By Debbie Gregory.
It takes an extremely strong and selfless person to be a military spouse. While the sacrifices made by our military personnel are often acknowledged, military spouses are usually unrecognized and underappreciated.
Probably the biggest challenge military spouses face are their frequent moves, which makes it difficult for them to build their own careers. In fact, military families are far more likely to be living on a single income than civilian families. The financial impact of military nomadism is substantial.
Although the traditional narrative persists of the spouse who keeps the home fires burning, the reality is that many of the military spouses who work are underemployed, and most of those who don’t work are reluctantly unemployed.
If the military spouse does work, chances are it’s a job rather than a career, settling for jobs for which they are either overqualified or underpaid. And while it is good news that with the advances in technology, telecommuting and portable jobs are becoming more common, the bad news is that most portable work-from-home jobs that can be done remotely only page minimum wage or a little better.
Beyond the financial impact, military spouses who sacrifice their careers are also often suffering with self-esteem issues which can affect their identity and overall well-being.
The Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership is a federal program looking to improve the employment opportunities for military spouses.
The program seeks to strengthen the education and career opportunities of military spouses. This is accomplished in part by providing helping them understand their skills, interests, and goals.