Military Life: Job Searching from Across the County

I’ve officially been applying for jobs in Wisconsin since April 25th!

So far I’ve had two interviews (both with the same company) and I’m waiting for an official job offer early in June (not to jinx myself, but it sounds very promising that I will get the position!)

Having only ever applied for local jobs, I had no idea what to expect when I started this process.

Here are two of my “tips” that I’ve gathered so far!

#1: Be very clear about your relocation in your cover letter. I used something like this:

“I am looking forward to permanently relocating to Wisconsin this summer as my husband transitions out of the military and we return home.”

  • Let them know this is not a “if I get a job I’ll move” type of situation and that you are serious about moving.
  • Be as specific about the date as possible (in my case, I am willing to move before my husband gets out if I get a job, so I put “summer” rather than his actual EAS date)

At first, I was unsure about mentioning my husband or the military. I feel that military spouses in particular often mesh themselves with their husband’s career more so than other non-military spouses. However, this experience taught me to not be afraid of using the “military card”, because it ended up getting me an interview!

#2: Phone Interviews: After completing my first phone screening I was contacted from the agency again and informed that they wanted to move forward with me as a candidate and schedule an in person interview.

This was challenging for me. On one hand, I completely understand that a company would want to meet a candidate in person before offering a job. However, because I’m out of state, it’s a little illogical for them to expect me to spend upwards of $1k to fly out just for an interview.

After discussing it with my husband, my mom (who owns her own business and hires employees often) and other military spouses who have been through the same situation…I decided to be very clear about my situation and offer only a phone or Skype interview.

Initially, my offer was declined and they passed over me as a candidate. It was disappointing, because I really wanted the job, but I felt confident in my choice. It is just not realistic for my husband and I to spend that kind of money for an interview when we are preparing to EAS.

Here is where my comment about using the “military card” comes into play. I got a call later that week from the same company asking me to do a phone interview. They had discussed my situation with the hiring manager (who is former military) and they decided to make an exception for me because of my qualifications for the position. YAY!

Phone interviews are tough! It’s hard to hear if you are on speaker phone, people talk over each other, and you can’t judge facial expressions…your voice has to fully represent you as a person.

At the end of my interview I then offered to fly out and meet them; I wanted to be considered equally to locally candidates, and because I am very interested in the position, I am willing to make the trip now that they are seriously considering me for the position.

This is where my story ends. Right now I’m waiting for a call back by June 9th either offering me the job (which seems to be the way things will go) or asking me to fly out for another in-person interview. I suppose the other option is no call back and not getting the job…but I’m thinking positive!

All in all, this job searching experience has been a huge learning opportunity! But I’ll be glad when it’s over and I’ve secured an awesome job!

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It’s Okay to Be Okay

My husband recently returned from a 6 week training out of state.

It was a wonderful 6 weeks for me…and I find myself feeling a little guilty about that.

I got to watch all of my TV shows instead of waiting until the weekend when Jeremy goes golfing or is otherwise out of the house. I didn’t have to cook dinner…for an entire 6 weeks; I lived off cereal and caprese sandwiches. I spent my weekends living my own schedule, spending time with my friends when I wanted, shopping by myself, hiking, or just reading. I wasn’t accountable to anyone but my dog, and it was glorious.

I remember a time, a few months after Jeremy and I got married, when Jeremy first left for a training. He was gone for 2 months, and it was longest and most miserable 2 months of my life. I was depressed and hopeless. I actually sought out a therapist because I could not handle my life without Jeremy by my side.

Since that first time apart, Jeremy and I have been married for 6 years and experienced 2 deployments and many other trainings.

Not only have I gotten used to being alone, and learned how to thrive, I’ve grown more confident in who I am…apart from being “Jeremy’s wife”.

I love my husband, and I don’t want to live a life without him. But our happiness is no longer dependent on each other. When we were first married, I was dependent on him. And perhaps if he wasn’t in the military, we would have stayed that way. But going through those deployments and trainings forced us to move beyond that stage. Forced me to be more confident and comfortable being alone.

So here I am, 7 years into a military relationship, enjoying 6 weeks of solitude. I feel like society thinks that I “should” be miserable with Jeremy gone..but I’m not. And maybe that is okay. Maybe it’s Okay to Be Okay.