closing the distance · Military Lifestyle · MILSO

How to Military-Proof the Career you Haven’t Even Started

Being a college student and Navy girlfriend has been great.  However, eventually both of those things will come to an end.  Soon I will be living with my Love (becoming his wife sometime) and I’ll be entering the workforce as a recent grad.

With both of those changes coming so soon, here is what I have done to make the transition as easy as possible… You know, so I can get a job wherever we are.

Luckily for me, there is a national shortage of teachers.  So I’m safe there, at least I’ve chosen a field that has a lot of openings.  I suggest other MilSOs do so too.  Find something that can move with you.  A skill that is needed where ever you are, a job in a franchise where you can just pick up right where you left off, or a field that is necessary world-wide (like education, or health).  If you don’t have this option, try creating something that is transportable.  I know of many MilSO-owned Etsy shops, where MilSOs are successful in crafting out of their homes where ever that may be.  If they need to move, they can literally just pack up shop, and take it with them.

Where ever you go, bring experience! Instead of just student teaching this spring, I was an intern.  This was a step above typical student teaching where I was a paid district employee, ultimately having more experience.  I can tell you this as a fact, it is what set me apart from other young teachers applying for jobs.  Whatever your field, have the necessary experience that employers nation-wide will be looking for.

Dust off that resume.  I was a senior in college before I ever made an official resume.  But once I did, it looked great!  I made sure that everything was accurate, and that it demonstrated all of my skills.  I cannot stress enough, that you also need to check for any errors!  Typos happen to the best of us, but a lack of attention to detail could be someone’s deciding factor against you.  I also made sure that my resume stood out from the crowd by having light blue headings.  I know in the business world, black-and-white is preferred, but I’m going to be a teacher… I wanted my resume to reflect that.

Do your research.  Since  I know where I will be moving to, I have looked into licensing requirements for that location, demographics to expect within the classroom, average pay, application processes, etc.  I also researched where job openings were listed and checked that site frequently.  Then, when I saw an opening, I researched the school and it’s values to see if I was really interested in the position.  If I could honestly see myself working there, I applied.  I applied to 7 private schools and the entire public school system, before I secured one interview.  Which leads into my next point…

Since I was applying with an out-of-state address, employers were cautious about hiring me right off the bat.  So, be prepared for no.  I had many people who liked my cover letter and resume, but asked me when I would be there in person for an interview.  Since  I wasn’t available at the time, and wouldn’t be there in person right away, I had to understand that they weren’t that interested in me as a candidate.

On the other hand, I did have a principal who was very interested in me, and was willing to do phone and Skype interviews.  Once you have secured those opportunities, Prepare for them!  With the research you’ve done, be prepared for those interviews.  Show that although you are new to the area, you know what you’re talking about and can fit in.  Look up interview questions, and learn how to pronounce terms like a local.

In the end, it comes down to a simple tip, Apply yourself.  My grandpa always says, “You get 0% of the jobs you don’t apply for”.  Before moving, I applied for many jobs (everything from nanny positions, teacher’s aides, as well as full time teacher positions).  Starting in April, my goal was to apply for 3 jobs per week until I started hearing back and getting offers.  It was a lot of work and research to write a cover letter for each school I applied to, but it was worth it.  I did get an offer for a very prestigious, all girls, private school where I will be the 4th and 5th grade math and science teacher.  Now knowing that I have a job lined up, I am way less stressed about this move.


Any tips that I missed?  Leave them below in the comments!



2 thoughts on “How to Military-Proof the Career you Haven’t Even Started

  1. I am currently in the same boat. My future solider ( he leaves for basic next month) and me will be married eventually (sooner rather than later. I am a college student with undergrad, I am looking to go to grad school but since I have no idea where I/we will be at the time I do not know how to even start looking.


    1. Yes, I understand! I have delayed my graduate schooling for another 2 years at least because I moved to Hawaii to be with my Sailor, but the colleges here aren’t the best. I’m just working here and waiting it out before I continue my schooling in our next location. Unfortunately much of the MilSO life is waiting for others to determine important aspects of your life. You may want to consider some online programs though that could be done anywhere, just a thought.


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