Friday 11 May is #militaryspouseappreciationday in the USA. We have nothing like that in Australia. In this spirit, I would like to bring to the attention of my LinkedIn network the employment challenges military spouses face. Military spouse employment is such as important issue which never gets talked about – it’s not really on anyone’s radar. I’m so lucky that I work for a large organisation where I’ve been able to transfer around when I need to. Most military spouses don’t. Every few years they have to quit their jobs and try to find new ones, often in a different state. This means that:

  • they can’t accumulate leave (a particular issue when the spouses are the main care giver of children since the military member is away so much)
  • long service leave will never be attainable
  • superannuation accumulation is degraded as each job change usually means a new account is opened
  • some qualifications, licenses and registrations don’t transfer from state to state (like teaching) which means spouses are precluded from their profession
  • a posting in a rural or remote location means jobs are so hard to come by that a spouse is often under or unemployed for the duration of the posting (2-4 years or more).
  • a CV reflecting frequent job changes and periods of under or unemployment means a military spouse is often uncompetitive in the job market
  • there is so much discrimination against military spouses in the job market. Potential employers can pick a military spouses’s CV a mile away which means their application often won’t be considered because employers know they will have to quit in a couple of years time anyway and may take more leave to care for the family.
  • it’s difficult (most impossible) to run small businesses that rely on local reputation/clientele as this takes years to build, only to be moved again.

All this and I haven’t even mentioned the emotional and mental health impacts of under or unemployment. career counselling, career coach, career coach brisbane, career counselling brisbane, brisbane career counselling,

The USA and UK have policies and legislation in place to assist military spouses with employment challenges. Australia has nothing more than a very small grant to fund education and ‘employment related initiatives’ which does have an eligibility criteria, meaning many spouses aren’t entitled to the funding depending on their circumstances. career counselling, career coach, career coach brisbane, career counselling brisbane

So if a military spouse applies for a job at your workplace, please give her/him a chance.career counselling, career coach, career coach brisbane, career counselling brisbane, brisbane career counselling, brisbane career coach, career coaching, career advisor, career advice, career aspirations, career advice brisbane, job search, career decision making, interview skills, skype online, career guidance, career advancement, career advice australia, study