Thursday, January 20, 2011

Career woman or not?

This issue is such a touchy subject for most military spouses. For me especially. You PCS (you get orders to move), you unpack and get settled in to your new state (or country), you look for a new job. For working military spouses (like I was) this occurs every two to four years. Changing jobs is not easy weather your civilian or a spouse, but when employers are hesitant on hiring you because you are a military spouse is another subject. I understand they have a right to their own opinion but if the only reason they don't want to hire you is because you're a spouse of a military member is plain out silly. Many military spouses like myself have quite a background under them due to constantly getting new jobs.

I have been fairly lucky by staying in the hospitality industry. I've had the most awesome employers who understand my need for "family first" and employers who don't give a darn. That employer who didn't give a darn had me for one week over here on the East Coast. After that I vowed to be a stay at home mom (at least while my hubby was stationed over here). Once you land the job most job seekers are okay but the interviewing process is critical.

I am very proud of my husband's career in the military but when I was looking for work and in the interview process I found myself angry. Not necessarily at him being in the service but for the lack of patriotism of some organizations in our country. I've had prospective employers ask me "Well since your husband is in the military how long are you guys going to be living here?" And "It seems like you've had a lot of jobs in the last five year" DUH, we move a lot, that's my lifestyle.

So what prompted me to blog about this subject was my recent job offers here in PA. When we first moved here I was actively looking for work outside the home in the hotel industry. I was trying to find a full time job at a hotel that would provide me with the hours and workdays that I needed. (Monday through Friday 8 to 5 or 6), which can be tough in that industry. I had interviews with two different hospitality with that job that I was at for a week that didn't give a darn about what I needed and had asked for when I was interviewing with them and the other with a company that I really wanted to work for they just didn't have any openings yet that fit my schedule.

The lady who represented the company I really wanted to work for understood me, my life as a mother and military spouse, and my needs. We had an amazing interview over coffee at a bookstore. She wanted me on her team and I wanted to be on her team as well. The problem was that she didn't have anything open for me. (I had submitted my resume to their company when a job was not open). I told her what I was looking for and she thought I would be great for their organization. She knew that I would be living in PA for possibly less than two years or possibly more, which all depends if my husband reenlists. Her dad was in the military and she grew up as a military brat. I felt relieved that she was willing to take the risk and hire me and invest in her time and her company's time in guiding me and grooming me. This was back in November. She and I were hoping that something would open up for me and it didn't. One month went by and I didn't hear from her and I stopped actively looking for work. Hubby and I decided that I would stay at home with our son and I would go back to college full time. That's exactly what I did.

Well, yesterday, I get a call from this lady again saying that her company needs a team member like me. I was flattered. She threw the idea in my head about working in sales (which offers steady days and hours) plus it offers bonuses and commission! Why didn't she offer this to me just four weeks ago? Before I signed up for school and before I made up my mind on staying at home. If Hubby decides to get out of the service our last month in PA would be December, leaving me less than one year to work outside of the home. I had to tell her "Thanks, but no thanks." It was the hardest decision I have made in a few months. I knew this job could provide for us financially when we most needed it since I am not working. After carefully thinking about it I was okay with my decision. Better yet, I felt great. I sent off my resume months ago to this company and the fact that they keep coming back to me to join their hotel team made me feel special, that I was wanted, and that I know I have what it takes. I know that this lady represents her organization well and they should be commended for willing to work with a military spouse and to provide the best work situation that fits their needs.


Darlene said...

I understand completely. With a husband that has been in for almost 11 years I know the struggles of finding work as a military spouse AND a mother! So happy you made a decision and feel good about it!

Erica Hall said...

Thanks for the follow - I'm following you back!

Dawn said...

Thank you for following. I'm following bcak and I love your blog! Can't wait to read more!

Jennifer said...

This was enlightening to me. I had not considered the impact of frequent moves with the military on the wife's job status. I have discussed with my MIL how the frequent moves with the air force (29 during their marriage) affected her and the kids. Thanks for following my blog and thank you to your husband for serving our country.