Tools for Service Providers

7 Tips for Finding a Job Overseas as a Military Spouse

As you start your overseas job search, you'll want to gather as much information as you can. You'll also want to put yourself in a frame of mind that takes into account the challenge ahead. When you're looking for work overseas, it's important to:

  • Contact the Family Employment Readiness Program or Family Service Center at your new overseas installation to get a good idea of the job market in the area. If you're moving to a joint services area, be sure to contact the other service branches to learn about their opportunities. For example, if your spouse is a Marine, you may still take advantage of Air Force services — and job opportunities — on a nearby Air Force installation.
  • Don't be a job snob. Understand that options may be limited and be willing to consider a different career field or opportunity. A job that may seem menial can lead to a whole new career path with excellent promotion potential. Also, think about volunteering in a field that interests you. Networking in a volunteer position may help you find a paying job.
  • Be patient. Finding a job overseas may take time — more time than it would in the states. Research your options ahead of time so you can hit the ground running once you arrive at your new duty station.
  • Be creative. You may not find exactly what you want in a job overseas. So it's important to be ready to think about other career paths — perhaps creating a job or a business for yourself, volunteering, or going back to school to earn a degree.
  • Be financially prepared. Before you move, be prepared to live without a second income for an extended period of time. For most spouses, it takes up to six months — or longer — to find a job overseas.
  • Research the job market before you arrive. Gather as much information as possible before you move. Consider all your choices — competitive civil service employment, Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) employment, defense contractors, and off-installation employment. And be sure to visit installation websites and contact friends who already live in the area.
  • Check out the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP). MSEP helps connect military spouses with employers worldwide who are interested in providing long-term, meaningful employment opportunities. Call 1-855-835-6763 or visit the MSEPJobs portal.


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