Milestone 2: Plug into the virtual and/or local community
As you manage your home and family through multiple deployments and/or relocations, you may begin to think of yourself as an island. You will start to depend on yourself, which is a good thing. But having a mentor, someone who has walked the path before you, can make your journey much easier. Connecting with and maintaining a relationship with a mentor, while building and strengthening your professional network, is actually vital to your career success. Fortunately, opportunities to find mentorship and build networks exist online and in person. Both of these options can help you build connections, find answers to your questions, and navigate the many resources that may assist you as you begin and advance in your career.
Seek peers who have similar experiences
The military is a small community that spans the globe. The longer you are part of the military community, the more likely it is that you will know someone – or know someone who knows someone – who has had a similar experience. Leverage your own network of military spouses as you consider the different possibilities for your future. And, when you’re feeling like nothing ever stumps you or stops you anymore, pay it forward and consider mentoring other military spouses.
NETWORKING & MENTORSHIP
Finding a Group on LinkedIn
You can find LinkedIn Groups you’re already a part of and discover new groups to join by using the Search bar at the top of your homepage.
Hiring Our Heroes
Military Spouse Resources
Provides military spouses with career development, fellowships, and networking opportunities in military communities around the world.
Find and organize online groups and host in-person events with people in your area who share similar interests.
“I wouldn’t doubt myself for a second that I can be a family photographer, because you have a bazillion military spouses who are family photographers. … If there were IT program managers left and right on every single base, yeah, I would be like ‘yeah I can do that.’”2019 Military Spouse Survey Respondent
Have You Made New Connections?
Locate possible professional mentors who demonstrate desired success
One day you’re thinking “I’ve got this!” and the next you’re wondering if your chosen career or profession is a good fit for you. What better way to figure it out than by speaking with an individual already in that role? By seeking out and connecting with a professional mentor, you’ll receive valuable insight into your chosen field, and understand the necessary steps to achieve a similar type of career success. You do have this, but take the assist and get there faster!
Real World Snapshot
One military spouse shares that when she considers a career path, “I find the person that is doing the same thing I want to do and go ask that person how they got there and the mistakes they made. That’s why things like LinkedIn are so important because you can find these industry leaders that you have a connection with somehow and get a referral to them and get in contact. People are usually more than willing to help out.”
Finding a Mentor
Many of the same mentoring programs can be used to find a mentor related to entrepreneurship, self-employment, remote work, and upskilling. The key is to use the programs and their matching capabilities to their fullest potential. Once you identify your interests and requirements during the registration process, you will increase your chances of finding an ideal mentor match in your career field or discipline.
A free service that provides you with a business counselor who mentors aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.
American Corporate Partners
ACP’s free Mentoring Program connects you with corporate professionals for customized mentorships.
Join thousands in setting up free 1-hr mentorship phone calls with successful professionals, as well as choosing your own mentors with no limit on the number you can have.
Have You Found a Mentor?
Build a network
Expand and diversify your professional network by tapping into your local, military, and online communities to connect with others who work in your desired career field. Target individuals, groups, and organizations that are committed to supporting the careers of the military-connected community.
“My personal experience goes with participating in networking events. The experience helped me reach out to new business leaders, local networking, discover new employment opportunities in the area that include certification and career development and at last decided to participate in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program.”2019 Military Spouse Survey Respondent
Premium Account from SECO
Military spouses with a MySECO account can access a free upgrade to LinkedIn Premium to assist with job searches, networking and more.
Professional Association Finder
Search by Industry, Occupation, or Association Name
Hiring Our Heroes
Military Spouse Professional Network (MSPN)
Provides military spouses with career development and networking opportunities in military communities around the world.