As a mother of two young children with an active duty husband who deploys quite a bit, we have made a family decision that I will stay home, and not work, for the time being. But that doesn’t mean I can’t plan for the future. I know at some point I will be ready to join the work force, again. With that in mind, I was excited to find out the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s program, Hiring Our Heroes (HoH) was hosting an event near my home in San Antonio, Texas. Cue the babysitter…I was headed out to see what it was all about!
For those who don’t know, Hiring Our Heroes is a national program with a mission to connect businesses and communities in a productive way. One of the programs they run focuses on helping veterans and their spouses find meaningful work. Even better, Hiring Our Heroes has networking receptions, hiring fairs, and even an online resume booster built specifically for military spouses. This sets HoH apart as a small, but growing, group of organizations who are more holistic in their approach to helping veterans. When families are included as part of their mission, everyone wins.
As I listened to the keynote speakers at the event, which was hosted by USAA–also a great supporter of military families–it was clear HoH truly understands the unique challenges of being a military spouse. Whether it’s facing the hurdle of filling gaping holes in time while resume writing, or finding ways to get face-to-face with potential employers, they have it covered. The network of employers they have built understand we have a unique set of traits and skills that make us desirable employees.
This particular reception had representatives from big name companies that ran the gamut, from technology to business, and hospitality. As I strolled, I spoke to an Human Resource agent from Southwest Airlines, a representative from an IT firm that specialized in government contracts, and a customer service rep from a local car dealership. Each one of them was genuinely interested in hearing about my personal history as a military spouse and how that translated into traits that would benefit their companies.
As the evening ended and I spent time talking with other spouses, it was clear I wasn’t the only one who worried about how my time as a military spouse potentially affected my career opportunities. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that when the time was right, there are organizations like HoH there to offer help. Whether you are actively looking for work or just keeping your options open, make sure you check out this organization and all they have to offer. They have events nationwide so take a look at their website to see when they will be in your area. I highly recommend it! Most importantly, rest assured that there are groups tuned into the struggles and needs of military spouses and are doing something about it.
Have you ever attended a Hiring Our Heroes event? Tell us about your experience!
Posted by Christy Brown, NMFA Volunteer, San Antonio, TX