Networking Event Gives Spouses Platform to Share Employment Struggles


Washington, D.C. – The employment of military spouses continues to be a leading issue within the community as various organizations and private sector companies step in to offer solutions – and in some cases, jobs.InGear2

Networking Event Gives Spouses Platform to Share Employment Struggles

Starbucks teamed up with In Gear Career – a professional networking organization catering to career minded military spouses, to host a set of events near installations around the country. The goal was to provide local spouses with a venue to share the challenges they are experiencing in finding jobs and discuss topics relevant to getting hired, such as public speaking, perfecting elevator speeches, and strategic volunteering. You may be wondering how a popular coffe
e spot ties into spousal employment. Well, Starbucks is among those companies looking to do its part in getting military-connected job seekers back to work.

I was fortunate to attend a get together of military spouses in the National Capital Region last week where we met at a local Military Family Starbucks Store to help kick off a new In Gear Career Chapter. The group attending was comprised of all branches, ages, career stages and various states of employment – 15 employed spouses, eight unemployed, and seven who were employed but looking. There were lawyers, teachers, and spouses with a mental health background, engineers and small business owners. Military spouses in this area are facing struggles that, to them, are unique to this area:

  • The Preference Program for federal employment is overflowing in this area with veterans and retirees who receive priority in the hiring process.
  • Childcare is expensive in the NCR and on-base childcare is hard to acquire because programs are crowded and preference is given to dual serving families.

InGear1InGear Career, as a program of Hiring Our Heroes, is not only concerned with getting the career to the spouse, but resume writing, mentoring opportunities and narrowing down specific struggles of military spouses so that they can provide the exact kind of help needed; as well as understanding the significance of networking and advocacy as large pieces of the puzzle. That is what makes In Gear Career stand out in the sea of military spouse employment advocates. If you are looking for a career, looking to continue your career, or just looking for something, what can you expect to find at In Gear Career?

  • Find a local chapter (CONUS and OCONUS)
  • Go more in depth locally by joining your local chapter’s Facebook page. Online networking is an important piece of the pie.
  • Visit Hiring Our Heroes (of which In Gear Career is a part) and build a skills-based resume that can help spouses returning to the workforce build a resume that includes their military-related life.
  • Ementor, another amazing partner with HoH, has created an excellent mentorship program that connects spouses with experienced military spouses or corporate mentors to give guidance and encouragement.

If you are located in or around the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia get ready for some exciting events to celebrate the official launch of the chapter on September 21st and the USO Warrior and Family Care Center on Fort Belvoir. Before that, you can participate in one of Hiring Our Heroes MilSpouse Hiring Events. These events provide an excellent opportunity for networking, workshops, and a hiring fair.

Are you searching for a job or trying to further your career? What has been the toughest challenge for you?


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