Being a military spouse, we are constantly on the move which adds to the stress of trying to find employment. We apply for a great position and are excited when invited for an interview. Everything is going great and then that dreaded question rears its ugly head, “why should I hire you”? Well, here are the top 5 reasons!
Adaptability. We as military spouses can successfully manage when something does not go as planned. Let’s be honest, this happens ALL the time. This includes missing out on major life events like Christmas, a birthday, an anniversary, or throwing together a last minute party with whatever is in your fridge from a week ago, handling a sudden PCS move that we did not see coming from a mile away, a deployment, being a single parent because your spouse is out in the field or working an insane schedule – I could go on and on. Being able to handle such a situation requires adaptability. This is a trait that cannot be taught, but rather comes from experience and this is crucial in the workplace because unexpected things will happen. You might be faced with a demanding deadline, have a co-worker that isn’t pulling their weight, or someone is terminated and you have to absorb their workload. Things will always change at the last minute but we can successfully manage these challenges because we are adaptable.
Pride. We have pride in everything we do. We might be organizing an event, heading up a fundraiser, or be simply helping out a neighbor, but we will go above and beyond to make sure our task is done correctly. This means that we truly understand the sense of urgency, pay attention to detail, and successfully manage multiple priorities. This is the same in the workplace because if we are going to be associated with something, we will move mountains to make sure the task is done correctly and on time.
Skill Set – We recreate ourselves with every move which requires us to constantly step out of our comfort zone and acquire new skills. This also makes us super independent and requires us to become an expert at teaching ourselves new things. We might have to repair a washing machine, light a pilot light (lots of videos of You Tube how to do this one, that’s how I learned), or repair the computer that just crashed. We are constantly learning and acquiring new skills. And don’t forget about all of the volunteer work we do. Yes, we volunteer (AKA work for FREE and we ENJOY it) and learn skills while volunteering such as relationship building, networking, marketing, accounting, time management – you name it! We also bring this yearn to learn and transferrable skill set to the work place.
People Skills. Since we move so often, we acquire superb people skills! We are constantly making new friends, becoming a part of a new FRG, and learning our spouse’s new chain of command. We can get along with a variety of people from every walk of life imaginable. We have the ability to hold a conversation with the Colonel’s wife as well as a newly married spouse of a Private that is young enough be our daughter. We make new friends at the local coffee shop or gym, and maintain our friendships with those back home that might be a 1,000+miles away, all while networking for our next career opportunity. Every single job that exists can benefit from outstanding people skills and the ability to make others feel at ease.
Selflessness. Our lives are constantly changing. Actually, the only thing that stays the same is the pure fact that things are always changing! We willingly sacrifice our wants and needs to be with our spouse. This moves us all around the world away from our loved ones and we start from scratch each time. We also realize that we are part of a much larger picture than just ourselves – we are part of a dedicated team and we are proud of this. This transfers into the workplace because we excel in contributing our efforts and talents to help bring success to the workplace for a positive outcome, all while being a part of something larger.
There are so many other wonderful qualities that military spouses possess that contribute to a successful employee, but these are only a few of the top qualities. The next time you are asked why you stand out or why you should be hired, be sure to mention all of the skills you have learned and back them up with examples. If you passed over by a potential employer, channel those efforts into something else meaningful and know that it is their loss!
Angelique is a proud Army wife and happily married to her husband, Ray. After being PCS’ed from one side of the country to the other, Ft. Bragg, NC, is currently home. She has a degree in Counseling and a career background in Corporate Human Resources. She is an advocate for animal rights and enjoys supporting military and environmental causes. She is an accomplished flute player of 23 years and in her spare time she enjoys crafting, decorating, genealogy, travelling, watching horrible B rated movies, and is obsessed with anything pertaining to Disney. She and Ray are the proud pet parents of two dogs, Maddie and Ringo.
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Wow, very powerful blog. This should be headline news. Thank you for all your dedication.
I need to file this with my resume to re-read during interview prep. Thanks for the great reminder of all of our skills!
I’d better Evernote this article so I remember these points when I start interviewing again! Been out of the workforce since my first was born, and been through three PCS’s since then. I’m a bit intimidated about getting back out there, but I’m still optimistic.
I agree wholeheartedly! As a military spouse, we endure so much, that we are huge on work ethic (mostly to stay sane) and integrity!
Now hire us, dammit!
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