Monday, August 3, 2009

Advice for Military Spouses Returning to Work After a Career Break -- Part II

Here is Part II of a guest post that originally ran on the blog of the Sloan Work and Family Research Network. I asked the author of the guest post -- Carol Fishman Cohen from the site -- for permission to run her guest post here. If you haven't read the first part of the guest post yet, do so now.

Carol Fishman Cohen is the co-author of the acclaimed career reentry book Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work, and the co-founder of iRelaunch, a company providing career reentry programming, events, and information to employers, universities, organizations and to mid-career professionals in all stages of career break.

Carol recently spoke at the 2008 Joint Warfighting Convention Military Spouse Symposium on the topic of returning to work after a career break. Contact Carol at

So what is the best strategy for military spouses wanting to relaunch a career?

* Take a Series of Baby Steps - Find career-relevant volunteer work (we call this “strategic volunteering”) that can be done when one’s schedule permits, Take one class at a time instead of enrolling in a more demanding program. Seek occasional consulting work from time to time. The objective is to maximize current and relevant experiences, so reference to these experiences can be made during informal networking, formal interviewing and on resumes.

* Consider Employment with Global Employers - Global employers have offices in many locations to which military spouses could transfer or from which they could possibly work remotely. Some of the big accounting firms actually require their CPAs to switch offices every few years in order to get broad client exposure.

* Seek Employment With a Staffing Firm Such as Aquent or MomCorps -- These companies place employees in interim or part-time positions that often convert to full-time positions. These firms have offices and opportunities across the U.S. In Aquent’s case, the reach is international as well. Aquent focuses on marketing and creative fields, and MomCorps focuses on a range of fields including accounting.

* Target “Military Friendly” Companies
- Military Spouse magazine released a list of the Top 10 Military Friendly Companies in the June 2008 issue. The list included Health Net, USAA, Sunbelt Rentals, and West Corporation.

* Target Small to Mid-Sized Companies - Small to mid-sized companies are often thrilled to hire even for a two- to three-year period high-caliber employees who are returning from a career break.

* Develop Transferable Skills
- Military spouses in the fields of human resources, IT, nursing, sales, and teaching report an easier time finding employment after a transfer.

Thanks, Carol, for sharing such valuable information!

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs as a National Internet Business Examiner and at Operation Support Jews in the Military and Fiction Marketing, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her newest military-related project is the book/website project In Support of Our Troops.

Phyllis' company Miller Mosaic LLC provides internet marketing information to help people promote their brand, book or business. On July 1st the company launched the Miller Mosaic Internet Marketing Program.

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