Over the past several years now, the number of available job opportunities has been rising, helping push the unemployment rate to record lows – down to just 3.6% in October based on the latest figures from the Labor Department.
But the job search hasn’t come easily for everyone. Case in point: military spouses like yourself or one of your loved ones. According to a 2018 poll performed by Blue Star Families, nearly one third of these husbands or wives are completely unemployed, and more than 55% are underemployed. In other words, they’re employed, but their work doesn’t match their skill set.
Part of the reason why stems from the realities of what it’s like to be a part of a military family. For example, your family may frequently move from one base to another. You may also have licenses and certifications (such as a real estate license or nursing certification) that enable you to work in one state, but not the one to which you’re relocating. Finding adequate, affordable child care can be another hurdle of what may feel like a never-ending obstacle course to gainful employment.
“There are resources available that can help you or your spouse chart a career plan.”
All this being said, there are places and resources you can turn to that can help you or your partner chart a career plan. This may enable you to take advantage of job opportunities that are ideal for you or your spouse’s job history and level of education, and apply for a position when jobs open up. Those resources are quite numerous, but we’ll list some of the best ones below:
1. Military OneSource
Funded and operated by the federal government – specifically the U.S. Department of Defense – Military OneSource is an online resource that serves as a military spouse employment partner, connecting you with a number of companies who are on the hiring hunt. In many ways, Military OneSource is a one-stop solution, because it provides assistance above and beyond military spouse employment. They can also assist with tasks such as tax services, information on deployment, finding education solutions and health and wellness coaching. Above all else, though, it serves as an online career center that connects you or your partner to dozens of employers who have positions to fill. The website is quite extensive so feel free to visit to get a better understanding of the tools at your disposal.
2. Hiring Our Heroes
Billed as the most effective veteran employment nonprofit in the U.S., Hire Heroes USA has provided a helping hand to the tens of thousands of military families like yours who are looking for employment opportunities. Indeed, since the nonprofit was founded back in 1992, the company has helped over 38,000 soldiers and/or their spouses land a job and served as a resume builder for more than 65,000, by helping write and format resumes so applicants can get noticed more quickly by recruiters. Partnering with a variety of household name companies – such as Boeing, USAA, Walmart Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation and Men’s Wearhouse, among others – the mission of Hire Heroes USA is simple: empowering military members and their spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. Based on the above numbers, it’s pretty clear that the Alpharetta, Georgia-based nonprofit has come through in this regard. Discover more by checking them out online.
3. Talk to as many friends as possible
You’d be surprised by the doors that can open up simply by opening up about yourself. The job search can be extraordinarily frustrating and it’s often something that people avoid talking about, even with family members or friends. It’s helpful to know that virtually everyone has gone through the stresses related to the inability to find a job, whether part-time or full-time. Don’t be afraid to broach the topic with friends, especially those on-base with your or who have a military background. They may be able to provide you with suggestions based on what they did to overcome underemployment or unemployment. Or, even better, they may know of open positions that would be a good fit for you. The solution may be right under your nose!
4. National Military Spouse Network
NMSN is a mentoring and professional development organization that uses the power of networking to help military spouses achieve their career aspirations. NMSN does this by relying on tried and true strategies including mentoring, quality content, annual career summits and conferencing, while also drawing from the expertise of academics and life-long members of the military. NMSN also has an online community aspect that allows members to share their experiences so others may learn from them. The challenges don’t end once military spouses start a job. There’s also the concern of balancing it all so other responsibilities don’t get neglected. The NMSN community of contributors may offers insight into work-life balance as well.
5. Leverage mobile apps
Apps like Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor, among others, send push notifications to users when jobs matching their qualifications and location are posted. Other apps, like DocuSign, can provide help with the application process. For instance, you may need your spouse’s signature when applying for certain benefits, such as health insurance. If your spouse is deployed, DocuSign lets your wife or husband pass along their signature online – even if stationed overseas. This can be done on virtually any device, too, even if your spouse owns a Samsung and you have an iPhone. You can download the app free of charge in the App Store or through Google Play.
Finding a job is similar to applying for a loan: It’s a process. These resources can help make that process faster and more stress-free. Omni Financial is proud to support military families in their efforts, and we may have an opening right now if you’re interested working with us as an associate! Check our career page for the most up-to-date information. Some of our more common postings are for customer service representatives and credit specialists.
We wish you the very best of luck in the job hunt!
Omni Financial does not endorse, recommend or imply affiliation with the listed companies, events or organizations.