This is a guest post by Kara Rajchel, freelance web designer & content writer. Thank you, Kara, for sharing your job search story!
It’s inevitable. Military spouses know it’s only a matter of time before orders will be handed out and they will be moving to who knows where. A month after my husband returned from Afghanistan we were moving from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. This was our first PCS, we nailed out the details with Traffic Management Office to have our belongings moved and managed to find a place to live at our new duty station.
We arrived, closed on our very first house and settled in. We were now in the greater Philadelphia area. Now, I was faced with the obstacle of finding a job (and not just any job mind you, I wanted a career-building job) in an unfamiliar area, with no local contacts. What to do? Here’s how I found a new job at my new duty station.
Step 1: Update Your Information
The first thing I did was update my resume. I made special care to update all of my contact information on my resume as well as on internet job sites. Make sure your resume is free of typos and all information is accurate; enlist the aid of professionals if you are not sure.
Step 2: Find & Apply For Jobs
I started looking for jobs two places I was already familiar with: Careerbuilder and Monster. I felt like online job sites were only one part of the process. This duty station was Inspector-Instructor duty, there was no local USMC base. I was familiar with Marine Corps Community Services, but the nearest base was a joint base – there was no MCCS! I reached out to my military spouse support network and they pointed me to Non-appropriated fund (NAF) Jobs where I could look for jobs on our nearest base. Additionally, I reached out to the few people I knew in the area in hopes my own personal network would help me find opportunities for work.
I also worked with temporary and placement agencies. I was contacted by several agencies looking to fill positions. Not all of them ended up working out, however I did get a temp job with Kelly Services, which has offices and placements worldwide. Temping is certainly a viable option for military spouses. I have worked with various temp agencies in the past and it does work best if you are in frequent contact with the agency so they know you are available and interested in finding work.
Step 3: Persevere & Profit
Job hunting isn’t easy. It’s very easy to get discouraged and feel like you’ll never get hired! It took me nearly six months to get a job. I sent out hundreds of applications, and had several interviews in person and over the phone before I finally got an offer. The key is to not give up!
Job hunting in this economic climate is challenging enough, but adding in the stresses and challenges of frequent moves of military life doesn’t make it easier. Ultimately my job hunt brought me into an unlikely place: working for myself as a freelancer. Being a military spouse entrepreneur has its own set of challenges but that’s an article for another time. In the meantime, good luck with your job hunt and check out these resources!
Resources for Military Spouse Job Hunters:
Kara Rajchel is a freelance web designer & content writer. She is married to an active duty Marine and they are currently stationed in the Greater Philadelphia Area. When she’s not designing, Kara can be found playing Massively Multiplayer Online Games, drawing, playing with her cats or dreaming of her home state of Vermont.
Schofield Strategies offers guest posts on our blog. Kara Rajchel is not a client of Schofield Strategies and Schofield Strategies does not endorse any of the links in this guest post.
Note: This blog post only touches on certain aspects of this topic and is not a comprehensive list. This blog post is an educational and informational resource for job seekers and is not a substitute for working with a resume writer or other professional. See our Terms and Conditions for additional information.