You’ve just found out you’re moving overseas. You’re shaking up your world, and new possibilities and experiences await you. Perhaps a new job awaits you, too. As soon as you know about your move, it’s time to start the research, so you can enter the market there job-ready.
MSEP helps you hit the ground running
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership, or MSEP, can connect you with employers worldwide that are interested in providing you with long-term meaningful employment opportunities. When you start searching for a job, keep these six tips in mind:
- Keep an open mind: Be willing to think outside of your current career. Even a volunteer position or a job that doesn’t initially pique your interest can lead to a new career path.
- Network: Take advantage of any connections you may have overseas, even before you move. You never know who could open career doors for you.
- Be financially prepared: Prepare to live without a second income for an extended period of time. It can take up to six months to find a job overseas.
- Research the job market: Gather as much information as you can before you move. Visit installation websites and consider all of your options—civil service employment, on-installation employment, defense contract work and off-installation employment.
- Branch out: Moving to a joint services area? Contact other service branches to learn about their opportunities. If your spouse is a Marine, for example, you may be able to take advantage of job opportunities on a nearby Air Force installation.
- Be creative: Now is the time to be open to possibilities. You may want to consider telecommuting, starting your own home-based business, or going back to school.
The Military Spouse Preference program
With the help of the Military Spouse Preference program, you could be eligible for certain preferences when applying for Department of Defense civilian jobs, including civil service careers overseas. Learn how to find portable employment overseas.
Contact the human resources office at your new duty station or visit Military OneSource’s MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to apply for the Priority Placement Program for military spouses.
Working on the installation
Depending on your interests and skills, there could be job opportunities on your new installation. Be sure to check the installation’s website for job listings.
- Finding federal civil service can be easier overseas than in the United States, but the process takes time. You can find federal jobs posted on the Office of Personnel Management site. Be sure to follow the announcement instructions carefully to apply. Service branch job listings sites include:
- Look for installation service jobs for programs such as Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Marine Corps Community Services. Check your installation’s website for up-to-date job listings positions.
- Exchange or commissary jobs: These jobs can be similar to those at commissaries and exchanges in the United States. Check out career information at the Defense Commissary Agency.
- Defense contractor jobs: Defense contractors provide a number of services on overseas installations. Check with the installation’s Family Employment Readiness Program.
Working off the installation
Chances are you can also work locally off the installation. Before applying for jobs:
- Check the Status of Forces Agreement: In some foreign countries, the Status of Forces Agreement allows military spouses to work in the local economy.
- Consider taxes and fees: Before starting work in the local economy, make sure you have a clear understanding of what local taxes or other fees you may have to pay.
Flexible jobs, telecommuting and home businesses
Be open to the possibility of working a nontraditional career:
- Home business: Be sure to consider any licenses, permits or housing requirements you may need. Meet with the Family Service Center or Legal Assistance Office at your installation to make sure you’re covering all your bases.
- Virtual work: Moving overseas might be the perfect opportunity to develop a telecommuting career.
- Volunteer work: Volunteering is a great way to test out new career tracks, learn about your new community and meet new friends. It can often be a great way to break into a new field and potentially earn a paying position.
Moving overseas could open up new and exciting opportunities. Just remember to do your prep, give yourself time to get settled and investigate all your options. Also, remember that the MSEP Job Search on MySECO is always available to help connect you with employers worldwide.