As an active duty military spouse and career coach who works every day with fellow spouses, I’ve seen first-hand the importance of finding a meaningful career and an employer who cares.
With each PCS, I searched for a job I would enjoy, but I wasn’t always certain how to find a company that really took care of me. However, when I interviewed at Hire Heroes USA, I learned what it felt like to truly feel connected with an employer, and in the almost 3 years since that interview, they have proven it time and time again.
Throughout 2021, I faced a lot of major life changes including deployments, loss of family members, PCSs, and purchasing a house in this crazy market. Taking on all these changes in one year was a lot to manage, but I knew I had the support of Hire Heroes USA both professionally and personally through every step.
As I reflected on the past year during our annual end-of-year training this month, I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging and pride for the work we do and the organization I work for.
Okay, so enough gushing from me. Now, I want to give you pointers on how to find that perfect company for you!
This is one of the best ways to get genuine insight into a company and could potentially lead to a referral down the road. Find someone on LinkedIn who works at the company you are targeting, and send them a message asking for their advice and insights in the field and with their company. You may get some crickets back, but it only takes one person to give you the inside scoop and a possible name-drop to the hiring manager.
This was a big one for me. When I started working at Hire Heroes USA, I finally felt like myself again. I loved the culture and camaraderie. But how do you know what that looks like? Check out the company’s social media to learn their brand voice and the type of topics they post about. Visit their website to read through the core values. Hopefully, you have a good feeling about the day-to-day culture from your informational interviews and talking with current employees, even if you’re having to read between the lines a little. Know what I mean?
Consider what type of work-life balance fits your current season of life. Are you in a place where you are ready to grind and work long hours to make those advancements? Or do you need more flexibility as a working parent and let’s just say it, to deal with the unpredictability of the military spouse lifestyle. Knowing how important this is to you and what you’re looking for will help you align with the right company. These are questions you can ask in an interview. “What is the daily workflow of this office or team?” “What does an average day in this role look like?” I advise against jumping straight in to ask, “How much vacation time do I get?” since you’ll receive that information in the formal offer. But don’t forget, unless they’ve said otherwise, it’s all negotiable.
Do they support you as a military spouse?
I often get questions about whether to let employers know if you are a military spouse during your job search. This boils down to your research and your personal comfort level. If you’ve done your homework, you hopefully know if this company has a strong military spouse initiative, or if they are still quiet on this front. If you are seeking a military-friendly company, during your informational interviews and actual interview, ask questions about telecommuting, flexibility to manage your own schedule, and military-related leave policies. All these things add up to supporting our military lifestyle. The right company will value everything you bring to the table as a milspouse and choose to support you.
These are small tips, but they can add up to finding real happiness in your career. We all have bills to pay, and sometimes we don’t have the luxury of finding just the right fit, and that’s okay. But in those times when we have the room to make sure we are making the perfect choice for ourselves and our family, these are tips you can use. It’s possible to find your ideal company, even as a military spouse.
Go get ‘em!