Place “Job Search” on Your PCS Checklist

By C.C. Gallagher

This week’s post is the third guest blog contribution from Christine “C.C.” Gallagher, Founder of Military Quality of Life Consulting LLC. C.C. is no stranger to the major life changes and often unexpected transitions that comes with living in a military family. As a mother of two and a spouse to an active duty Army soldier, C.C. has experienced many obstacles and successes in her journey as a military spouse, mother, and professional. You can read more about C.C. and get a list of her collaborative efforts with us on her bio page.

Useful Resources and Tips for Military Spouses 

Moving across state lines or to another country due to government-issued orders involves an enormous transition for any military family. Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves are a fact of life for the active-duty community. Throw in a global pandemic, and we are all trying to figure out what this means for each and every one of our families during these uncertain times. For those who are moving, PCS season looks a little different than in previous years.

Perhaps some of you may be considering entering or reentering the workforce and/or contemplating a career change after you PCS (if you are able to!).

If you are a military spouse or are working with a spouse experiencing a move, make sure that “Job Search” is a part of your PCS checklist.

woman using laptop while having beverage in modern street cafe
Pexels [Photo of Woman Using Laptop by Andrea Piacquadio, May 8,2019, CC0]
Here are ten tips to help you prepare for the next step in your professional journey:

1. Update Your Résumé:

A résumé is your primary self-marketing document. When it comes to resumes, one size does not fit all. When deciding which type and style of résumé works for you, consider your brand, your unique challenges, and how you intend to use your document. The rule-of-thumb for length is about one page for every 10 years of work experience.

2. Create (or update) Your LinkedIn Profile:

A branded, concise, and attractive profile is a great self-marketing tool that can communicate a strong message and enhance your relationships. LinkedIn is a great way to virtually network before you land at your new duty station.

Did you know that Military OneSource Spouse Education and Career Opportunities account holders can access a free upgrade to Linkedin Premium? 

3. Gather Personal and Professional References:

Your selected references are your strongest professional advocates. Maintain healthy relationships with them and keep them apprised of your journey. With the many career shifts, military spouses encounter, a reference from a job three moves ago could be the key reference for your next job. 

4. Do Your Homework:

Call your new installation’s employment readiness center, contact a Spouse Education and Career Opportunities certified career counselor, research organizations pledging to hire, retain and promote military spouses through the Military Spouse Employment Partnership initiative, check if the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundations Hiring our Heroes virtual networking or hiring events are going to be offered during a time you can attend.

5. Lean on Your Mentors:

A strong support system will help you carry extra weight, build you up, and support you as you pave your professional path. Consider leaning on your mentors during this time of transition.

6. Make New Connections:

To build your personal network, reach out to your family, friends, previous or current classmates, volunteer organizations, and spouse clubs. To build your professional network, reach out to your former colleagues, alumni associations, professional associations, and installation employment offices. Look to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) to connect with other military spouses in your new location.

7. Research Professional License Transferability:

The Department of Labor is committed to eliminating licensing barriers for military spouses as they move across state lines.
Visit
www.veterans.gov/milspouses to see if your next location will allow you to transfer your professional license.

8. Select Childcare Options:

If you will need childcare, there are a variety of options available to active-duty families. If you are looking for childcare on an installation, the first place you start is MilitaryChildCare.com.

Based on the current climate, each installation will be different in what they can offer you. If your family will live off installation, call Military OneSource, and request information on childcare options, especially the fee assistance program provided by Child Care Aware of America.

9. Seek Out Unemployment Compensation Qualifications:

Leaving a job? You might qualify for unemployment compensation because you are a military spouse. Do your homework on which states provide this benefit before you move.

10. Don’t Sell Yourself Short!

Advocate for yourself, pave your own path, be a guiding light, and reach out to help other spouses tackle challenges and achieve their dreams alongside you. 

Set yourself up for success. Place “job search “on your PCS checklist today! 

Listen to C.C. share more of her personal journey with employment and the unique barriers she has experienced in our Anchored podcast episode,  “Supporting Military Spouses with Employment and Higher Education Transitions.” 

We want to thank C.C. for contributing to our MFLN Family Development posts! Stay tuned for more guest contributions from her. The next installment in this blog series will be coming in November 2020. For access to all of MFLN Family Development’s blog posts, see a list of all our blog posts here.

This blog was originally published on June 22, 2020 at Stressless PCS Blog by C.C. Gallagher.

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