops include: résumé writing, working outside the home, networking, LinkedIn strategies, and transitioning into life beyond the military.
The Rosie Network was founded by military spouses to promote military owned businesses. Business profiles are featured online and marketed for visibility to those searching to hire military family owned companies. TRN,along with partners, offers entrepreneurial support as well as mentoring.
In Gear Career leads military spouses to opportunities for furthering their career paths while simultaneously meeting the demands of a spouse with a military career. They provide advocacy programs focusing on building an experienced network, exploring professional development, and finding support from other qualified spouses. Guidance is offered through their website and in local chapters.
The Military Spouse Corporate Career Network pinpoints their efforts for military spouses and their search for career success through employment readiness training and job placement activities. The option to upload résumés for a review by an employment recruiter specialized in interpreting military spouse experiences is available.
Military Spouse Operated Companies
Because military spouse employment has so many challenges, more and more companies have risen to conquer the disparities. One in particular, MadSkills, focuses on placing spouses who have a variety of skills with employers who prefer virtual or remote military spouse employees and contractors. Owned and operated by milspouses, they understand the need for flexible work from home schedule wherever they military sends you.
MadSkills isn’t the only company looking to hire military spouse for flexible work. Check these out:
After reading through a few of the websites, you will see some cross pollination of groups working together. Organizations are going out of their way to make a difference in military spouses’ lives by providing amazing opportunities without fees. The chances are likely that you have skills employers need and want!
By Dawn M. Smith