As a military spouse, you know that certain career challenges come with the territory. After a PCS and deployment or two, “what you wanted to be when you grew up” can get pushed aside.
What DO you want to be? A teacher? Artist? Doctor? Inventor?
The Military Spouse Foundation, a nonprofit that offers spouses free online career and entrepreneurship training, launched a campaign to encourage you to get back to your dreams. They’re on the road to collecting 10,000 plus Dream Cards from military spouses that will later be showcased as part of a mobile Hall of Dreams display at military bases across the country.
… Stop for a second and imagine that. TEN THOUSAND military spouse career Dream Cards will be displayed in one location. We'll be showcasing the hopes and dreams of military spouses in a real, tangible form. It’s going to be an awesome and inspiring sight.
Sharing your dream with the MSF is easy. You can either submit it digitally on the MSF site, or you can download and print a Dream Card to write your dream onto to, and take a picture with it.
Dreams we’ve received so far include:
I’m a military spouse and…
I want to return to the engineering world.
I want to be a behavioral psychologist.
I want to help others be healthy!
I WILL be a successful marketing and social media executive.
But what is your dream? To be a professional singer? Write a book? Become an anesthesiologist? Start your own business?
It’s a great exercise to put your dreams out into the world. All great plans, careers and businesses start with a simple dream. In fact, the simple act of recording and sharing your dream publicly can have serious positive side effects. Several studies in human persuasion show that writing down a commitment and sharing it increases the likelihood of it happening by as much as 700 percent! (If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind that number, the famous psychology researcher Robert Cialdini devoted a whole chapter to the topics of commitment and consistency in his book, Influence.)
By sharing your dream, you’ll also help future sponsors, lawmakers and the public recognize that military spouse career dreams are important.
When military spouse Roxanne Reed founded the Military Spouse Foundation, she felt there needed to be training available for military spouses to help connect their various jobs, education, and big career dreams into one cohesive action plan. She explains, “In my experience as a military spouse, trying to be "Jack of all Trades" created the biggest career setback. I graduated from college, married a Marine, had two children, and found myself running down a number of career paths without defining my long-term career goals. After 10 years I had a lot of great stories and adventures but I also had a grab bag of skills and experiences that seemed disconnected.”
After that experience, Roxanne’s mentor, a team of spouses professionals and she reached out to other spouses to find out if they were having the same issues as she had. To our surprise, almost every spouse we talked said they felt the same way.
Once we realized what a widespread problem it was, we started working towards a solution for to help spouses learn to how to self-actualize, prepare and solidify a career or business path that fits their passions, skills and education. This solution can now be found inside the Military Spouse Foundation's online courses.
The training you get from the MSF is specifically tailored to our lifestyle (no generic career advice here). It was created by professional educators, HR professionals and career consultants directly with military spouses. The training is completely online and self-paced, so you can take advantage of this benefit no matter where you are stationed, or what your schedule is like. You’ll be given access to a mentor to guide you through the courses.
If you feel like you need clarity on your goals, purpose and career - the Military Spouse Foundation can help you fill in the gaps. We help spouses begin, rekindle, or change their career while also making it as portable as the life of a military spouse can be.
After you share your dream with the MSF, comment below: what’s your dream career?
Written by Kaye Putnam, the Director of Marketing for the Hall of Dreams campaign for the Military Spouse Foundation. Her career dream is to inspire others to be successful through her work in online marketing. Have a question or want to get involved? Email her at kaye(at)militaryspousefoundation(dot)org.