It can be challenging for military spouses to find good jobs, considering the frequent redeployment moves of their families. But with the right resources and strategies, spouses can successfully leverage the military perspective to their advantage, according to the Military Spouse Employment Survey 2019, released by Monster and Military.com ahead of National Military Spouse Appreciation Day on Friday.
A majority (74 percent) of the 305 military spouses polled say they face significant challenges in finding employment after one of their redeployment moves. As such, seven in 10 (71 percent) find it difficult to establish a clear career path and believe achieving upward mobility is difficult with the constant moves.
Two-thirds (65 percent) believe it’s tough to find a job that takes their military lifestyle into account, and half of the military spouses who are currently working (52 percent) feel they are underemployed.
“Despite the challenges, there are certain approaches that will make it easier for military spouses to find a job, and most spouses have an overall optimistic outlook for their career prospects,” the authors write.
Specifically, job placements/recruiters (57 percent), company-sponsored military-hiring programs (57 percent) and networking opportunities specifically for military spouses (50 percent) would make it easier for military spouses to find jobs, the respondents say.
“Military spouses don’t want to be viewed as a special cause–however, they hope an employer would take their family situation into consideration and provide accommodations like more flexibility when their skills and career interests match a job opening,” the authors write.
Employers should consider offering positions to military spouses that do not require a specific location and can have more flexible hours, the two organizations advise.
“By creating more versatile, portable positions, jobs can move with the spouse as they relocate with the military,” the authors write. “Employers will be better able to retain military spouses when they relocate.”
Many of the respondents believe the military perspective is an asset that employers should consider: 67 percent ultimately believe being a military spouse has positively affected their work opportunities, and 75 percent are positive or somewhat positive about their job prospects.
Both Monster and Military.com say they want to help military spouses find the right positions that best utilize their experiences and skills, and the two organizations also want to help employers hire such people.
“As an underutilized talent pool in today’s workforce, military spouses can apply invaluable expertise to a variety of positions, including short-term contracts and long-term salaried positions,” the authors write.
“Our focus is to help bridge the gap between employers and job candidates, as well as to help organizations fill open positions with dynamic, capable talent,” they add. “And, we strongly believe the wives, husbands and partners of members of the military are just that.”