Monday, July 22

Military Monday: Mrs. Wookie talks career.

Today I'm joining in on the link-up fun with Eights on the Move and Ashley's inquiring about the militarily attached ladies (and few gents) and how we hustle for the dollars when Uncle Sam has a firm grasp on how life is lived, moved, deployed and such...

Ashley, thanks again for the invitation. I appreciate the looking out for me as Mr. Wookie is "bobbing up and down in the open ocean" (his words, not mine).

As a military spouse/significant other, how are you able to contribute to your family? Do you have a full or part time job? Are you in the military too? Stay at home mom? Stay at home wife? Student? 

It's no surprise that as a ball-bustin' redhead attached to a naval aviator, Idon't take 'no' for an answer when it comes to my employment. While I'm currently on Cloud 8 for work right now (Cloud 9 will never exist, because eventually I'll have to give notice and relocate), I've had low strides of temping in a call center, being paid far below what I'm worth, and sitting at home without any income (which just drives me crazy!).

We are both BIG advocates for DINKdom (dual income, no kids) and using your Bachelor's/Master's degrees if you got them. Nothing drives me MORE bonkers than (typically) women who have an education, no children, and SIT AT HOME ALL DAY. Listen sister, there's nothing for you to do when he's deployed minus swallow up his money. So why don't you pass the time a little faster, pad the wallet, and get a job? (Sorry, I know it's a little harsh - but SERIOUSLY!?!?). He's a grown man and can handle ironing his uniforms, making his lunch, and wiping his ass. And don't get me started on, "I have my Master's, but I couldn't find work after barely looking, so I decided to get pregnant instead." Because that's a good way to use the $__,000 invested in your not using it.

While you don't need to "Lean in" and completely diss your family, we are in the modern age where women are graduating college at a larger rate, are holding higher positions, and are pretty much kicking ass and taking names on the homefront. Never before have there been this many "Mr. Moms" (which is awesome!). The days of 1950's gender roles are gone (see ya!), and the new era that's 'in' is one of 50/50 household division, smart women with real careers (being a secretary till you got married is just a joke), and ladies making conscious efforts against the "maternity gap." You can have your cake and eat it too.

In between, all of the above? Have you used any of the military programs designed to help spouses/significant others find jobs? Did you work before & decide otherwise because of moving/timing/orders? Do you wish you could work but can't because of your particular circumstances in the military? Are you totally living it up with your dream job?!

Regarding any military programs out there for spouses/significant others, I can say 'no' I've never used them and probably never will. This may just be my bias, but I feel that the military's resources are slightly outdated when it comes to assisting the families. (Obviously as not-a-spouse, these are only my opinions from the "outside"). When we first moved to California, I saw the ads for employment assistance through the Fleet & Family Service Center. They were full of classes like, "How to write a resume." or "How to navigate LinkedIn." No offense, but I'm on a different level than all of that. I've been to college. I've worked the entry-level positions. What is Fleet & Family really going to offer to me?

So instead I hustled all the employment agencies, networked with working spouses (which is rare in the Officer realm of the Navy), interned, temp'd, and didn't give up until I landed where I'm at now (which is a sales rep for an e-commerce/web division). My job is amazing and challenging - and Mr. Wookie loves hearing about my day(s). And if you would have told me I'd be working in sales in my late 20's, I would have slapped you across the face and made you take me out to dinner. Now, I can't imagine not working in sales.

And I will continue to make connections for any other working spouse (enlisted or Officer) who's wanting to do more/better because I feel that there's just not a lot of support for the educated spouse (which is fine - I don't need your support, I have a home bar). ;)

However, the sun will eventually set on sunny California and our extended timeframe with his squadron. And I'll be starting over again somewhere else, pursuing my next feature on the ol' resume, and dusting off the bank account that enjoys the bi-monthly deposits of green. And just like that, my drive kicks into gear and I accept the challenge of (Awesome) Employment or Bust.


  1. Aaaaand this is exactly why I "invited" you! I LOVE your opinion on this - mostly because I'm living in DINKdom, even though I'd never heard of it! I would feel awful paying on student loans for my masters degree, without earning a cent from using it. Although my options change as the Navy decides what my husband will do, I'm bound & determined to work my tail off as much as possible! If you were so far away, I'd kiss ya (and hand you a glass of wine too)!

  2. I love this new link-up and learning about other milspouses!
    Following your blog :)

  3. First: I haven't commented in a while so HI!!! Second: We two are enjoying our DINKdom (PS, LOVE that word). We do plan to eventually have kids but are busy living life at the moment. PPS, so glad you're back to blogging more! I've missed your awesome snark!