Hiring Military Spouses is Good Business for the Global Marketplace

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Military Spouses often leave the jobs they love for the soldier, sailor, airmen, or marine they love even more. Hiring Military Spouses is Good Business. The consequences affect every aspect of life– including our careers. However, it’s in these transitions, that we find new knowledge, strengths, talents, and skills we didn’t know we possessed or had to learn to survive– to thrive under unusual circumstances.

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woman-on-laptop-with-child Hiring Military Spouses is Good Business for the Global Marketplace
Military Spouses often leave the jobs they love for the soldier, sailor, airmen, or marine they love even more. The consequences affect every aspect of life– including our careers. However, it’s in these transitions, that we find new knowledge, strengths, talents, and skills we didn’t know we possessed or had to learn to survive– to thrive under unusual circumstances.

Hiring a Military Spouse is Good Business

Flexible Employment Opportunities

Why don’t companies don’t make it a practice of hiring military spouses? It wasn’t long ago that many companies didn’t offer employment opportunities that were substantive to military spouses due to our transient nature. Fortunately, the tide is turning and companies are recognizing that military spouses offer a diversity, born out of that transience, that far exceeds the gaps in employment and multiple fields and skillsets they employ.

Military Spouses…

are adaptable. Ask us how we’ve overcome an obstacle and you’ll be amazed as the varied responses;

offer a broad skill set. It’s a common perception that everything breaks just after the warranty expires or the service member deploys. This offers many opportunities for growth in everything from car maintenance to plumbing. Many of the skill we possess are not addressed on the typical job application or resume;

know how to budget. Having lived in remote locations, we’ve had to learn to live on a single paycheck and make it stretch to accommodate basic living as well as travel;

want to work. While we are a transient population, we are at an even pace with the civilian world in job turnover. Chances are you’ll get the same 2 years from both us and our civilian counterparts;

understand community building. One of my favorite aspects of military life is the communities and friendships we build out of necessity and desire– creating a common culture or sense of belonging. They are strong bonds that are strong, loyal, and long-lasting.

Military Deployments

Deployments are logistical moves that involve the military member and/ or units without the family. They usually involve extended training to military installations that are dangerous or do not provide services or accommodations for the family. Deployments can be tough because many of the details are classified which means you really don’t know where your spouse it, what they are doing, or exactly how dangerous his or her environment is.

The first one is usually the worse, it was for me. Our children were very young and it was difficult to explain where daddy was without upsetting them. I had to manage the house, pay the bills, shuffle kids to and from activities. And I had to do it far from friends or family. Hiring military spouses makes sense because of our diverse skillsets.

military-spouse-greece Hiring Military Spouses is Good Business for the Global Marketplace

 Living Overseas & Living Abroad

Living abroad adds a different level of skills to our coping repertoire. We learn to be sensitive to other cultures, religions, and languages. We have to adapt to drastic lifestyle changes and communicate in unfamiliar surroundings– more than like in an entirely new language. And again, we have to do this far from home and sometimes without our significant other because they can and are often deployed during an overseas assignment. Living overseas is also referred to as a PCS. Military spouses are well-rounded and resilient.

Permanent Change of Station (PCS)

PCSs can be as short as 6 months or up to 3 years or longer with extensions. Like living abroad, these moves involve uprooting the entire family, our belongings, pets– our entire life– and moving across the country or across the world.

It is often left to us to execute the logistics of transportation and move, find a new home, school enrollments, locate new doctors and dentists. We do all the above while trying to keep our families happy, healthy, and hopeful that they will love the new home, new friends, and new life just as much as the old ones.

Multiple PCS moves that take us around the world, deployments that seem to reduce us to single parenthood, and all the stresses that come with having our loved one far from home–often in dangerous situations– offer unique opportunities for growth.

BLD160687 Hiring Military Spouses is Good Business for the Global Marketplace
Living abroad adds a different level of skills to our coping repertoire. We learn to be sensitive to other cultures, religions, and languages. We have to adapt to drastic lifestyle changes and communicate in unfamiliar surroundings– more than like in an entirely new language.

Why Hiring a Military Spouse Can Benefit Employers

1. We can save businesses money. I have negotiated a higher salary that doesn’t include health insurance. While that’s more money in my purse, it’s even a larger saving to the company.

2. We have the degrees. The military spouse population continues to be the most overqualified and underemployed sector of the population.

3. We are diverse. Many people think of the military spouse as one big homogenous population. We are far from that. Military spouses come from every state in the union and many foreign countries. We have different, lifestyles, religions, languages, backgrounds, and interests.

4. We can handle stress. Are you paying attention?

5. Military spouses understand volunteerism and service. Our entire lives center around the fact that our service member is serving his country and many of us feel we are an extension of him or her.

