Friday, May 6th 2016 is the National Military Spouse Appreciation Day. What is the best way to show appreciation for our nation's military spouses? I don't think there is one answer because everyone sees appreciation from a slightly different view. What I can tell you is appreciation for a professionally minded military spouse is an opportunity to have a career. It's knowing a company will hire you regardless of where the military sends you because they appreciate you and value the contributions you provide.
I just moved to Germany and the first two conversations I had with other military spouses pertained to career opportunities. It wasn't because of my role as CEO of America's Career Force, in fact one spouse didn't even know about my company when she told me her story about her struggle to find work. You know this is an important issue when it's one of the first things discussed upon meeting someone new.
One conversation went something like this, "I moved to Germany two years ago. I have a Master's Degree but have been unable to find any opportunities." There are countless military spouses out there in these exact same shoes, highly educated but unable to find a career to have alongside their active duty spouse.
The next military spouse I spoke to told me she had a phone interview for a job and was being interviewed by a very senior military official for the position. Great news! Success, right?! The interview went extremely well and she was told she was an excellent candidate. The next line of questioning was shocking but not unexpected. It was shocking, not because it actually happened because on some level all military spouses have encountered similar situations but it was shocking because it was so overt. The spouse was asked why she was moving to Germany and she replied in a vague manner so as to avoid any military family discussion. He pushed further and asked more pointed questions and she finally had to tell him that she was in Germany because her husband would be working in Germany. This military official continued to ask questions and realized her husband would be taking a certain job in Germany and then said to her, "Oh, so you will only be here for two years." At that point the conversation took a different direction and she knew that he was no longer considering her for the position because the interviewer knew she would only be there for two years.
This is a snapshot of our Nation's Military Spouses and their real life experiences. People are working together to resolve this known issue but a disconnect still remains. One way to show your appreciation for a military spouse is to offer them a remote career. A career that will follow them wherever the military takes them.
Military spouses don't self-identify for the reason outlined above. This makes it difficult for companies to find us. However, in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, America's Career Force (www.americascareerforce.com) will assist hiring managers in finding military spouses for remote jobs for free. Military spouse unemployment is a significant issue in the military and the simple solution is remote employment. Together we can resolve this disconnect and show our support and appreciation of our Nation's Military Spouses if companies Hire Just One military spouse for a remote career.