Social media has had a significant impact on the military spouse experience. It has helped to close the distance between spouses and their service members while they are deployed, between spouses and their families when they are stationed across the country or around the world, and between spouses and the life-long friends they have made at each duty station by providing a real-time mode of communication with those who are most important in their lives. But, aside from all of that, social media has helped some military spouses to overcome the barriers to career progression that have plagued this population for decades.
The life of a military spouse is one filled with various challenges. Thankfully, challenge is not a foreign concept to this group. The husbands and wives of our nation’s service members face many, such as moving to a new state or a new country every few years, coping with deployments and extended separations from their service member and their immediate family, and understanding that someone else has more control over their lives than they’d like.
While these are some of the more obvious challenges one might come to expect from living the military lifestyle, another less obvious challenge is figuring out how they can build a successful career while living the military lifestyle. For military spouses, any job they are hired for is typically a temporary position. Not because the employer is filling a temporary position but because at some point in a year or two or three, the military will require them to once again pack up their lives, put them on a truck or airplane, and move on to the next duty station.
Frequent moves and job changes can present obstacles that may stunt the growth of a spouse’s career and hinder its progression. Consequently, it can be extremely difficult for spouses to get established and realize the success and professional satisfaction many desire. However, it is possible for this reality to become the exception rather than the rule.
Thanks to the rise of social media, military spouses no longer have to put their career aspirations on hold. Technology affords them the ability to work at any time, from any time zone, from anywhere in the world. For someone who moves frequently, this is one option that offers the opportunity for a stable professional life and career.
And social media has opened new doors for military spouses by presenting them with new career opportunities that were not available even a few years ago. There is a new booming industry centered around social media marketing, so those who have a knack for marketing and a love of social media can combine their skills and passion and launch an online business that can be both profitable and portable.
A career as a virtual social media professional can offer a military spouse the professional satisfaction they desire while providing a freedom they have never known. But, perhaps one of the most important things that a virtual career in social media can do for a spouse is to help them rediscover their identity.
Who a spouse is as an individual can become buried and forgotten over time because so much focus and attention is placed on the service member. A spouse is more than So-and-So’s wife or that military child’s father. Their sums are greater than their service members’ ranks and accomplishments.
By taking advantage of all social media has to offer as a profession, a spouse can have that career they have been longing for, something that is just for them and separate from their service member’s career and their family responsibilities. So, spouses: give yourself permission to become who you know you are and allow yourself live the life you want, regardless of where in the world you find yourself. It really is okay!