Difficulties in finding and maintaining a career as a military spouse are not surprising to anyone familiar with the military community. It's flat out hard to find a position that will challenge you professionally, pay you competitively and allow you to work remotely when your spouse's next assignment comes along.
But luckily, there are programs to help with this process, and spouses who have benefited from them.
Travis Malott is one such military spouse. After following his girlfriend, now wife, across the country a few times, he realized just how hard it was going to be. So when an opportunity arose to participate in the first Hiring Our Heroes Salesforce Fellowship cohort, he jumped at it.
While his previous experience included working at the U.S. State Department, Malott was not what he'd call high-tech. Through the application portion preceding the fellowship, he had the opportunity to learn and talk to companies and hiring managers, and found himself with two of his top-choice companies from which to choose his fellowship.
Opting for a smaller firm, he completed his fellowship and then was offered a full-time position as a Salesforce solutions engineer. Looking back at his decision, Malott said he was glad he chose the smaller company for his fellowship, because of the opportunities it offered.
"By week 10 [of 12 in my fellowship], I was operating. I was integrated into the team. Would that have happened at a larger company? No, I don't think so," he said.
The prospect of steady employment as a military spouse is a game changer. Malott wasn't quite sure how his employment would play into his spouse's career, but now he's glad it doesn't really have to be part of the conversation.
"I do think the comfort will allow for a more levelheaded approach to what is best for our family, whether that means staying in or it means getting out. But at least now, I am less of a piece in that equation, because I'm just able to provide support on both ends of the deal," he explained.
The initial fellowship program consisted of three cohorts, Malott’s fellowship began in August and finished 12 weeks later. The final cohort of 2020 will be completed in December. Each week, fellows would work four days with the company.
Ann Weeby, head of workforce innovation at Salesforce wrote in an email to Military.com, "We have extended this fellowship and created a 4th cohort that will start in 2021. We're working on how to continue programs like this to help create more opportunities for meaningful paid work experience."
This is great for military spouses who may have hesitated at the fellowship because of the lack of in-person resources or who were simply not ready to jump into a 12-week commitment. Weebly also noted that, while the fellowship is not currently open to those living overseas, that's on the list of things to improve and expand moving forward.
Malott's success isn't a fluke, Weeby wrote.
"More than 70% of our fellowship graduates have received full-time employment with an average salary of $92K, and more are expected to receive their offers soon."
To learn more about the fellowship options and to apply for upcoming opportunities, visit the website.
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