Now that you’ve decided whether you want to pursue a job or a career, your next decision is whether to work on base or off base. Opportunities abound for on-base jobs. And many have spouse preference when it comes to hiring.
The Military Spouse Preference program makes it easier for spouses of military members to get federal jobs. It can also help reduce the interruption of a career because of a PCS. Mrs. Tech Sergeant has worked in the Child Development Center field since she graduated from college. When she and Tech Sergeant moved from Alaska to England, she was able to get a job in the CDC in England. As a Government Schedule (GS) worker, she had a year to find a job in the same GS rank she currently held. That was okay because she was pregnant with Tony B at the time they moved. After Tony B was born, she took a job in the system in the base Youth Center. Then, when an equivalent position opened up in the CDC she moved over to that position. The MSP does not guarantee a job when you move, but it does put you on top of the list when a position does open. For more information on spouse preference go to www.sandboxx.us
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) or the Navy Exchange is another place to look for employment on your local base, especially if you want a job in retail. AAFES offers all kinds of jobs from hourly workers all the way through management and corporate positions. They use the Associate Transfer Program to help you find a job at your next duty station if you meet the requirements of PSCing with your sponsor, worked for the Exchange for at least six months, and get a satisfactory or higher rating on your performance review. I’ve known several military spouses who have moved up in this system to become managers. Also, since Exchanges are throughout the world, jobs are available overseas as well. Talk about portability.
The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) employs more than 18,000 civilians in 14 countries. DeCA jobs include baggers (who work for tips), cashiers, stockers (often hired by an outside company to stock shelves), and a variety of other jobs. Again, another source to gain experience in retail if that is what you are looking for. Jobs are listed on USAJOBS.
And don’t forget the Non-appropriated Fund (NAF) jobs on base. NAF jobs are different from civil service or government schedule jobs because they are paid out of funds raised through services on base. For example, money taken in from the clubs on base, Outdoor Recreation, etc. go to pay the salaries of NAF employees. NAF jobs include clerical, administrative support, managerial, laborers, crafts, and trades. Applications for these jobs are accepted on a regular basis through the NAF office on base, so put your application in and then wait.
The Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC) recruits workers from “every profession imaginable” for jobs in support of the mission of the military. Most, if not all, bases have a CPAC. It acts as the human resources department. For example, when Mrs. Tech Sergeant needs to fill a position, she contacts CPAC and they send her qualified people. She then hires the person she wants for the job. It is a good idea to contact your local CPAC to see what they can do for you.
To search and apply for most of these jobs, you go through USAJOBS. It can take a very long time to hear back from USAJobs, so if you know you are going to a particular location, you might want to search the website in advance of your move. In the meantime, federal jobs are open to anyone from no high school diploma to doctorate degrees and everyone in between. You will fill out a profile, upload a resume, and put down what types of jobs you are interested in. I saw a job on USAJOBS for a job in my hometown in Central Illinois. It truly is the clearing house for jobs on base.
Local jobs are available for military spouses. You just need to determine what you are looking for, find the necessary resources and go for it.
Until next time,