The PCSing Spouse

Where Spouses Help Spouses

Month: July 2018

The Resilient Military Spouse

I see you. I see you taking night classes in silence while your children sleep and your spouse is in the field. I see you spending hours, days, years of your life job hunting. Filling out hundreds of applications only to be told you aren’t the “perfect” fit, or worse getting no response at all. I see you working jobs far below your capabilities, for pay that barely pays your Daycare. I see you biting your nails over your pile of bills as  you wait for a CDC spot to open up at your new duty station. I see you hustling. Desperately pleading with your friends on Facebook to buy the inventory you maxed out your credit card to get. I see you leaving the only career you’ve ever known in the name of student loans and car payments. 

I see you,  because you’re amazing. Sure, sometimes you get down, but then you get up. You always get up. No matter how many jobs you don’t get, how many degrees you can’t use, you keep getting up. I love when people say “well it could be worse” or “this is what you signed up for.” As if you could have passed on the love of your life because they chose an inconvenient profession. I feel sorry for those people because they don’t know what it’s like to love someone so much you’d make any sacrifice to have a life with them. Yes, it could always be worse, but your struggle is real. It’s real, and I see you, because military spouses are the most resilient people I know.

So be kind to each other. When your friends are hawking beauty products on Facebook, buy some. When someone is venting on the spouse page, let them. Offer them kindness and hope instead of judgement. When you’re leaving a great job, try to fill it with a fellow milspouse. Be a part of the solution. See each other, support each other. We are all in this together.

Premium LinkedIn Update!

Hey there ya’ll. I wanted to drop a quick note for those that are looking to take advantage of the free LinkedIn Premium offer. In speaking with My SECO Coach, I learned about some of the specific eligibility requirement for being able to use this service. The specific eligibility requirements to meet for LinkedIn Premium are as follows; if you are doing a PCS move 6 months or less from now, or it’s 6 months or less after your last PCS move, then you meet the requirement for a year of free LinkedIn Premium access. Military spouses can use this benefit each time they PCS to a new duty station.  This benefit is also for spouses who are within 6 months of separation from the military.

If you do not fit within these perimeters, I don’t either, then please make sure that you are logging into the MySECO page and using their services, especially setting up an appointment with a career coach.

 

More to come!!

 

As always…

Empowered Women, empower Women

 

Careers and the MilSpouse: The Good, the Bad and the Reality Joining Military Spouse Employment Program

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone had a great 4th of July and ya’ll are enjoying this summer weather. Here in Ohio, the temps have been in the middle to upper 80s, and as a girl who misses the South, it has been great! I wanted to jump right into these last two posts because SO many great things are happening for military spouses in the area of employment support. As I stated in my previous post, SECO has partnered with the LinkedIn’s Military and Veteran’s Program to open Premium services to military spouse who have just PCS’d  AND those who’s service member is transitioning out of the military. If you haven’t heard of this amazing partnership and all that it entails, check out my last post as well as heading on over to the SECO website to learn more.

In this post I wanted to talk about another group that has a lot ofgreat resources available to military spouses, Military Spouse Employment Program (MSEP). As I have said before, until I was an out of work transitioning spouse, I didn’t know a thing about any of these programs or the wealth of information that they provide. MSEP is part of the larger DoD’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities initiative seeking to strengthen the career and education opportunities of military spouses. As we know all too well as milspouses, the transient life of a military family makes establishing a career path a little harder than normal. MESP has invested in helping military spouses understand their skills, interest and goals, and then how to enhance them though job skills training, educational certifications and licensing, ultimately making the spouse a more marketable and viable candidate. In addition to this service, they also have an employment database that boast over 360 military friendly partners who have hired over 112,000 military spouses. Through their targeted recruitment, they create employment connections that provide companies with direct access to military spouses.

