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4 Signs That You Need Career Counseling As A Military Spouse

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Are you a military spouse wondering if career counseling is something you might benefit from. I would argue that it would be a great investment. As a military spouse myself, I spent many nights agonizing over how to start my career. My husband entered the Army right after we both had finished our Bachelors degrees. Here I was this twenty-two year-old recent college graduate with no idea of how to start my career. I applied to graduate school and started a masters program, but with no children at the time and a desire to work I spent almost two years applying to job after job with no luck. I wanted to work, I needed to work to feel like I was accomplished but no one was willing to take on a recent college graduate, with little experience and let's be honest a true flight risk when thinking of my having to relocate in the next few years. The resources on base did not quite meet my needs, I was considered "qualified enough" to get a job by the military's standards but I wanted a career. If I knew then what I do now, I would have looked high and low for someone to help me find my calling, and hell even to help me find and secure a job that I would have loved doing. And all that to say, this specific blog will outline the 5 main signs that I, like other military spouses I know have shared with me, needed a career counselor.


1. STRUGGLING WITH STARTING OR CONTINUING YOUR CAREER


Unfortunately, many military spouses are very familiar with PCSing and needing to start or restart their careers over-and-over again. From my own experience, I remember having to look forward to moving every 3 or so years. When talking with fellow military spouses, I learned that it was not uncommon to have to prepare to move right when one has finally found a job. The average job seeker will find that it will take approximately 6 months to secure a job. Add in frequent moves one can start to notice gaps in one's resume, that trust me, can be very hard to explain especially if you do not get the opportunity to interview to discuss it. Thus making it feel as though you are constantly starting or restarting your career.


Another challenge can be seen in those that may have just recently finished training or schooling, but now struggle to find employment. This can be one of the worst feelings, to have spent time, money, resources and let's be honest, sweat and tears to get a degree, certificate or licenses, but you can not find anyone willing to take a chance on hiring you.


2. LOOKING FOR A CAREER AND NOT JUST A JOB


So you've gotten to a point that you no longer want a job, but an actually career. Of course, you can apply to countless jobs and secure employment. I've heard over and over again that the PX and Commissionary is hiring, why not just get a job, but if you are looking to further your career you have to make strategic career moves that align with your goals by having a plan. That is exactly where a career counselor can help. This will help to determine how to match one's goals, values, interest


3. YOUR CAREER STRUGGLES CREATE RELATIONAL STRAINS


Have you ever found your self thinking or saying "If you hadn't gone into the military I could have started my career." or "My life is on hold because you decided to join the service". If so, you are not the only one, trust me. This is not a fun feeling to have, this common experience of built up resentment due to having to alter, change or hold off on ones plans in order to be a supportive partner can happen to anyone. With 45% of military spouses holding at least a bachelors degree and approximately 25% being unemployed or even underemployed (i.e. anywhere between 31 - 53%) it can be easy to feel frustrated when one's efforts to start a meaningful career are faced with challenges and many obstacles. It becomes easy to lash out at those closest to us, especially if their behaviors directly impacted the challenges one encounters.


4. UNSURE HOW TO DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE RESUMES OR EVEN HOW TO JOB SEARCH


Let's be honest, the traditional resume is not always the most forgiving to military spouses. It can highlight all the employment gaps. Why not find a professional that can help with developing a resume that points out your strengths. If your struggling with doing meaningful job search knowing that you have to be flexible to potentially moving soon, a career counselor can help with making the most out of your job search process.


NEXT STEPS...

If you found yourself, agree thing that you have had to manage any or all of the those obstacles a career counselor might be a good next step. I invite you to reach out so that we can start connecting you with the resources needed to be successful.



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