How Can I Have a Career Around His Military Job?

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How Can I Have a Career
A soldier hugs their loved one upon returning from deployment. (Air National Guard/John Winn)

Do you remember when you were a new military spouse and wondering about your career progression? You knew you wanted a career, but you weren’t really sure how to make it work. Being the must-have parent, being available for maintenance repairs at the house and constantly adjusting your schedule based on the military. How are you supposed to do this?

It does sound a bit daunting. But, let me ask you a question though: why does it have to be that way?

Don't get me wrong, there are definitely going to be times when the military takes priority. Since you're a new military spouse, I'm assuming your service member is pretty new at this, too. That likely means the military will win more often than not these days. Please know: it doesn't always have to be that way.

I’ve been with my service member for 12 of his 14 years of service, and over those years, like with almost any other career he could have chosen, we have learned to navigate compromises along the way. Now that he is more senior in his positions, he has a bit more freedom to step away from work to help with things at home when needed so I’m not the only one missing work all the time.

Here's what I would say to every military spouse: don’t assume the military always wins. Have a conversation with your spouse where you each talk about what can and cannot be missed during each week.

It's guaranteed that there will be times the military wins just because of the military’s nature. But as you navigate doctor appointments and other daytime commitments, make sure you’re not operating on assumptions. If you start out your careers this way, you're setting yourselves up for success in the long run.

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