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Job Hunting as an Army Wife

Moving to a new place where you don’t know anyone and having to restart your career can be a daunting task – but it is doable. One of your first resources when it comes to job hunting should be on post. There are a wide variety of jobs from those that require a high school diploma to those that require a Master’s degree or higher. Working on post can give you the much needed flexibility when it comes to your husband’s schedule. Your boss on an Army post will likely be much more understanding about your husband’s upcoming deployment than a civilian employer will be – she may even be the one who will be going through the deployment with you.

But, it is also possible to find a job off post as well. If at all possible during the interview, try to avoid saying that your husband is in the military. I’ve been on several interviews where they knew that he was and I was asked, “How long will you actually work here since your husband is in the military?” To which I really wanted to reply, “Well, I don’t have my crystal ball here today…” But my response was normally more along the lines of “As you know, my husband defends our country and he must go where he is needed to be sure we can all continue to enjoy our freedoms. While I can’t guarantee an amount of time I will be here, no more than I could if my husband wasn’t in the military, I can guarantee that I will give 110% to this job and you’ll be very happy with my performance.” That tends to move the conversation along! The key is to focus on the positive contributions you can make rather than the fact that you’ve had to change jobs every two years due to PCS moves.

I recently picked up these tips from another wife. Once you have been offered the job, you may want to explain that when and if your husband is deployed, you will need the flexibility to be able to take phone calls at work. Your husband will have no control over the time he is able to call (in most cases) and keeping your lines of communication open is important. You may be able to work something out along the lines of you will not take your morning break, etc. so you can be excused when you get the phone call. You may also know that you are a puffy eyed, red-nosed lady the day after deployment and therefore need a day before having to go back to work. Whatever issues you have like this that may come up, be sure to work them out beforehand so there are no surprises.

Some companies are very military oriented and go out of their way to hire military spouses. Home Depot and Sears come to mind immediately. There are many other companies that are military friendly as well.

When it comes to searching for a job, there are many online resources: Monster and CareerBuilder are two huge sites with thousands of job listings. Many newspapers now also have their classifieds online. The Department of Labor also has job listings that can be accessed online.

Temporary agencies can also be a great resource to find a temp to hire position. In addition to this, many Army wives have decided to go the route of home based businesses.

Good luck in your job search and don’t forget to work on your job resume too!

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Vanessa November 29, 2010, 2:46 am

    I married my soldier about a month ago and i had several questions about the job hunting…he is in deployment at the moment.Is there anyway i can start my job hunting now or should i wait till he comes back from deployment once we are actually in housing?

    • Stacey November 29, 2010, 4:31 pm

      If you’re in the area, there’s no need to wait in my opinion.

  • Shannon January 6, 2011, 9:11 pm

    Vanessa, I’d also say that if you’re looking at all into employment with the military, do it soon! A friend of ours who is a spouse got his dream job working with the military as a civilian 18 MONTHS after he applied for it, without a word either way in the interim year and a half. I’ve resolved to start applying for jobs at least a year before any moves overseas now.

  • Katie January 4, 2012, 11:59 am

    I am now an Army Fiancee. My soldier is currently going through AIT and will graduate that in May, which is when we are planning to get married. He does not have orders yet. I have a teaching license in TN and I am wondering what sort of process would I have to go through to be able to teach wherever we end up. If it is in the states, I’m assuming I could just take the PRAXIS test for licensure in whatever state, and go from there. But what if it’s overseas? Could I teach at a school on the base? How does all that work? I am willing to look for other kinds of work if I have to, but since I have a lot of teaching experience now, I thought I would start there. Anyone a teacher? Any thoughts?

  • Bilqees November 20, 2013, 5:06 pm

    Hi I am a army wife. My husband is currently in basic training and we do not have orders yet. I am currently a substitute teacher and a college student. I am wondering if I should transfer to a college where we would be stationed? What process do I have to go through for a substitute position on post.

  • shalonda blankenship February 8, 2014, 5:34 pm

    hi my name is Shalonda and I will become a military wife to a Sergeant in the U.S. ARMY in the next few weeks he will be granted a short leave so that we can be married and I plan to go back with him and this is something new to me completely I need all the info I can get about being a military wife I am 32 years old and i have worked all my adult life to take care of myself so this will be new to completely my fiancé and I are a interracial couple too so we are both about to venture into complete new areas and well I’m sort of feisty and use to not listening to anyone my fiancé is a sergeant and take control kind of person so these are things I will need help on I know this is a lot that i ask but i ran across your website andIliked the variety of things you have on here that is why im asking for more info/advice
    Thanks in Advance Shalonda Blankenship

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