5 Great Career Articles and How They Apply to Your Life

by Amanda Patterson Crowe 

In order to stay up to speed on the landscape facing career-minded military spouses, I read articles on careers all the time. All. The. Time. It’s become a bit of an obsession actually. If I’m reading a news site, scrolling Facebook or laughing at my morning Skimm, you can bet I’ll stop if I see something about job markets or career options, tips for a resume, etc.

I read these articles and think to myself, how does this apply to military spouse professionals?

I thought with this post I’d share some of my musings on 5 recent articles that caught my eye as having particular relevance to my life and to yours.

5 Great Career Articles & How They Apply to Military Spouse Professionals

1. What Do You Put on Your Resume When You Have No Work Experience

The Gist: The folks on the Spouse Channel of Military.com talk through a skills-based resume and the importance of a killer cover letter regardless of the type of job you’re applying for. They also recommend written references (despite that not being a common job search technique these days) to take the place of job experience in some cases.

My Favorite Quote:

Do write your cover letter specifically for every position. The personalization comes through and shows you take the position seriously.

How This Career Article Applies to MilSpouses: This one in particular is geared specifically for milspouses so the application is self-explanatory. In particular, if you’re brand new to the workforce or you’re coming back after a long absence, this article is right up your alley.

2. How to Explain that Gap in Your Resume

The Gist: In this article, the author puts out some practical tips for addressing a gap in your resume. They discuss the place to address it (hint: it’s not on your actual resume), how to address it (hint: long explanations need not apply) and the importance of showing you’re ready to get to work.

My Favorite Quote:

Don’t let anyone get you down: None of this is to say that you won’t encounter resistance from some people on your job hunt. ‘If the hiring manager would be so shortsighted to think the gap is a damning thing you don’t want to work for them anyway,’ Ryan said.

How This Career Article Applies to MilSpouses: The military spouse professional without a gap in their resume is rare indeed. This article is great because it gives specific approaches to many reasons you may have a gap in your resume: raising children, health issues of your own or a family member, layoffs, etc. Of course the one situation it does not address is moving at the behest of good ol’ Uncle Sam. Reviewing the approaches they do include, however will give you easy-to-use examples that can be customized to your own situation. A key takeaway that applies to military spouses: “Don’t focus so much on why you were out of the workforce, but why you’ll be an asset to this company. “

3. The Death of the 9-to-5: Why We’ll All Work Flex Schedules Soon

The Gist: The title of this article alone is enough to make a milspouse professional swoon! Am I right? This article focuses on the fact that trends in the workplace are leaning toward work-family balance, disappearing corporate offices and the overall evolution toward flexible workplaces.

My Favorite Quote:

By 2030, professionals will work mostly from home using super-fast data terminals. Most companies will have nixed their permanent physical office locations in favor of chains of interconnected hubs with different plans for individuals to access space. Meetings will routinely occur virtually and across geographies and time zones, rendering air travel to visit clients or partners unnecessary. And if the office isn’t necessary—why are set office hours?

How This Career Article Applies to MilSpouses: Although this article was focused on the trends caused by the integration of the millennial generation, it’s easy to see how this trend would be beneficial to military spouse professionals. The idea of location independent careers is a dream for someone moving every 2 to 3 years and constantly flexing to meet the demands of a military lifestyle.

4. Can’t Code? How to Get a Job at a Tech Start-Up with No Technical Skills

The Gist: This article does exactly what it says: it talks through specific tips when searching for a job at a tech start-up.

My Favorite Quote:

Can’t code? Don’t let that discourage you from pursuing a job at a tech start-up. Instead, let that motivate you to do some soul-searching, researching, and understanding your value. Once you do, you’ll be in an excellent position to make your case to a tech start-up that you are the right fit for their company.

How This Career Article Applies to MilSpouses: At first blush, the relation to military spouse professionals may seem like a bit more of stretch, but I challenge you to read the article anyway. Here’s why it struck me: there is no doubt (and the author agrees) that tech is generally a growth-industry. It’s also an industry that possesses GREAT potential for location independent careers. Think: have WiFi, will work.

Beyond that, many of the recommendations made by the author apply to job searches regardless of industry. “Treat every conversation with a company you’d consider working at as if it’s an interview.”

You better believe it! Every single sentence counts. “Be open to wearing multiple hats and having a more vague job description, particularly if you’re talking to a very early-stage company. But don’t let the ‘I’ll do anything’ attitude show a lack of focus on your part.” Again, yes, yes yes!

Be flexible, but know your skills and be ready to showcase them. Show the companies you’re interested in why you’re going to be an asset and worthy investment for them. This is really a solid read with some great points all job seekers should heed.

5. 12 Habits of Genuinely Courageous People

The Gist: The author walks through 12 habits of courageous people including things like: “They’re not afraid to believe the unimaginable,” “They’re not afraid to be patient,” and “They’re not afraid to ask for help.”

My Favorite Quote:

That means bravery–sometimes an extraordinary level of bravery–is required in business and entrepreneurship. Like taking a chance when others will not. Or following your vision no matter where it leads. Or standing up for what you believe in even though those beliefs are extremely unpopular.

How This Career Article Applies to MilSpouses: The first characteristic he mentions, “They’re not afraid to believe in the unimaginable” along with the quote I featured above are two of the reasons this article screamed “Military Spouse” to me. In order to pursue and maintain a career alongside a military member means we have to be able to believe in the unimaginable (to most). We have to believe that we can keep finding jobs every few years or we can build a business and keep it going as we change time zones and ZIP codes again and again.

I truly believe the way military spouse professionals do that is by demonstrating the bravery he mentions in the quote above. Take chances. Follow your vision. Stand up for yourself and your skills. I would add to that, get creative and seek out opportunities that may not occur to the average job seeker.

Although you may never become as obsessed with career articles as I am, I highly recommend that you check out the ones I listed above and if you’re a job seeker, dial in on the many resources out there. There are a host of sites both military and non-military-focused that contain articles full of great information and inspiration to amp up your job search.

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