By Jennifer Goodale
When I exited the Marine Corps in 2009, I was certain finding employment would be a breeze. I had a degree, seven years of service under my belt, and a willingness to start at the bottom if that’s what it would take. But I didn’t factor in my new role as a military spouse …
We moved to Fort Benning, Ga., for a six-month school. I found a minimum wage job at a bicycle shop on post and enjoyed a break from the stress of my former career. Then, we headed to Camp Lejeune, N.C. I applied for nearly every available position as a family readiness officer, never to make it past the initial interview. But what I didn’t do was take advantage of all the resources available to me as a military spouse.
So here’s a list of resources that might help you: DoD has many ways to access employment assistance virtually. While this list doesn’t cover all the resources available to our community, it’s a great start. If you see we’ve left one of your favorites off the list, email us at email@example.com so we can update. These resources were created specifically for military spouses, so let’s put them to good use:
MilitaryOneSource: Check out employment and education resources available only to military spouses. You’ll find tips on going back to school, financing your education, résumé building, interviewing, and more. They also offer career counseling.
Military Spouse Employment Partnership Career Portal: Gives you access to a job search feature, you can learn more about the MyCAA Scholarship program and more.
MySECO (Spouse Education & Career Opportunities): Provides access interactive tools and resources to boost your career search.
MOAA Career Center: Have your resume and LinkedIn profile reviewed, view the job board, tune into webinars, and attend events.
MOAA Download: Get your copy of MOAA’s Complete Employment Guide to Military Spouse Employment here.
Air Force Association (AFA): Find scholarship opportunities and transition support and services.
Association of the United States Army (AUSA): Source information on existing programs and find helpful guides to plan for retirement.
Blue Star Families Career Center: Build new skills, connect with fellow MilSpouses, learn facts and statistics about the issues military spouses face when it comes to employment, childcare and more, and see recommendations, tips, and resources for finding employment.
Easter Seals – Veteran Staffing Network: Find temporary to permanent, contract, and direct-hire placements on your way to a meaningful career path.
Hiring Our Heroes: Find local hiring and networking events exclusively for military spouses and access digital tools such as Career Spark or their résumé engine.
LiftFund: Launch your entrepreneurial dreams by getting a small business loan or accessing educational services to foster self-sufficiency.
In Gear Career: Now part of the Hiring Our Heroes’ Military Spouse Program, this resource provides military spouses with career development and networking opportunities in military communities around the world.
Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF): Offers educational and vocational training programs designed to build skills for success in business ownership, careers, and life.
MadSkills: Explore potential jobs and earn a living — in your current location — in the rapidly growing technology industry.
Military Spouse Corporate Career Network: Find job listings and ways to overcome hiring obstacles and secure employment while working toward future career development.
Military Spouse eMentor Program: Offers an information sharing, learning, and support community for military spouses.
Military Spouse Foundation: Provides an online career planning and entrepreneurial training center.
Military Spouse J.D. Network: Network with fellow military spouse attorneys and their supporters. Find helpful information regarding military spouse licensure.
Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY): Find inspiring stories of military spouses of all ranks and branches of service.
Military Spouse Preference Program: Have questions about how to work for the Federal Government? Start here.
National Military Family Association (NMFA): Provides scholarships for military spouses of all ranks, components, and services for education, licensure, certification, and now entrepreneurial support.
National Military Spouse Network: A great place for networking, mentoring and professional development resources.
The MilSpo Project: Empowerment and education of military spouse entrepreneurs through live leadership events, online resources, and local chapter meet-ups.
The Military Spouse Advocacy Network: Get tips on military spouse employment and education from an organization dedicated to promoting strong military families through education, empowerment, and support.
The Other Side of Service: Join a global community for professional military spouses formed to leverage the success of one spouse in order to inspire, motivate, and empower others.
The Rosie Network: Offers entrepreneurial programs and support services for military spouse and veteran business owners.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Veterans Business Development: Access tools and assistance necessary to establish a sustainable business that moves with you.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS): Find programs, educational assistance and support for those who have lost a loved one serving in the armed forces.
Jennifer Goodale is a former Marine and spouse to an active duty Marine officer.