If you are a career-focused military spouse striving to find a job, it may seem like a never-ending feat; navigating the workplace in an ever-changing environment as you follow your spouse across the globe, supporting them as they serve the country. Sometimes, your career feels like a game of ‘Red Light, Green Light’ in a world where many employers don’t even want you to play.
But those employers would be missing out.
At Boldly, we believe (and have seen first-hand) that military spouses are among the topmost valuable and brilliant employees in the workforce, and we’ve also learned we’re not alone. Many employers are beginning to recognize the breadth of skill military spouses bring to the table.
But do you know how to find them?
A quick online search will give you several lists of ‘military spouse friendly employers’. And while that’s not a bad place to start, you’ll find better and perhaps more relevant results for you by digging a little deeper. I’d like to show you how to find them yourself, rather than relying on the same list of recommended employers everyone else is using.
In this post, we’ll dive into how you can find military spouse friendly employers and what exactly that means.
Here’s what you’re going to want to look for:
They don’t make you hide that you are a military spouse
This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s a very real struggle for military spouses. If you go into a job interview feeling like you need to hide one of the biggest parts of your life… it’s probably a sign that the job won’t be a good fit for you in the long run.
Look for companies that don’t make you hide your military spouse status. In fact, look for companies who are happy to see you sing it from the rooftops. Being a military spouse is something to be proud of and military spouse friendly employers recognize this.
The tables are turning, and you no longer have to hide who you are to find a great position.
They recognize the value you bring to the table.
You know your worth. Do they?
Military spouse friendly employers recognize that military spouses are multi-talented individuals, bringing a variety of skills to the table that have been cultivated by unique challenges. Over and over again, military spouses are placed in environments where they must grow into strongly grounded, overly resilient, and disciplined leaders.
Despite juggling crazy schedules, dealing with the stress of deployments, and constant relocations, military spouses find ways to adapt and overcome. They are hardworking, resourceful, and adaptable. These soft skills must be cultivated, not trained, and are not easily mastered. Therefore, they’re priceless to an employer.
Recognize that what you have to offer is unique, and coveted. Look for an employer who recognizes it, too.
They have several military spouses on their team
It’s a red flag if a company claims to be ‘military spouse friendly’ and yet they don’t have many military spouses on their team. Where are they? Where did they go? Did they have to quit their job when their spouse received orders? If it’s a local business, we get that. But, if it is a big corporation claiming to be military spouse friendly and yet they have no programs in place to retain them, then are they really all that supportive?
For example, if you look at our team at Boldly, you will find that over 28 percent of our team and over 55 percent of our leadership team members are military spouses. We have military spouses that have been with us for more than 7 years — and through numerous duty stations. Last year, 39 percent of our new hires were military spouses.
This is the type of recruitment and retainment record that you should expect from those who list themselves as ‘military spouse friendly’ employers. And don’t be afraid to ask!
So where do you go from here?
Now that you know 3 of the biggest factors on what to look for when trying to find military spouse friendly employers, let’s talk about some of the best places you can start to begin your search:
Here are five sites that have a proven track record of partnering with legitimate organizations that appreciate military spouse talent, and give them an environment they can succeed in.
- You may have heard of Hire Heroes USA and the amazing work they do for veterans, but did you know that they also have a large military spouse employer partner base? They also have a free job board where you can get access to military spouse friendly employers that have already been vetted and are looking to hire military spouse talent.
- Among our list of military spouse friendly employer resources, one of our top favorites is Hiring Our Heroes. Hiring Our Heroes provides a variety of hiring events for military spouses and is the powerhouse behind the launching of the Hiring 100K Military Spouses challenge, a national call-to-action campaign for companies across America to make a commitment to hiring 100,000 military spouses.
- Our friends at Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) are committed to breaking employment barriers within the military community. Their primary mission is to increase job placement and career development for military spouses and family members through the elimination of employment obstacles. (because let’s be honest, you have enough of those already!)
- The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) is part of Military OneSource and it’s the Department of Defense’s go-to for connecting military spouses with hundreds of employers who have committed to the recruitment, hiring, and promotion of military spouses. They currently have over 400 partners, who have hired over 139,000 military spouses!
- If you aren’t connected with VirtForce – go check them out! They are the mecca for finding vetted virtual career opportunities for military spouses. And they are passionately dedicated to the cause.
The Company That Wants You is Out There (And Right Here)
We know, the numbers are tough to digest: the military spouse unemployment rate is four times greater than the national average.
Don’t let that discourage you.
More than ever, companies are recognizing the crucial role military spouses fill in the workforce. This is your moment and the company that wants you is out there.
Now that you know how to find a military spouse friendly employer, it’s time for you to find your dream company – we promise, they are looking for you.
Interested in positions with Boldly? Check out our jobs page.