I’m a wife to an E7. Who might get QSP’d soon. I have dedicated my life, as many others, to my family and husband. Now, we are faced with him losing his job. I haven’t worked in a long time. No one hires someone like me. I need a degree. Please, any info?
–Supportive Military Spouse
Dear Military Spouse,
I am sorry to hear that your husband will be facing Qualitative Service Program or QSP. No one expects to face involuntary early separation, but it is a reality in the downsizing of today’s military. This transition to the civilian world will be hard.
I think the first thing you need to do is take some time to figure out what you would want to do after he gets out. Will you guys be moving to a different location than you currently live? What’s the job market there? What’s the cost of living? Do you already own a home there?
But before the early separation, you need to put together your resume. Include all your volunteer work with the military through the years and any jobs you might have had. Do not think that no one will hire you because you do not have a degree. You do have something to offer, it is just a matter of putting things together so that you can start applying for the right jobs. You should be able to go to the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) on post to receive assistance with your resume and to find some professional guidance.
Once you have completed your resume, create a LinkedIn profile. Start with the information on your resume and add it to your profile. Start connecting via LinkedIn and even Facebook with potential job leads. Practice your elevation pitch. Let your friends and family members know that you are actively seeking employment.
You can start looking for jobs online at sites such as Indeed.com or Craigslist. Check the listings everyday and apply to any of them that you think would be a good fit. Research military friendly employers and plan to apply for jobs with these companies. Attend a local job fair along with job fairs for veterans and military spouses. Again, be ready to talk about your work experience.
Another option would be to start your own business. This option is not for everyone but it is something to think about. What are your talents? What are your abilities? Some military spouses have started businesses and are then able to be the family breadwinner after the service member gets out of the military.
Losing the security that the active duty Army brings can be very scary but there are options. Even though you haven’t worked in a long time, it is still possible for you to find a job. It might take some time but you should be able to find something eventually. Stay positive.