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Job Options for a Military Spouse

Getting and keeping a job as a military spouse can be a challenge. The largest logistical problem is that as a military spouse you will be constantly moving. Oh, the joys of military living. But don’t despair — there are some careers that you can pursue that will be as mobile as you are.

If you haven’t yet started any kind of training, consider studying something that is fairly mobile like health care or computers. For example, dental hygienists are always in great demand within the military and in civilian practices. Nurses, especially those with special cardiac and med-flight training, are always in demand and the pay can be very good. Usually these nurses work as contract nurses and they are moved around from hospital to hospital within a city. Teaching may also be an option but new and substitute teachers always get paid the least and not every state will accept an out of state teacher's credential without retraining and certification.

If you already have a degree and want to get a job in your current field, remember that there are labor laws that protect you in the private sector. You are not obligated to disclose any personal information to an employer including your status as a military spouse.

This may be awkward but it is in your best interest to remain completely professional at work and never discuss personal matters or make “friends” at work. You will have plenty of friends through the military. If you freely provide personal information to your employer they can use it in their hiring and promotional decisions. It’s not fair but in their minds you might be a waste of time. Of course this is silly you could easily stay in the job as long as any other employee- especially if your spouse has seniority. However, expect to be discriminated against and keep your mouth shut about your personal life.

Another plan of attack is to adopt a completely mobile professional career. This is absolutely possible in computer and Internet based businesses. Other professions that are completely mobile these days include graphic designers, content producers, technical writers, photographers and editors. Some national chain companies are also receptive and flexible in order to attract and retain trained part-time employees. William Sonoma is one example of a corporation that has adopted this policy.

Consider becoming a permanent temporary worker. Many large temporary employment agencies like Kelley Services appreciate and can accommodate the moving that is associated with a military career. Often is you sign on with one of these companies in one city you can seamlessly transition into another branch in another city. With some planning you can do this without losing even one day of work. Temporary employment agencies will recognize that a military spouse has to be resourceful and agile to have a career. They are very happy to have you and will often go out of their way to keep you on as part of their staff regardless of where you live.

In short, as a military spouse you are going to have to be creative and flexible with your career to adapt to the constant moving that accompanies your spouse’s military career. Keep at it and don’t give up. You can have a career on the move that is just as rewarding and maybe a lot more interesting than it would be if your were not a military spouse.

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