It’s time to explore a new career, but what do you do first? Matching your interests, skills and goals while pursuing an occupation compatible with your mobile military life is easier than you think. Here are a few steps that will help you research and define your career path.
Do Your Homework
First, do your homework. The Department of Defense and the military service branches offer a full range of programs that can be accessed online, by phone or in person.
The Spouse Education and Career Opportunities, or SECO, Program
SECO offers military spouses comprehensive education and career support, including career coaches who can help with:
- Career exploration — identifying your skills, interests and aptitudes, and selecting an interesting and rewarding career.
- Education, training and licensure — acquiring the right education, technical training, license or credential for your career goals.
- Employment readiness — resources that can help you brush up on current trends, write a resume, network and hone your interviewing skills.
- Career connections — opening the door to opportunities and connections through Military Spouse Employment Partnership, USAJOBS.gov, CareerOneStop and more.
You can contact a SECO career coach online or by telephone: 800-342-9647. You can also locate your Employment Assistance Program office through your installation’s Military and Family Support Center.
Spouse Ambassador Network
The Spouse Ambassador Network helps military spouses reach their career goals by providing:
- Entrepreneurial support
Identify Fastest-growing Careers
If you are about to enter or re-enter the workforce, you may want to look for a career that will be adding new jobs over the next several years. You can find information about the fastest-growing careers — like those in health care and social assistance (personal care aides, physical therapists and registered nurses) and business services, like convention and event planning — the median pay, and education and training requirements from the following sources:
Consider Federal Service Employment
As a military spouse, federal civil service employment may be more accessible than you think. Understanding the benefits and rules of the complex federal civil service hiring system can help you decide if federal employment is right for you and which jobs to pursue. Use these resources in your job search:
- Programs for military spouses (Noncompetitive Appointment of Certain Military Spouses) program and the Priority Placement Program for Military Spouses)
- Your military support services
Sometimes volunteering at an organization is a perfect step into the working world. With a little foresight and thought, you can plan your volunteer activities in a way that can help you find a paying job when the time’s right. Volunteering allows you to learn new skills and build on existing ones, get valuable experience in different fields, network with potential employers or references, and get access to formal training and attend conferences.
Begin this exciting new chapter of your life with the right information. The job opportunities are out there if you explore your options and use your resources.