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Comments

  1. Richard Bivins

    My mom remarried a navy man and had to relocate nearly every 3 years and it was so frustrating for her to have to find new employment each time. It can take a toll on you. She eventually decided that turning her crafting into a side business was more rewarding and less stressful. She would teach crochet to other military wives and sell her creations at craft fairs and studios. It worked out for her that way.

  2. Wanderlust Vegans

    I didn’t even think that it would be hard for you to find work. Or that you would be giving up your dream job to follow around your husband. I would follow my husband to the moon and back. I guess to me giving up a job for the man I married, would be a piece of cake.

  3. Carol Cassara

    You guys have been through a lot and most of the experiences and life lessons that you learn along the way can be used in an office environment. These are more than enough reasons to hire a military spouse.

  4. Elizabeth O.

    I think it’s your ability to adapt and to manage pressure and stress that makes you great employees. It’s really nice to have military spouses working for you.

  5. Emma

    Ir must be really touch to move around so often and to be away from your partner so much. Im glad that more companies are seeing Military Spouses as a great resource for them. There are definitely many plus points to hiring one!

  6. Krysten

    It sounds like Military Spouses are pretty much ready for everything. That is needed in the workplace as so many people do not know how to cope with change!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Like any other group… not all but many. But yes we are given many opportunities to gain new skills and overcome all kinds of obstacles.

  7. Jodie Whitham

    Some good tips. I’m not a military spouse but have moved a lot, and followed where family have moved and where jobs. I feel this doesn’t always look good to employers x

    1. duffelbagspouse

      No it doesn’t look good to prospective employers. But they should dat least understand why and not deduct points for it.

  8. Jen

    This has never occurred to me before. Thanks for the enlightening article. I agree with you on the points you’ve given. I also believe that military spouses have the strength unlike any other. Keep on inspiring other military spouses and broadening the minds of others!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I don’t think you are alone. As I said in the post, I don’t think many spouses put a lot of thought into it until after they marry and start moving.

  9. Ashley

    These are all great reasons to hire military spouses. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for the to find work. Between childcare issues and never knowing how long you will be there, can make it difficult.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Ashley, I truly hope the tide is turning. The old job market was so static, but there are so many employment opportunities that are location independent and some that can be.

  10. Jay Colby

    This was an interesting article , before reading t=I was not aware of the prejudice military spouse can face in the workforce. I’m thankful you wrote this post to make us all of this issue.

  11. David

    I am sorry that people would have prejudice against hiring military spouses. That is sad that they wouldnt. I can imagine there are many amazing things you could contribute to work.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I don’t think I’d call it prejudice. I think it can be rectified with a little education and knowledge about what the military spouse has to offer. I truly hope the tide is turning. The old job market was so static, but there are so many employment opportunities that are location independent and some that can be.

  12. Nellwyn

    It must be challenging to be a military spouse but I can definitely see how those challenges make you stronger and a great asset to any workplace!

  13. Kim Andrysczyk

    We live near a military base…and have lots of military spouses who volunteer with our homeschool support group. I agree they are awesome workers and a great contribution to our community!

  14. Jessi Joachim

    I have a good friend who had to forego her career when her husband was stationed in Japan. They are back in the states now, but she still is having a hard time finding a job.

  15. LaDonna Dennis

    Nice job. It’s so important to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative. Yes, it’s hard being a military spouse but, you’re doing an amazing job. Keep it up.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thanks Ladonna, I learned a long time ago, no one wants to hear you whine or present problems without a solution. It’s like asking someone how are you, all you really want to hear is I’m fine. lol

  16. Becky Miller

    I have many friends and family members that are military spouses and face these challenges head on. I will be sharing this with one of my best friends/ an amazing military wife.

  17. Author Brandi Kennedy

    I love how you pointed out the aspects of military life that have been positive for you as a woman and as a wife. It would be easy to get caught up in how hard everything is and how the changes of military life challenge everything about the American culture of settling down and growing roots, but you always stay positive and uplifted!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Its a tradeoff. No we don’t have roots in one community, we end up having roots in many. Its hard not to get attached through church, schools, friends and organizations we join– many times we keep those attachments long after we move on..

  18. Scott

    We just had a retired military couple move in next door. He found a job with a local contractor, but she (as the spouse) has been having difficulty.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      The situation is different for retired military (as it should be). My husband has been headhunted for years even though he hasn’t been looking for a job.

  19. Amber Myers

    This made me smile! My husband has 4 years left in the Air Force and then he’ll be looking for a job. I hope someone hires him. He is so reliable and dedicated to his job.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Hi Amber. The story is quite different for service members if they can successfully translate their military jobs into a civilian one. They are highly respected and recruited. I am sure he will be very successful.

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