Getting a job right out of college is no easy feat -- even for your civilian friends. For military spouses, the already complicated conundrum changes: You don't just need a job, you need a job near a base (so probably not in America's hotbeds of employment).
And you need a job that will add enough meat to your résumé in the next three years or less that you can actually leverage whatever work experience you have gained into a new and hopefully better job by your next PCS move.
For military spouses, having a degree but little experience is not a unique problem, but it does require unique solutions.
Many of the most-recommended "jobs straight out of college" don't apply to you. Huge investment banks are not located right by the back gate. And because licensing can require some foresight, becoming a teacher is not necessarily an easy solve, either.
But we have done the research and have found three jobs you can get actually straight our of school -- even at a military base.
1. Bank Teller.
While being a bank teller is not a starter job you would automatically think of, it is a great job straight out of college. There are plenty of banks near your base, wherever you are, and some front desk experience is a great thing to add to your résumé.
Don't forget to look at USAA's job openings first -- it likes to hire military spouses. It was also just named the nation’s top Military Friendly Employer®, according to Victory Media. This is the second consecutive year USAA has claimed the No. 1 spot.
What you can expect to earn: About $22,500 annually.
How you can leverage it for your next job: Fluency with numbers, customer relations and familiarity with bank practices are all skills you can expect to learn as a teller. These are all things you can relay into sales management jobs or accounting positions for a number of different companies.
As a plus, you will get to know everyone in town when they come in to bank, so it can be a good networking opportunity too.
2. Social Media Manager.
Sounds like a fake job, doesn't it? That's what your parents might say, but they would be wrong. Social media management is a hot job field right now thanks to the boom that is social media advertising.
Every company -- from your local grocer to favorite froyo place -- knows they need a social media presence. They need to hire someone who actually knows what that means. Vine? Snap Chat? This could be you.
What you can expect to earn: About $42,500 annually.
How you can leverage it for your next job: From marketing and communications to computer know-how and IT management work, you can take the skills you learned and honed on the ground as the social media guru and move forward any number of ways.
Extra points go to the person who takes the time to add some coding into their experience while they are there -- even if you just buy the book and teach yourself.
3. Real Estate Assistant.
The great thing about the frequency of military moves is that it means a strong real estate industry exists wherever you are stationed.
What can you add to it? You know the military community and lots of people constantly moving. And with a college degree in your pocket, you certainly possess all the skills to be a front desk manager for a local real estate office or a showroom sales rep for a new real estate development.
Entry-level real estate positions don't pay much to start, but you can ask to shadow one of the lead sellers and learn from the pro. As you slowly build your own customer cache, you'll be learning the skills you can apply to all sorts of jobs going forward.
What you can expect to earn: Somewhere around $20,000 to start and up to $51,000 annually.
How you can leverage it for your next job: Between on-the-ground sales and consumer relations experience, you can also use this time to develop a working knowledge of industry best practices and mortgages.
Look for a follow-up job in real estate development and licensed brokerage or, with a little more work, finance or law.
With a little creative thinking, relying on the industries around your installation for out-of-college jobs can land you the experience and know-how you need to aim for greater professional success going forward. Now tell us: What was your job straight out of school?
-- Editor’s Note: This article is part of our series on the 10 kinds of military spouse jobseekers. This one is aimed at the Young and Educated and Dedicated Billpayers. If you are looking for a different kind of job, let us know in the comments box below.