Sign up for the Spouse & Family Newsletter

Most Popular Careers Articles

Military Life 101

  • job fair
    Military Spouse Employment 101
    While the military will always throw a monkey wrench in any best-laid plans, your career doesn't have to be one of them.
  • (Photo: U.S. Department of Education)
    Military Spouse Education Help 101
    Good news for you: Being a military spouse can actually make some parts of going back to school easier.
  • (Photo: U.S. Navy)
    Military Life 101
    Military life has a lot of nuts and bolts. You know, the little things that make up just an ordinary day.
  • stack of one dollar bills
    Military Spouse and Family Benefits 101
    Don't know exactly how to get your military spouse and family benefits or want to know more about what they are? Read on.
  • Movers at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, load up a truck with household goods. Jose Ramirez/Air Force
    Military Spouse and Family Moves 101
    Whether you're an old pro or new to the military moving game, there's stuff to learn about PCSing. Here's our easy PCS 101 guide.
  • (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie)
    Military Family Deployment 101
    Preparing for deployment can seem like an uphill battle. But we've been there. Here's what you need to know.
  • Military family
    Military Family Life 101
    Military life is not easy, but we've got your back. From marriage to kids and parenting, we have the resources you need.

Ms. Vicki: Should a Spouse Sign an Employment Contract?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I am a military spouse who PCSed to Florida this summer. I just passed the NCLEX test and am now a newly licensed Register Nurse. After two months of applying, I have my first interview today. The job sounds great, it is a training program for new graduate nurses. The only downside is a two-year contract. How should I approach this? As a military spouse, I know we plan to be here for three years, but there is always the chance of a PCS move before that. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you for your time.


Hello AP,

Congratulations! Woot Woot! YOU GO GIRL! I know getting through nursing school was a tough challenge, but you did it! On top of that, you passed the nursing exam and you even have your first interview. I think you will find this interview will be one of many.

In talking to many military spouses who are pursuing careers and employment, they advise not to put the military in the forefront of the discussion. Instead, just interview and make your decisions based on the position, how much you believe your professional and personal goals will be met, and if you think the position will be a good fit. Now, if this new job requires a two-year contract, they will usually explain what happens if the two years are not met. For example, you may forfeit pay, accrued leave or paid time off. If they don’t explain it then you should just ask what happens. You don’t have to ask this question as a military spouse, just ask as any other future employee would because this is something anyone would need to know.

Bottom line, you are looking for a good fit with an organization. You have a license that is in high demand. As an RN, for example, you could also work for a temporary agency and make great pay and benefits, too. That would allow you to take assignments that you like for shorter periods of time with hospitals, schools, clinics, etc. You can also gain great experience this way and some temporary agencies even offer loan repayment programs and other great benefits.

At any rate, I don’t think there is a wrong answer. Let me know what you decide and good luck with your future endeavors.

Ms. Vicki

Related Topics

Ask Ms. Vicki Family and Spouse Spouse Jobs

Military News App by

Download the new News App for Android on Google Play or for Apple devices on iTunes!


Ms. Vicki, a native of Dallas, has been the ‘Dear Abby’ for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology. Her column has appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Ms. Vicki has retired from writing new columns for Although Ms. Vicki is no longer offering new advice on, you can still email military benefits questions to our Questions and Benefits team. Need military spouse career help? Email our Dear Career writers.

Featured VA Loan Articles