Additionally, MSEP has a LinkedIn discussion group where military spouses from all over can connect to share employment advice, updates, as well as MSEP partners and staff can post employment opportunities, webinars and hiring events. The following link takes you to the MSEP job search portal https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil/portal/msep/jobsearchwhere you can access over 200,000 active jobs and a list of Hot Jobs as well. These Hot Jobs are positions that are listed within the last five days that are deemed “in high need.” It is important to mention that these jobs refresh every day so if you see one that interest you, be sure that you follow up with it immediately. Recently studies have shown that many employers are looking to move towards more telework and remote opportunities for employees. This option not only saves money for the employer, but the employee as well, and this is a great concept for military spouse, allowing you to essentially take your job with you. The following link takes you directly to the MSEP telework partners. https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil/Portal/Msep/jobsearch/Partners with this list you can see what employers offer telework opportunities as well as getting a feel for the types of positions that are telework ready. I was able to do some telework with my last employer, and I can tell you, it was very nice. While it does take some discipline and planning, if this is something that you think you may be interested in, please check out some of the articles on SECO regarding this topic.

I hope that this little intro to MSEP and all that they offer have been a help to you as you continue to navigate your employment journey. If you seek any more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Until next time,

Empowered women, empower women

Keadra is a USN wife by way of Kalamazoo, Michigan who is currently stationed in Northeast Ohio with her husband who is a recruiter. Her background is in Law Enforcement; however, degrees in Sociology and Public Administration brought her to the world of Workforce Development. Keadra’s hobbies include fostering her budding business Kubed, LLC a training and consulting agency, and raising their daughter.

Careers and the MilSpouse: The Good, the Bad and the Reality LinkedIn Part 2: Enrolling in Premium for Military Spouses

Hey there ya’ll! I wanted to take a quick minute to add a little mini post about enrolling in the LinkedIn Premium program for Military Spouses. This specific program began its roll out July 1, 2018, and there are a few steps to complete to ensure that you are eligible to enroll. The full launch will not be available until July 23rd, so be sure that you have created your account with SECO prior to that date. The first is to make sure that you have indicated on your LinkedIn profile that you are military spouse. After that, ensure that you are enrolled with MySECO using this link https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil/portal/content/view/8256

If you already have a LinkedIn account, ensure that you are following the MSEP group page so that you can stay abreast of new updates regarding the Premium program as well as employment updates, employer highlights and of course networking opportunities.

Until the next time,

Empowered Women, empower women

 

Keadra is a USN wife by way of Kalamazoo, Michigan who is currently stationed in Northeast Ohio with her husband who is a recruiter. Her background is in Law Enforcement; however, degrees in Sociology and Public Administration brought her to the world of Workforce Development. Keadra’s hobbies include fostering her budding business Kubed, LLC a training and consulting agency, and raising their daughter.

Careers and the MilSpouse: The Good, the Bad and the Reality Creating a LinkedIn Profile

Welcome back ya’ll! We are nearing the end of this series, only 2 more post after this, and it is my sincere hope that the information up to this point has been useful to those looking to resume working and those just beginning this journey. The progression of the posts has been with the idea of taking you from the beginning to the end of the job seeking process. We began with brainstorming to develop the information necessary for a quality resume, and then we developed your resume. After that we touched on resources that were available locally to assist you with continued employment readiness, resume assistance and priority employment placement. The next three posts will cover the concept behind networking and different avenues you can use.

 

I am not sure how many of you know about LinkedIn and the benefits it offers not only to MilSpouses, but also to Veterans. For those that may be completely lost to the world of LinkedIn, it is the social media platform for workplace professionals. Using LinkedIn correctly will not only assist you in growing your professional network and meeting people who are in your chosen field, but it will also allow you to potentially network with hiring managers of employers before you move. LinkedIn allows you to build and grow your contacts, join various industry related groups, create a profile and a personal brand, and search for employment opportunities. Before we get into any more benefits of LinkedIn, let me say this…IT’S FREE! The basic services on LinkedIn don’t cost anything to you; however they do offer a premium service that allows for greater connections and training.  As many of you know, the Spouse Education Career Opportunities and LinkedIn’s Military and Veterans program have partnered to offer all Military spouses who are moving due to a PCS and military spouses within six months of separation a free one-year upgrade to LinkedIn premium. This service is already offered to service members who are separating.  This upgrade allows you:

  • Get advanced intelligence about how you compare to other applicants, including analysis of your education, experience, and skills.
  • Access free online training to develop new skills or refresh old ones, to eliminate any skills gaps between you and other applicants.
  • Message those you may not already be connected to, in order to build a professional network that will help you achieve your professional goals.
  • Access LinkedIn’s learning path for military spouses, focused on obtaining and succeeding in remote, flexible, or freelance work opportunities.

