Manage Lifestyle Shifts Like a Military Spouse
Let's face it: We’ve been preparing for this our entire “milspouse” lives.
I’m not talking about global pandemic. I’m talking about the necessity to abruptly adjust everything we know and work through daunting uncertainty. Change is in our DNA. Figuring out a new normal every day is standard operating procedure. Supporting each other through dark times is what we do best. Now is the time to show the rest of the world how it’s done.
First and foremost, take daily stock of your mental health and check in with others. Host online gatherings to keep your sanity and share resources. Military spouses know how it feels to be isolated and the implications it can have on mental health. Stay connected to your friends and family to keep a positive dialogue flowing.
Companies are constantly innovating, particularly in times of crisis. Check the social media feeds of companies in your area, including LinkedIn. Take note of companies who are posting about new products, strategies, or ways they are pivoting. Research companies that are in the news and identify industries that are growing. Soft skills such as adaptability, resilience, and problem-solving shine in this environment.
If you’ve been dreaming about becoming a teacher, a dentist, a software developer, or a landscape designer, now is the time. Consider taking an online class (from an accredited school or university) in a subject that interests you, attend a virtual seminar, or brush up on skills you lack. Perhaps you have a business idea percolating. Take time to write a stellar business plan, research the market, and map out your road to success. Maybe you can emerge on the other side of this as an entrepreneur.
Nonprofit organizations always need skilled talent. Reach out to a local group and offer to take on social media duties, bookkeeping, or even content creation for blogs or websites. Normally, I don’t recommend giving away writing talent for free, but if it’s a reasonable ask (once or twice a month) and you have the time, it’s something to consider. Work with leadership so they know you are interested in growth opportunities and employment.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Companies are still recruiting and those that aren’t actively hiring will rebound. Grab a friend who is on the job hunt and offer to host mock interviews with one another. Or host virtual writing sessions and workshop cover letters and resumes tailored to unique jobs. Work on your elevator pitch, LinkedIn profile, and common interview questions. Take this time to perfect your job-search approach. Like most trials and tribulations, hopefully we’ll be stronger as a society for having gone through this. For military spouses, the time of COVID-19 will serve as another example of getting through tough times together – six feet apart, of course.
Molly Blake is an award-winning independent journalist and a military spouse.
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By Molly Blake