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MOAA Brings 'Keeping a Career on the Move' Spouse Symposium to Japan

MOAA Brings 'Keeping a Career on the Move' Spouse Symposium to Japan
Eryn Wagnon, MOAA's director of government relations for military family policy and spouse programs, leads a discussion during the “Keeping a Career on the Move” Military Spouse Symposium in Okinawa, Japan. (MOAA staff photo)

Okinawa, Japan — MOAA’s Spouse Programs team headed out to Okinawa in late February to host our award-winning “Keeping a Career on the Move” Military Spouse Symposium in partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, a nationwide initiative to help spouses and veterans find employment.  

 

“It is important to bring this workshop to isolated or distant locations like Okinawa where there are a finite number of federal jobs,” said Amanda Centers, MOAA’s vice president of development.

 

“It’s hard to stay with a U.S. employer because you are overseas, and you don’t have any networks in the local economy of a foreign country,” said Centers, who manages The MOAA Foundation, which funds the organization’s spouse programs.

 

Military spouses attended a full-day professional development workshop on maintaining a professional career despite the obstacles posed by the military.

 

[RELATED: MOAA's Military Spouse Resources]

 

“We engaged with military spouses to both encourage them and equip them with information and techniques about how they can overcome the career challenges they face,” said Capt. Patricia Cole, USN (Ret), program director for MOAA’s career transition services.  “We are inspired every day by their enthusiasm and 'can-do' attitude in the face of what are often significant obstacles.”

 

“Our goal was to show them how they can successfully create and keep a career on the move within the military lifestyle and culture,” Cole said.

 

The event includes discussion and curriculum on networking, creating an elevator pitch, and making a standout LinkedIn profile.

 

Participants have the opportunity to hear directly from employers on what they are looking for in candidates and how to navigate the federal hiring process. They also learn from fellow military spouses who have been successful in keeping a career while on the move.

 

Check out MOAA.org/spousesymposium to stay up to date on our upcoming symposium dates and locations. Not at one of the installations on the list? No worries! You can download a complimentary copy of MOAA’s Military Spouse Employment Guide here.

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About the Author

Eryn Wagnon
Eryn Wagnon

Eryn Wagnon came to MOAA in May 2018 as a military spouse fellow sponsored by the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program. She joined the MOAA staff permanently in July 2018 as director, military family policy and spouse programs.