Build Your Profile

 

The first step in developing a successfully LinkedIn account is to build your profile. Like other social media platforms, you profile is your introduction to a potential employer. Unlike other platforms, this profile needs to remain STRICTLY professional. This includes your profile picture. Your profile picture should be a professional photo, preferable a head shot in business professional attire, with a neutral background. Building your profile in LinkedIn is done in sections, and like your resume, you want to ensure each section is perfect and polished. You can import your resume into many of the sections, but review to ensure everything transferred successfully. You have a section underneath your photo to write your personal branding statement. You can use the statement from your resume, or you can create something totally different. If you are in need of assistance in writing your brand, I suggest this article on the My SECO website https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil/portal/content/view/3849, and really using some of the exercises listed. LinkedIn now allows you to add your skills (try to have 5 or more that are directly related to your industry) and expertise that you can have people in your network endorse. Last but not least, be sure to include in your profile that you are a military spouse.

 

Growing Your Network

 

I think one of the best qualities about LinkedIn is the opportunity to network with people all over the world. This is a huge asset to military spouse because we tend to end up traveling all over the world. If you are an introvert or semi-introverted like I, this process of “networking” takes the fear out of speaking to people you don’t know. There are a couple of ways to go about growing your network. If you are currently employed, be sure to connect with your coworkers as well as supervisors. You can also add connections by importing contacts from your email accounts, and the search function. If you know a friend works for Amazon, or Microsoft, search that company and see if there are other folks there you may know. The more connections you make, the larger your secondary network will grow. We will talk about this more.

 

Following up is very important. Whether you attended a conference, met someone in the doctor’s office, commissary, exchange or at a spouse event, reach out to them on LinkedIn and work to develop a professional relationship. One of the many benefits of being able to upgrade to prime for free, is that you will have the opportunity to message people you may not be connected to. This comes in handy when you are looking at applying at a company where you maybe don’t have contacts and you have located someone from human resources on LinkedIn. You will now have the capability to message this person directly to begin the networking process. This brings us to the next area of connecting, blind connections. When you have found “that job” and you know that you are a PERFECT fit, but don’t know how to get your foot in the door, this is where those secondary connections come into play. First, look and see if you have any mutual connections. If you do, and you are comfortable, ask your connect for an introduction. This may seem a bit farfetched, believe me, I thought the same thing, but this is how business is evolving. If you don’t have a connection, send a clear, customized and detailed request for a connection. This not only shows initiative, but will also allow you to make your awarding winning elevator pitch right to one of the decision makers.

Like I said in the first post, looking for a job is a full time job; this is no different on LinkedIn. You want to continue to have an active presence as well as keeping your status updated. Weekly you want to search for new connections, reach out to contacts and participate in conversations in your groups. Use short post to share information, ideas, links and opinions with your connections.

 

Resources

Some great areas for networking and resource information are the millions of groups on LinkedIn. Joining a group such as a college alumni group or groups related to your career field are great ways to build your network and open the door to additional connections. Join the Department of Defense’s military spouse LinkedIn group, which will signal your status as a military spouse to recruiters seeking to hire from within the community.  LinkedIn Channels LinkedIn Today allows you to stay information about area of interest as well as participate in conversations to add your knowledge. Just make sure you proofread everything before hitting send J finally, like I said before, LinkedIn is a great place to look for employment, you can target your search by company, industry field, or by location. As a military spouse make sure you are joining the MSEP group and following their company page for highlighted jobs from MSEP partners. It should go without saying, if there is a partner that is of interest to you, be sure to follow that company page as well.

I will be the first to admit I was never on the LinkedIn bandwagon until I started working in Workforce Development. It was not until I began to see how often employers utilize this platform to “research” a potential candidate long before they are even interviewed, did I start to update and revamp my own profile. Since this time I have been able to stay abreast of so many new developments to workforce industry as well as making connections with other military spouse.

 

Until next time,

Empowered women, Empower women.

 

Keadra is a USN wife by way of Kalamazoo, Michigan who is currently stationed in Northeast Ohio with her husband who is a recruiter. Her background is in Law Enforcement; however, degrees in Sociology and Public Administration brought her to the world of Workforce Development. Keadra’s hobbies include fostering her budding business Kubed, LLC a training and consulting agency, and raising their daughter.

 

 

 

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