Most military spouses know that federal employment is a good career option because it can provide career stability even when we move from post to post.
But, what many of us may not realize is that general schedule jobs (also known as GS positions, appropriated fund jobs, or APF jobs) are not the only federal jobs on post. There are also nonappropriated funds jobs, or NAF jobs.
NAF jobs are funded by the installation rather than through the budget that Congress allocates. NAF jobs can help military spouses earn work experience in the same career fields in which they are studying. Plus, they may be easier to land than GS jobs.
Examples of NAF jobs include child development, food and beverage management, lodging, recreation, and office management. Follow these three steps, and you could soon land an NAF job on your post.
Find Out Where the Jobs Are
First, you should look on your current or future base’s website and find the NAF human resources office. Every installation should have one. These offices advertise vacancies, accept and review resumes and applications, and provide the lists of qualified applicants to hiring managers.
Next, look for the transition assistance office, the family or community services center, and the employment readiness program. All three of these facilities are excellent resources for on-post job opportunities with the federal government. They should also have listings for government contractors, vendors, and local off-post employers.
Get Out and Network
“Make it a point to read the local installation newspaper,” said Janet Farley, author of The Military Spouse’s Complete Guide to Career Success. “If you are interested in working in a specific office, go there and ask directly about job opportunities, volunteer or paid.”
Make a habit of looking for job information in every building you enter on base. Many offices post job vacancies and job search workshops on physical and electronic bulletin boards.
If you ask around, you might also find out about vacancies before they are announced, especially when an employee is PCSing outside of the typical turnover season.
Never underestimate the power of networking.
“Talk to other military wives who live there. They may have great connections from places they have worked,” said Sylvia Christian, certified coach at woman2womanlifecoaching.com. “Find out who they know and who can be of help to you.”
Create a Stellar Application
No matter where or when you find a job announcement, be vigilant about following the application instructions. Application requirements can vary greatly.
A poorly written application may mean the difference between an interview and your resume being tossed.