Post by International Military Life Community Manager, Courtney Woodruff
Congratulations! You’ve survived the thrilling, exhausting and often overwhelming task of moving overseas. Your life has been shaken up and turned upside down like a snow globe over the past couple of months; now that the pieces are starting to settle, it’s time to start fitting them back together. Having to leave behind valued jobs in the wake of another move is a tough reality of military life, but it is possible to begin a new chapter of your career on foreign soil. If working for the DoD as a civilian or military spouse is one of your goals during your time abroad, these tips are for you.
Employment readiness programs are a fantastic resource.
Need help fine-tuning your resume or improving your interviewing skills? On-base programs like the Airman & Family Readiness Center (AFRC) and Army Community Service (ACS) are on a mission to help job seekers by providing career counseling services, workshops, networking events and more. Practical tips and tools are also available online at AFCivilianCareers.com and MyArmyOneSource.com.
It’s important to know where to direct your job search.
Once your local employment readiness program has helped by polishing up your resume and boosting you with the confidence you need to put your best foot forward in interviews, it’s time to start the application process; but first, it’s beneficial to know exactly what kind of position you’re looking for so you can narrow down your search.
- DODEA-Europe hires full-time and substitute teachers, administrative staff, and educational aids.
- USAJobs.gov offers federal positions through the Office of Personnel Management.
- NAFJobs.org is the source for all Non-Appropriated Funds positions available with Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and force support squadrons (FSS).
- Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFEES) posts jobs available at Exchange facilities in your military community.
- Defense contractor positions may also be available. Visit your installation’s contracting office, AFRC or ACS for more information.
USAJobs.gov has a reputation for being tricky.
If your desired position requires you to apply through the USAJobs.gov portal, it’s recommended that you read all of the fine print, answer each question carefully, dot every “i” and cross every “t.” Entire applications have been known to be rejected for a handful of reasons, including not submitting one piece of required documentation. Insiders also suggest tailoring a new resume for each job application to highlight the skills, education and experience that is most valuable to the position.
Military Spouse Preference (MSP) can only be used once at each duty station.
MSP is a benefit to spouses of active-duty service members who are selected for competitive Appropriated Fund (APF) positions and Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) positions NF-3 and below. However, once it’s been applied to a job offer, it can’t be used again until you apply to work at your next duty station. For more information, visit cpol.army.mil.
Are you planning to seek employment during your time overseas? What challenges do you see yourself having to overcome working as a DoD civilian or milspouse abroad?
Check out the USAA – International FAQ
Courtney Woodruff is a military spouse, mom, writer, editor and web content manager currently living in Germany. She has a heart for our troops and their families and hopes to share what little she has learned along the way to help others overcome the unique challenges of military life. You can follow her adventures at her blog, Courtney At Home, or through her social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.