If you are a Coast Guard spouse seeking employment, you aren’t alone! You are in the company of many other military spouses of all ages and employment backgrounds interested in securing a job.
And, it’s no secret -- military spouses face unique challenges while on the hunt for their ideal position.
The Coast Guard has developed programs to support your employment endeavors. One of those programs is the Spouse Employment Assistance Program (SEAP). To receive support through this program, contact your Work-Life Transition and Relocation Manager. Contact information can be found here.
The Spouse Employment Assistance Program is standardized throughout the Coast Guard and offers a number of services and tools to support your needs. Whether you need help with your resume or advice on how to answer those tricky interview questions, your Transition and Relocation Manager is the one to call. They also offer employment resources, a reference library and job assessment tools. In many situations, they can also provide a computer work-space, too!
When speaking with your Transition and Relocation Manager, ask these two questions:
1. Do you offer classes or workshops to boost my skills? Many locations have a surprising number of quality classes that cover a wide range of possible topics. Pick a class, sign up and attend. Even if the class is not ideal for you, your participation gets you known by the professionals and increases their ability to provide services that will help you.
2. Do you have an email distribution list for employment resources? If they do, add your name to it. You can receive a wealth of employment information by speaking to them and joining their contact list. Transition and Relocation Managers will be familiar with local job fairs, community resources and job search strategies.
“Start your job search as soon as you know you're transferring -- even if you don't know where you're transferring to,” said Jennifer Conole, a Transition and Relocation Manager in San Diego. “Don't wait until you arrive at your new location -- connect with your servicing Work-Life office, start researching the job market, update your resume, and begin networking well before you move so that you know what to expect when you arrive.”
Conole is one of 13 Transition and Relocation Managers. Thankfully, what they lack in numbers, they make up for in passion; Conole loves supporting spouses on their road to employment .
If your location is too remote to easily meet with your Transition and Relocation Manager face-to-face, don’t be discouraged. Transition and Relocation Managers can support you through email and over the phone -- or, if you prefer, they can refer you to support in your local community.
Another great resource is CG SUPRT. You can visit their website or call them (1-855-CG SUPRT). Help is available 24/7. Through CG SUPRT, you can receive support from an ECC (Education and Career) Counselor for free.
CG SUPRT also offers an interactive online Education and Career Center. With the click of a button, you can access an incredible amount of unique information. Take assessments, build your interview skills, research job salaries and requirements, explore education options, and connect with employment resources.
Don’t forget to connect with your Coast Guard Ombudsman if your unit has one. Ombudsmen are information and referral specialists (and much, much more!) and can connect you with the employment support that’s available in your area.
Last, but not least, if you love working with kids and live in government owned or leased housing, check out the Coast Guard Family Child Care Program (FCC). This business opportunity may be the right fit for you.
Feel confident in your strengths and abilities. Utilize your network and the support that’s available to you. You’re a strong Coastie spouse -- you’ve got this.