Is a 6 Month Rotation too Short for a Job?


Let’s say you and your beloved PCS to a training installation where he will attend one of the military’s glorious schools. Since these generally run six-months, you know you’re only there for that period.

On the one hand, that’s a really long time to have no employment or activities with which to fill the hours.

On the other hand, six month is no time at all when it comes to making new friends, figuring out the fastest way to get to the nearest Panera Bread and, oh yeah, finding, holding and then, at the end, leaving a job in your career path.

Talk about short timer’s syndrome. A mere six month rotation? If you landed a job you’d practically be leaving as soon as you walk in the door. That doesn’t really sound fair to the employer or to the people who need work and are going to be around for a long time.

But what if you get to your new station, forgo a job because you’re “only” there six months, and then get perpetually extended. Before you know it, you’ve been there two years but never felt comfortable digging in because you constantly thought you’d be moving “soon.” That doesn’t really sound fair to you.

I had never thought of this problem before reader Robert brought it up over here last week. Here’s what he said:

Here's one to heat up the Internet. Let me give you the flip-side to hiring spouses. In the middle of Missouri, jobs are scarce, but the flow of military families coming in for Captain Career Course classes is not. If you hire a military spouse, there is a high probability that they will be here six month or less. Then you have to refill the job. Only problem is that it takes three to four months to get approval to hire, recruit, select and start the individual. In the past 3 years, I have experienced this in our office four times.
That’s a real pickle for employers at training installations. Do spouses a solid, and shoot yourself in the foot. Ignore spouses, and we are stuck in the can’t-use-that-degree rut yet again.


I would love to be able to say “if you’re only stationed somewhere for six months, be nice to the employer and the people who will be there longer, and let someone else have the work.”  But that’s a one-size-fits-all solution for a very individualized problem.

What do you think about this? Should Robert’s office continue to hire spouses no matter what? Should spouses be a little more conscientious before seeking work at a training duty stations? Is there a solution to this problem at all? Take our poll below and check out the results, then discuss this in the comments.




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