Facing a PCS? Consider Your Professional Options Before You Go

Facing a PCS? Consider Your Professional Options Before You Go
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Editor’s Note: A version of this material originally appeared in the MOAA Military Spouse Employment Guide, a free resource for all military spouses. Click here to download the guide.


Resigning from your job and finding a new job in your new location is not the only transition option. Consider these alternatives:


1. Make Your Case: Before leaving your current position, approach your employer about remote or telecommuting options. Present a package outlining your proposed arrangement and how the employer will benefit from this arrangement (continuity in the position with a proven employee who knows the job requirements and is familiar with the company, no difficult or costly searches for a replacement, etc.).


Be sure to stress the value to the employer, not to yourself. Don’t ignore the potential downside, but offer reasons why the pros outweigh the cons.


2. Go Independent. Explore freelance work or contract consulting. Consider this an option to get your foot in the door by demonstrating your value to a potential employer.


[RELATED: Meaningful Change for Spouse Employment Will Require Real Commitment]


3. It’s Academic: Earn additional credentials or training. Go to school for an advanced degree, earn a certification, or pursue professional-development opportunities through additional coursework, seminars, or workshops. Visit Military OneSource’s My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) website to determine whether you’re eligible for $4,000 of financial assistance to pursue a license, certification, or associate’s degree in a portable career field and occupation.


4. Explore Entrepreneurship. One helpful resource is Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE), which enables female veterans and military spouses to find their passions and learn business-savvy skills to turn their ideas or businesses into a growth venture. The program is hosted through the D'Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. Another great resource is the Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce, which offers a Military Spouse-Owned Enterprise Certification.


[MORE IVMF: This MOAA Partner Can Support Your Business Journey]


5. Consider Federal Opportunities: As a military spouse, you can take advantage of non-competitive hiring authorities and military spouse preference when applying for certain federal agencies. Do your research to understand these policies and how they apply to you.


6. Volunteer Smart: Use strategic volunteer opportunities to enhance your skill set, demonstrate your commitment, build your network, fill résumé gaps, and open doors to paid work opportunities. Look for places where you can utilize the skills you want to strengthen or new skills you desire to develop.


Skills obtained or fortified through volunteering are no less valuable than those gained through a salaried position.


Don’t just think about your plans: Tell someone about them or, even better, write them out. Writing and talking about your goals helps solidify your thoughts. Plus, you can refer to your documents when it is time to revisit your plans.


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