With the amount of moving around that military families do, it can feel next to impossible to maintain any level of normalcy and stability for your family—never mind the difficulty of managing a professional career along with it. To make things even more complicated, personality plans a huge role in how you manage all of that, which can make it hard when friends and family offer advice because what works for them might not fit with your situation or personality.
So let’s take a quick look at a few of the different situations and personalities out there and how they can affect your professional goals.
The New Spouse
Being a newlywed in the military is often the beginning of concerns about the possibility of a long-term career. For those not raised with a military background, there are lots of adjustments to be made along with all of the normal anxieties and adjustments that come with the territory of being recently married.
New spouses can often greatly benefit from connections with others who can offer guidance and support, which, thanks to the internet, are not hard to come by. Online support groups, message boards, and other communities are good places to connect with those who are going or who have gone through the same troubles that you are now facing.
New military spouses also have access to military funding programs like MyCAA for the first time. MyCAA offers $4,000 for career training, which can completely cover the tuition costs of online career training programs that allow you to work toward your dream career no matter where you live.
The Social Butterfly
Some people have never had any trouble getting out and making new friends. If you enjoy meeting new people and making new acquaintances, then you’ll enjoy the opportunity to find a career where you’ll always be seeing new faces. For you, the ideal job is one that requires interaction with people. Careers in health and personal fitness, coaching, or even volunteering at the base where your spouse is stationed are all great options for someone with a more extroverted personality type.
The Bored Spouse
After a while even the biggest changes can seem monotonous. For a military spouse without a career of her own, the daily rhythm might seem repetitive, even boring. It’s always a good idea to mix things up and keep things fresh and interesting, and there’s no reason that you shouldn’t have a career that does just that. Find something that excites and motivates you, something you’re passionate about, and pursue it!
There are a host of options available to those who want to continue their education or increase their expertise by completing a certificate course. Funding is often available to help ease the financial burdens of going back to school for eligible military spouses. You may even qualify for a military spouse scholarship or military tuition assistance, which can defray some or even all of the costs associated with going back to school!
The Stay-at-Home Mom
The Stay-at-Home Mom (or Stay-at-Home Dad) is focused on building a loving and caring environment for their families. In some cases, she spends so much time nurturing and caring for her husband and children that her own needs might fall by the wayside. But this doesn’t need to be the case, especially with the advent of technology. If she wants to work, there are a variety of different careers that can allow for a great of personal growth and success without requiring her to work outside of the home.
Jobs like medical transcription, setting up online stores for homemade products, content writing, website design, or even blogging are all options for military spouses who would prefer to stay at home but still want to work.
The Career Spouse
Some military spouses have always had a career. Focused, driven, and ambitious, these women and men define themselves by their successes and never let the world hold them back. For individuals like this, marrying into the military and the changes that accompanied it never signified the end of their professional goals.
Moving every few years may be less than ideal, but it’s just one more challenge in a long line of obstacles that you’ve overcome. You’re always on the lookout for ways to adapt and change to meet a tough situation. If this describes your personality, then there is no hardship too challenging that you can’t make the best of it.
If you’re committed to a long-term professional career, keep a lookout for career options that you can pursue from home, regardless of where you’re stationed, or that are in high growth fields. Take pride in what you do, and never hesitate to broaden your skills and increase your knowledge. Military spouse education can help improve a current job or open a new door when options are limited.
No two individuals are exactly alike, and this is as true of military spouses as it is of anyone else. But at the end of the day, we’re all just looking for ways to make our lives and the lives of our families better. Be sure to enrich your life however you can, whenever you can, and remember: the first step toward a better life is deciding to improve.