Photo Credit: Katie Syring
Military spouses are valued members of their community, both on and off the installation. Collectively, we are an extremely intelligent, well travelled, diversely educated and resilient group of people. And we are ready to bring all of these traits, and more to your organization. We want you to hire us!
1. We are adaptable. We have spent our entire time as a military spouse adapting to change. From small things like last minute time changes to large things like moving across the world with less than four weeks notice. We can make lemonade out of potatoes and we encourage others to do so as well. This extremely valuable skill can benefit your organization in so many ways. Just ask us in the interview about something we had to overcome and adapt to, the answers will impress and astound you.
2. We have an incredibly diverse and strong skill set. We can work with all types of people in all sorts of situations at a moment’s notice. We know how to treat people with respect when we don’t agree with them, and how to calmly talk to people who are upset. We have extremely strong problem solving skills. We have solved financial, logistical, interpersonal, and communications problems with one hand tied behind our back. Speaking of problem-solving, we are also excellent multi-taskers. Frequently we hold many volunteer job positions while balancing family life and the support our service member’ needs at any given time. We, as military spouses, frequently show our initiative. If we discover a program lacking in something, or missing as a whole, we usually start a new one. We don’t need to wait to be asked, we are already halfway through.
3. We are very competent at stress management. When you ask the average military spouse if their life is stressful, they frequently say no. This is because we are so used to it, that it takes a LOT to overwhelm us. We can easily apply those stress management techniques in the workplace. Whether it is answering multiple phone lines at a time, or dealing with several angry customers at once, or juggling a few high-demand projects, military spouses’ feathers do not get ruffled easily.
4. Our personality just can’t be beat. We have a great attitude, we are upbeat, we are trustworthy and we are selfless in nature. We have a large bag o’tricks for keeping people excited and focused. We are fiercely patriotic and loyal. We can see sunshine in the middle of the night, because we are used to hanging onto hope in the darkest of hours. This is a huge benefit for any organization, because bringing an enthusiastic and trustworthy military spouse into your employee population can change the outlook everyone has toward work.
5. We are financially savvy. All joking aside, have you ever seen someone pinch a penny better than a military spouse? We can handle budgets, paying bills, revising budgets, saving for unexpected trips across the country, budgets, talking with banks, and did I mention budgets?! Of course we can use these skills to help your organization improve its budget and spending techniques as well.
6. We have longevity. Yes, we know you think we move every year and that we get no notice. And sometimes, very rarely, that happens. But average turnover in most positions is 12-18 months. Military families generally move every two to four years, which in some cases can give you stability up to four times more than the average civilian employee. And, we promise, just as soon as we know we are moving, we will tell you and even help train the next person.
7. We can save you money. No, you can’t pay us less than other employees, BUT you can save money on benefits. We have medical and dental covered under the military at a price you can’t beat, so you can potentially save some money on the benefits side of the house when you hire a military spouse instead. On the other hand, perhaps you might just need someone part-time. As long as the money is right, most of us can work part-time, because again, we don’t need all the same benefits. Talk to us about this, we’re adaptable people.
8. We are educated. We have formal education that will probably shock you. According to the Military Family Life Project, about 10% of military spouses have a master’s degree, MBA, or professional degree. That percentage is very close to the percentage the Census Bureau reported of all Americans. So, at the very least military spouses are, on average, as educated as everyone else. But what we can bring to the table is all of the training we’ve received outside of our education. A lot of military spouses have volunteer training in areas like education, public speaking, resiliency, financial management, and managing volunteers. So our educational value combined with our extra training should very well set us apart from everyone else.
9. We are diverse. There is no cookie cutter military spouse. We come from across the world, we have different strengths, different backgrounds, different opinions. But we have experienced a lot! A good percentage of us have been overseas, allowing us to conquer language barriers and different cultures. We can bring all of those to the workplace and help you conquer them.
10. We have an extensive network. Typically, a network helps people in their job search, for military spouses, our extensive network can actually help you as our employer. Think of all the people we know, from all industries, disciplines, geographic areas, etc. When we are faced with a challenge, or a contract that needs to be filled, or, anything really, we know at least five people who can do it. When you hire us, you bring us into your network, and we bring you into ours.
These reasons to hire a military spouse line up closely with the things employers are already looking for in new employees. So, looking at the line-up of potential employees, ask yourself why wouldn’t you hire a military spouse?