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.

A Special Encounter With A Local Business Owner

This morning I had a scheduled meeting with a local business owner here in Fort Bragg whose family happened to originate from Greece. This gentleman described the trek they made nearly 40 years ago to our great Nation! The owner, we’ll call him Cristo, sat down in a tiny booth located at the back-end of the restaurant where we began talking about the photos on the walls within this local family mom and pop shop.

We discussed the history behind the photos, and his families long journey to the United States. He pointed to one particular photo of the village his mother grew up in and spoke with such unwavering pride when exclaiming that he was the first generation in his family to be born and raised in America!

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Without hesitation Cristo immediately went into his thoughts about the media frenzy surrounding the separation of children from their parents at the border. He held back nothing as he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “My family came here legally, I have no sympathy for those choosing to break the law.” We then dove into the medias sad role in furthering the divisive rhetoric.

While I persisted in saying that the media was the primary source of the charade in recent weeks, he couldn’t have disagreed more. He exclaimed, this is not an issue of the media, but of our education system. Cristo went on to state that his three younger sons have made their way through both the private and public school systems and that, all three have had teachers preaching political agendas within the school. He frustratingly told me that he does not pay for Biology and Math teachers to force their political beliefs on his sons.

We had a long discussion regarding the now seen byproduct of the liberal indoctrination/victimization mentality preached within the public and private sectors of education. We further expressed a joint concern over the effect that this has had, and will continue to have, on our youth.

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I recalled the very permanent memory of a professor who demanded that the American Dream was dead. She, along with several other teachers and educative members of the University insisted upon a highly polarized political viewpoint. One that was not warranted, and was undoubtedly not supported by the University itself. The issue I have with the public school system however extends far beyond this one professor.

One parent from a school that I will refrain from listing said this;

We’re tired of the school trying to indoctrinate our children to believe what they believe rather than teaching critical thinking and actual course work. We’re tired of our kids coming home feeling defeated because their beliefs are forbidden at school and they will be ostracized if they speak out.

I can unfortunately attest to the fact that these types of school interactions happen far too often. The day after the election results were announced, myself and two others sat in the front of the class. We were known as supporters of the Republican party, and while we sometimes disagreed with President Trumps policies and methods, we had no problem advocating a desire to see him succeed. We were called crazy, stupid, and a few other not so nice names that I won’t bother listing.

The teachers were crying (no joke) and telling students to “just stay calm,” as if the Country was crumbling before our very own eyes. Blatantly stating that the University did not support the results of the election, nor did it acknowledge the outcome as policy. Teachers time and time again stated that he was “not my president.” It was absolutely ludicrous!

An excerpt given by a College Fix article really drives home the point in that;

It’s no surprise that a system that is state-funded and state-run advocates for a bigger government.The public school system is a microcosm of the socialist system, one that is bureaucratic, wasteful, and does not serve its original and intended purpose. Education is the cornerstone of Western society, a place where our youth are taught to think broadly and develop their own unique worldview. Instead, we are often taught what to believe instead of how to think.

While Cristo and I agreed that the education system needs serious reform, it’s no secret that nothing changes overnight. And that, if the system were to ever change, it would take decades to reach sizable reform. So we concluded the discussion on the note that we would just have to remain persistent in our efforts to enforce the code of ethics and challenged thinking from home. While it doesn’t fix the problem, we can at least manage on the home front.

I made my way out of the restaurant and as I looked back to Cristo he said, “If there’s any living proof of the American Dream, it’s me… and let me tell you, it’s not dead. Thank you for the reminder that there are individuals like yourself still out there.” And we went on to continue our day. He left me with a feeling of hope that there are more of us out there than what we see on social media and the news. I hope this acted as a reminder to you that, while we may remain silent, the hard-working, patriotic, men and women of America are not in fact a dying breed.

 

 

 

What’s So Bad About Patriotism?

via Opinion 

Who would have thought that we would one day live in a society where Patriotism would be so highly frowned upon and despised? And even more so that anti-nationalism would be such a trend. The deterioration of patriotism can be seen steadily declining in recent years. According to the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center, from as late as 2003, Americans were the most patriotic people on earth. So what happened?

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As of today, only 34% are extremely proud of this great Nation. One could pin a direct relation between these numbers and the lack of American History being taught in schools. I can vividly remember growing up in the public school system and studying our history as a Nation. Perhaps, I’m one of the last few to make it before we changed focus from a national identity to a globalist one.

Now we live in a world where deliberately insulting the Nation, one that has brought us the freedoms we enjoy, is more common place than showcasing gratitude towards it. This, partnered with an increasingly hate filled rhetoric by political figures, has created the perfect storm. In an article written by the New York Times, a survey said that “In general, millennials have more appetite for egalitarian principles than older people.”

Egalitarianism, holistically speaking, is fine. However, there are two variations to this word that are more often used. Economic egalitarianism and the egalitarianism in the form of equal opportunity. Let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with equal opportunity.  What has became a more popular rhetoric, however, is that of economic egalitarianism. Where individuals feel that they are entitled. Entitled to money, success, etc. And what we are experiencing because of this mindset is a rapid decline in patriotism when the government doesn’t grant handouts, paired with an equally startling rise in self entitlement and laziness.

The beauty of patriotism in America that my generation seems to have lost sight of is something called “The American Dream.” AKA work hard and get rewarded. Aspire to a better life. And you know what’s a shame? It’s being taught in schools as a dead notion. I remember being told by a college professor that “the American Dream isn’t real.” What a sad shame that must be to truly believe such a thing.. as she sat there, in a University classroom, living in a free Country, surrounded by men and women of many races, teaching us (BS I might add). And this is the problem with the world we live in.

The Founding Fathers created the Constitution to act as a protection to the American Dream in that, every American has the right to achieve their fullest potential. To further contribute their “utmost to society.” It was their belief that, in order to ensure national progress, we must protect citizens their right to improve their lives. This is a fundamentally different approach than that of economic egalitarianism.

 

I’d like to end this post with a few of my final thoughts, starting with this…

The world does not owe you anything.

Not money, respect, health, happiness. None of it.

If you’re feeling sorry for yourself, stop. Work hard and reap the benefits, play the victim and plan to lose. If there’s anyone who owes you a thing it’s yourself, so start acting like it and stop asking for handouts. Just because we honor hard work and deny those who wish to align with a victim mentality doesn’t mean that this great Nation isn’t great anymore. It means you need to reassess what you’re asking for.

Our society could gain a lot from a change in mindset. A change in priorities.

Now I’m no person of major influence, I know, but I can tell you that what I plan to do is preach these words until the day I die. Preach them to my children and to those around me. If you’ve been given a tough hand, use that hardship to motivate you in the now and forge ahead! It’s a mindset, it’s a lifestyle, it’s being an American.

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