As a military spouse of over 10 years, I have come to realize that finding meaningful career opportunities is a challenge, regardless of location. For example, I lived in one state in which a specific career required a Master’s degrees whereas in another state the same career required a Bachelor’s degree. Understanding the differences in each state can help you navigate your job search. I have empowered myself with research and knowledge regarding employment and education in each state where I have lived as well as overseas assignments. Congress has recognized these challenges with military spouse employment and developed programs to assist.
Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) is a program designed to assist spouses by providing resources and assistance in areas such as career exploration, education, training, licensing, employment readiness, and career connections (MilitaryOneSouce. mil). Spouses can earn a license, certificate, or Associate’s degree by using My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA). All branches of the military now provide military spouses up to $1000 for occupational state relicensing from their previous state to their new state. To learn more about the relicensing reimbursement process visit veterans.gov.
Understanding the job opportunities available in your area is vital. By doing a job search, you can obtain useful information in several areas. Networking can be a successful way to find your next career. LinkedIn, for example, is a great tool for learning about the area and connecting virtually with the local community. Military spouses are able to obtain a free LinkedIn premium account for one year with each military move as well as during their spouse’s transition out of the military.
Finding a career while your spouse is in the military has its challenges. By starting early with your job search, networking in the community, and using all available resources, you can gain meaningful employment.
“The real opportunity for success lies within the person and not the job” – Zig Ziglar