Maximize your job search during a PCS
by Marla Bautista - October 29th, 2021
It's no secret that the job market in America is competitive. But for most military spouses, getting a job can be downright impossible. There's filling out an application with massive employment gaps, being asked inappropriate questions during an interview like "how long will you be living here?" and finally, the dreaded rejection. Wash, rinse, and repeat this cycle every few years for the remainder of your spouses’ military career. To say it is exhausting would be stating it mildly; honestly, it can be dreadful. However, you don’t have to partake in this experience. Here’s your chance to dominate your job search and find a rewarding career.
Now that you’ve been notified of your PCS, you can begin to search for your next job. There are ways to make the process smooth and fulfilling. Follow these three steps to help maximize your job search before your PCS!
Before your move
Make sure you are doing all you can ahead of time to make your job search as uncomplicated as possible. Be prepared, look at job listings, and research which companies are hiring before your move. This way, you’ll have a list of employers already in mind that would be perfect for you. You can also stay on top of what’s going on in your career field by regularly visiting professional websites and blogs. In addition, try to build up your skills before taking off—work-related courses or taking something new might help you stand out from others who haven’t been as proactive about their careers. And lastly, it goes without saying: make sure you continue looking for jobs once your PCS! No matter how difficult it may seem to find work remotely while adjusting to life in a new place, remember that making a job happen is always more gratifying than accepting defeat early on. Learning about your new duty station and its surrounding areas will make a world of difference when you begin applying for employment. Check out job postings on websites like LinkedIn, USAJobs, and Indeed to learn what employment opportunities are available at your new location.
During your move
If you are currently in the process of a military move, there are things you can do now that will make your job search easier once you arrive at your new location. Move before your spouse does or vice versa: If possible, try to plan your move so that one of you arrives at the next duty station early. Moving ahead of time will ensure that your family can quickly settle into your new community; this will shorten the integration period so you can hit the ground running. If that’s not an option, use online resources to network with local employers: utilizing online resources like LinkedIn allows employers and recruiters to connect with you more quickly during your job search. Reach out to your old company for leads. Ask around or contact your old boss; maybe they know someone who would be able to offer some additional information. Follow and connect with employers on social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to communicate with other people worldwide, but it’s important not to provide too much information about yourself; remember OPSEC.
After you arrive
Even after you’ve moved, continue your job search. And don’t wait for an opportunity—make it happen. Visit your installation's employment readiness office, learn about upcoming job fairs, resume expansion classes, and other employment-related opportunities. Gather information about jobs in your new location, and apply for any positions that interest you. Even if it doesn’t work out, you can use those applications as leverage when networking or interviewing later on down the road. You never know what might come of a seemingly fruitless quest. As a military spouse, being resourceful is ingrained in you; use it to your advantage and soar.