I attended my very first spouse group meeting this month and I cannot recommend it enough. I was very lucky to find these ladies in a Facebook group, as it is not an official military organized group.
This is one of the benefits of social media. I connected with another spouse while my husband was away at Officer Candidate School (OCS) and she was a member of this Facebook group and invited me and a few other significant others to join as well. I have gained so much knowledge and comfort from being a part of these groups.
I have seen so many spouses receive answers on everything from quality places to get your nails or hair done, housing, finding child care, getting car repairs completed, and the question that is on every military spouse’s mind: where can I find employment! In fact, this was a very hot topic at the spouse’s group meeting I attended. And here I thought I might be the only one struggling!
There is no denying that continuing your own career while simultaneously supporting your spouse’s military profession is a challenge; however, it is not impossible.
Before my husband left for OCS I had just been promoted at work and I was networking and engaging with some pretty important people in my field that I could see had the potential to catapult my career tremendously. I had concerns about what a big move might mean to me professionally, and there was one on the horizon as we prepared to leave for flight school in the next six months.
Regardless, I still worked my tail off, continued to network. Even knowing I would be leaving my position shortly and would not be able to take advantage of some of the positions available in the next year.
I did this for multiple reasons:
- Work Ethic-My own work ethic and value I place on my performance.
- References-I wanted to be able to use coworkers and employers as references when applying for future positions.
- Burn Bridges -NEVER burn a bridge. You never know when you might end up back in an old location, and it’s a small world. You could move to a different country and someone might still know someone there who you could use as a connection.
Since, our move to Pensacola, Florida, I have taken a different direction with my career than the course I was on, which is exciting and scary at the same time. Being a military spouse definitely comes with a set of challenges, but fortunately there are also a number of resources and benefits available to help you overcome. So you can be successful in your life and your career.
A great place to start is your Fleet and Family Support Center, Family Readiness Group, Family Readiness Officer, Airman and Family Readiness Center, no matter what branch you and your spouse fall under, there is a center you can reach out to for support and awareness of the resources right for you and your career.