I am a face of military spouse unemployment. One in four military spouses are looking for a job. I am that one. I am part of the 26% military spouse unemployment rate which is higher than the national average, 7.4% (as of August 2013).
It is a hard and depressing task trying to find a job. Thankfully there are resources to help military spouses get a job. I will say they are varied by installation. I have personally gone for help. I went to ACS and was offered resume assistance and to my surprise my resume was good. I can thank Blue Star Families Resume Tool Kit for that help. Another place to check out is Hiring our Hereos, they offer a variety of tools to help military spouses land a job from resume building to job fairs.
My days start out similar as my job right now is to find a job. I carefully search through sites such as indeed.com and local classifieds in search of a job. I spend my mornings applying online and sending in my resume. I cannot begin to tell you how many jobs I have applied for at this point because I have lost count but I can tell you how many employers have contacted me, one.
I was ecstatic as the employer was a organization and job was something I was all to familiar with, working with military families. What I didn’t know at the time was how much the job interview process has changed since my last job over 10 years ago. It was no longer a simple interview but a serious of interviews and steps and Skype. I may be a military spouse but I never used Skype while my husband was away. He was typically places where it didn’t work well. Adapt and overcome I can do this.
My first step was to turn myself from SAHM of four kiddos to looking like someone an organization wanted to hire. Goodbye super long, seriously it touched my butt hair and natural dirty blonde ombre. I have to say this getting a job thing was turning expensive. $165 plus tip later my hair was done. Next step was to find a professional outfit. While I have business clothes from the volunteer work I have done, you constantly read dress to impress when searching about what to do for a job interview.
So I looked ready and I read up online on what to do and expect at a job interview. It had been over 10 years since my last job interview and 14 years since my last professional position. I was ready. I went to the interview and it was unlike any interview I had ever had. The questions were not the “what is your worst trait” or “why do you want to work for us”. The questions were more geared to how I handled situations. There were questions I had a hard time answering since I had not worked in over 10 years and the majority of my volunteer work was with my husbands’s work. When I was a FRG leader my boss was my husband’s boss i’m sorry there is a degree of respect there. It was his program not mine, I could only suggest things. If I ran into a problem I just adapted and overcame. Adapt and overcome is the root of military life. I did my best but left unsure of how I did, I made the interviewer laugh so that had to be good right? My gut though wasn’t talking to me but it was all good. I still had another interview to get through, the Skype one.
This Skyping had me all types of nervous. I read up about it and of course everyone seemed to have their own opinion. A few things stayed the same you needed good light, a neutral background, dress to impress ,to look at the camera not your screen and to test Skype out before your actual interview. I was ready as I could be.
So I Skyped and the interview was much the same as the first. I have to say it was an interesting experience. Although she warned me that she would be typing also it was a bit distracting that the interviewer had their head turned away and in the computer nearly the entire time. Skype may be an awesome tool for the interview process but in my opinion it only works as well as the users. You cannot have one person giving their 100% while the other’s body language tells another story. Maybe that’s just me though.
So I was then left to send my interview thank you’s and to wait. My gut was telling me I didn’t get the job after the Skype interview and 3 weeks later I was told they didn’t want me to ride their bus. My gut was right. I was upset, it is rejection after all. While it may be taboo for me to write about this experience since I am still actively looking for employment. I can look at the positive in this. I learned a lot through this process about what I would do differently in the future. Everything happens for a reason and there has to be something better for me down the road. I want to be that spouse that says look what I was able to turn my volunteer work into. I am determined to be one of those positive stories.