The second brief of this series highlights eight successful military spouses currently employed in the corporate workforce. Through the detailed conversations, the reader begins to understand the employment challenges military spouses face (i.e., deployments along with frequent relocation), how these challenges impact their work histories and resumes, and how standard methods of finding and getting a job (through a traditional resume or standard screening process) eliminate many military spouses even before they have had the opportunity to compete. The paper also offers suggestions and simple strategies employers can (1) assess military spouse candidates and (2) help military spouses through training and mentoring, or collaborative efforts like sharing best practices with like-minded employers and supporting nonprofit partners focused on spouse-employment efforts. Using these suggestions, employers can gain talented, motivated, loyal, diverse, and well-educated employees and simultaneously mitigate the negative impacts of the military lifestyle and thus, reduce challenges military spouses face in the workplace.
Human Resources Management
Military spouse employment, Employment research, Veteran employment
Military spouse; Employment; Work-life balance
Understand the military population--Military spouses
Employment and Economic Opportunity; Military Families
Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University
Employers; HR Hiring Managers
Paper Two; A total of twelve military spouses were interviewed for this report, and although all of their stories were not featured here, their experiences and insight contributed to the recommendations and suggestions in this report. We would like to recognize them and thank them for their time and willingness to participate and for their continued service and sacrifice, which often goes unrecognized. Stephanie Himel-Nelson’s photography is featured on page two. Stephanie, the spouse of a Navy veteran, is an attorney and was the co-founder of an influential, national nonprofit organization for military families, serving as the group’s Director of Communications and Counsel. Stephanie’s essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post. Stephanie previously served as the moderator of The Mil Life on the Washington Post’s website, a live chat about issues facing military families. Her interviews regarding parenting, military families, and politics have appeared on or in countless national news outlets. She is an entrepreneur and previously ran a successful photography business. Jennifer C.M. Wright’s photography is shown throughout this report. Jennifer has a Ph.D. in geophysics, a Master of Arts in education, and a Bachelor of Science in geology. She is married to an active duty service member in the U.S. Navy. Her family has moved six times in fourteen years. Jennifer has worked as a scientist, technology educator, and data analyst full time, part time, on-site, and remotely. Jennifer has a strong commitment to volunteering. She works to support military families, children with autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities, and communities in need of emergency services. Jennifer’s photography evolved as a way of documenting the lives of her children and connecting them with friends and family far away.
Bradbard, Deborah A.; Maury, Rosalinda V.; and Armstrong, Nicholas, "The Force Behind the Force: Case Profiles of Successful Military Spouses Balancing Employment, Service, and Family" (2016). Institute for Veterans and Military Families. 120.
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