A big part of serving in America’s military is moving across the country, and sometimes overseas. For those tens of thousands of military spouses and families, this usually means they move with their servicemember as well. Over the course of a long career, this can mean families pick up and move several times. Each of these moves disrupts families’ lives, including the spouse’s career. Oftentimes, military spouses get discouraged when moving because they have to start their career over again, while their military servicemember presses on with theirs.
Military spouses are at a disadvantage when competing for jobs at new locations because their resumes often indicate the frequent moves, gaps in work history, and lack of career progression. To a hiring manager, their resume may give the impression that the person is a job hopper who can’t stick around long enough to advance. On goes this cycle which suppresses the spouse’s wages. Did you know that military spouses earn, on average, 38% less than their civilian counterpart? This situation can have implications for military families when deciding whether to stay in our voluntary forces.
As an employer, the next time you need to fill a talent need, consider hiring a military spouse. Here’s five reasons why:
- Military spouses are familiar with change. If your company has done things a certain way for a long time, changes in your processes might upset the status quo for some of your existing employees; not so much for a military spouse. Consider how drastic a change that moving across the country or overseas can be? Or, how about the constant deployments of their servicemember? Military spouses have come to expect change.
- Military spouses usually have multi-industry experience. When a military family moves, the spouse many times will find a new job in a different industry than their previous one. This means that your company would be hiring an individual that is well-rounded and knows how to work with different clientele.
- Outstanding work ethic. While a servicemember is off protecting our nation, the spouse is usually at home juggling many different things. This situation varies from family to family of course, but overall it can be very stressful for a military spouse to care for everything and worry about the safety of their servicemember. They must have a great work ethic to make it all work so, in turn, their military spouse can concentrate on their mission.
- Diversity. The military is a diverse force. As such, so is the military spouse population. Many have different backgrounds and life experiences. On top of that, because they are generally well-travelled, they may have experienced other cultures. Some even learn to overcome language barriers overseas. A military spouse can bring these experiences to your team.
- Mission-first mentality. Just as members of our military are mission-focused, so too are military spouses. They understand the sacrifices they make are for the greater good. This kind of mission focus carries over into their careers as well.