The Battle of Finding Work As a Military Spouse

Military Spouse

It’s been almost a year since I took the plunge and moved myself across the country to North Carolina! Everyone always talks about making big moves, all the changes they encounter, and how it’s great for growth. But rarely is it ever talked about the struggles in finding a new niche, a new job, etc. I’ve spent this past year on cloud nine since Roy and I have been engaged and now married! By far the best thing to ever happen to me. But, alongside the highs have been lows. Today I’m here to talk with you about one of those lows and further how I managed.

Even as a graduate from a state school with a degree, I’ve still found it nearly impossible to locate a career building role. It’s already an increasingly tough market being in a military town. Did you know that 52 percent of spouses stated they bring in zero income for their families? According to a national study done back in August of this year, spouses discussed the struggles in finding work. Any work, not just career building roles, but jobs in general. So what do we do? We look into remote roles that allow us to work from anywhere. But with so many in search of said roles, the competition is high and if you’re not coming into it with a Masters, 6+ years experience, etc. than you barely stand a chance. I’m not discouraging you from applying, but this is our reality!

The other struggle in this is that companies simply don’t want to hire someone who will only be stationed somewhere for one to two years max. We are looked to as more of a liability than anything else. Leaving even those of us with degrees, ambition, drive, etc. to have an incredibly tough time breaking into the workforce. By no means am I trying to play victim. I am however hoping to point out a simple truth, and that is that we are faced with a real problem. Without spousal support and backing, our military simply wouldn’t be what it is today. Sacrifice is a daily choice, but we do it because we love our men and women of service. We love this country and want to see it thrive. Why is it that we aren’t supported in the same light?

I ask this question to genuinely start a discussion. Maybe there needs to be some reassessing in this system. Maybe there needs to be reform.

So, how do we manage in the meantime? Well for me I’ve taken a job that simply pays the bills. It’s not a career building position, and it’s most definitely not where I want to be. If I’m being honest, I don’t really know what my “dream job” would look like. I’ve never been able to figure it out. My purpose has always been to help others. I love to connect, share, listen and empathize. As I fumble through these years I’m sure I’ll look back one day and be thankful for all the chaos. After all, it’s only our twenty somethings. We’re not supposed to have everything figured out yet. Good things take time, and I know something bigger is in store for me. I just have to wait.