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!