Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Jessica Howington.
Being a military spouse is like having a full-time job. It takes dedication, persistence, love, and oh so much patience. It also takes a lot of other skills that are highly transferable and marketable in the workforce. Whether you work, go to school, or stay home, every day you develop and further solidify impressive skills just by supporting your active duty spouse. Here are 10 skills you acquire as a spouse which you can also apply in the workforce.
- Adaptability – Military spouses are like chameleons. We adapt to change and learn to blend in with our environments whether that is on-base, off =-base, CONUS, or OCONUS. It is what allows us to create homes out of houses and family out of strangers.
- Management and Project Management – In any given week a spouse will manage a going away party, homecoming, unit gathering, household finances, investment properties, and more. Military spouses have a keen ability to manage a range of different activities. Any military spouse that has survived a PCS has project management skills. From scheduling movers, packing, organizing, shuffling children, living on crates, and creating a home from the ground up, military spouses have the skills and ability to manage multiple aspects of different projects at once.
- Critical Thinking – As military spouses we get information overload from a number of sources. We have an ornate ability to gather, analyze and conceptualize all this information to create usable and sustainable solutions.
- Networking – From location to location, military spouses network with the unit, base organizations and groups, as well as local business, neighbors and friends. Not only do we network, but we also build networks from the ground up with every move.
- Stress Management – Whether you have military experience or not, nothing can prepare you for the amount of stress you will face as the spouse of an active duty member. Military spouses can manage extreme amounts of stress in very difficult situations.
- Creativity – Military spouses have a unique vision. We are able to make what seems impossible, possible. We can create days of fun on a tight budget, make oversized furniture work in a home and create new programs to benefit our brother and sister spouses.
- Organization and Efficiency – To manage moves, deployments, and everyday military life, you’ve got to have organization skills in order to be efficient. Since military spouses are afforded the same 24 hours as everyone else we often have to do more with less time. Long duty hours, PCS moves and deployments have helped us develop skills to make the most of those precious hours each day.
- Initiative – With every single move, deployment and training, military spouses have to show a great deal of initiative: we have to set up a new home, build a new support network and search for new employment. Military spouses do it all without pause.
- Diversity and Perspective – Military spouses are people of the world. We live in different places and interact with people from all over. The diversity we are exposed to allows us to provide employers with a different perspective.
- Dependability – Military spouses are depended upon everyday to provide support and service. Silently, we make sure that whatever needs done, gets done. No questions asked.
About the Author:
So, the next time you are evaluating the skills you possess to enter, re-enter or transition in the workforce, your everyday life experience as a military spouse can be a great starting point.
Jessica Howington is a prior stay at home mom with a background in education and healthcare. As a researcher and Team Lead for the writing team for the award-winning site FlexJobs , she strives to support those in search of flexible employment opportunities through finding and verifying legitimate flexible positions. She provides job search information, tips, and insight into the employment world related all job seekers through theFlexJobs Blog.