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Quiz: Are You Ready to Go Back to Work?


Sometimes, I think the words “spouse employment” send half of our population straight down to Guilty Town.

Some of us are working already, but we get that inner uneasiness because it is part-time work, or work that was available, or work that fit into the rhythm of the family.We could be doing more, earning more.

Some of us are full-time Stay-At-Home-Moms or Dads who are already working all the hours God sends -- but not for pay.

In its annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey Report, Blue Star Families found that 61 percent of the military spouses surveyed were not currently employed. More than half of them indicated that they wanted to work and another 21 percent said they were unsure.

At, we know what that means. We recognize that the desire to work can butt up against the demands of military family life.

So we have one question for you:  Is it time for you to go back to work or switch jobs? Take our quiz and find out:

Award yourself points on a scale of one to 10 where one means that you strongly disagree with the statement, five means that you are perfectly neutral about the statement and 10 means you strongly agree with the statement.

  1. I miss having a job.
  2. I can see myself going back to work within two years.
  3. My servicemember is available to participate in our childcare arrangements.
  4. We will NOT move (PCS) within the next calendar year.
  5. I am NOT happy with my current work status.
  6. My servicemember is NOT happy with my current work status.
  7. We have pressing bills that are not covered by my servicemember’s income.
  8. I can easily see how our family would cope with a new arrangement.
  9. I know what kind of job I want to pursue.
  10. Our children need me at home less than they have before.

How to interpret your score:

If you score 85 or above, you have strong motivations and desires to go back to work. Your family is in a good place to accommodate your career plans. Use the stories and articles on to reload your dreams and get yourself back into the workforce in one way or another this year

If your score falls between 65-85, you have a moderate desire to return to the workforce. There may be a few areas of your home life that will be a challenge to accommodate for your work life. Being in the military means that everything will change. What can you do now to prepare yourself for then? Use our articles to explore an alternate career choice (a job you can do from home, volunteer experience, classes, entrepreneurship) that might suit your current circumstances better.

If your score is less than 65, you do not have a strong desire or motivation to change jobs or return to the workforce at this time. Every military family must find the right pattern for their family life.Now might be a good time for you to enjoy your life exactly the way it is. To take a class in an area that interests you. To dream a little dream of what you might like to do in the not so distant future.

No matter what you scored on our little quiz, “spouse employment” is never meant to put you on the train to Guilty Town. Instead, it is meant to make your journey to a happier military life far easier. Let us know what we can do to help you.

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Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs at and a military sociologist.  Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan??

Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times.  Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom.  

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