How Employment Readiness Prepared Me for my Adventure Back into the Workplace


I have been an Army wife for a few years…well, it’s been a little longer than a few, but who’s keeping count, right?! I am seasoned Army wife with one beautiful little monster named Chloe, and a crazy fur baby named Alley, who I refer to as my first born. I had a plan to be a stay-at-home mom to my daughter until she started Kindergarten. Well, that happens this fall, so I started thinking about what I’d do when she went to school.

In December, I decided to think long and hard about a New Year’s resolution that would add to my life. I wanted to work hard towards a goal that I could implement now and in the future. After a few weeks (and a possible sooner-than-expected PCS), I decided to go back to work, so I knew I’d need to complete my resume.

Right now, I am an active volunteer at Army Community Services (ACS) at Fort Leavenworth. I work within all the departments with whatever they need. I also help with special events. While volunteering, I have been a huge advocate for their programs, which is how I met a woman named Deb Stone. Deb is a Navy veteran and the Employment Readiness Manager who hosts resume building and interview classes on our base. Each branch of service usually has someone who can assist with employment readiness. They are usually found at the Family Service Centers. The Navy’s is called the Family Employment Readiness Program (FERP), ours is ERP – Employment Readiness Program.  The Air Force has an Employment Specialist also.

When I talked to Deb about all the things she does for service members and her families, I was blown away by everything I was missing out on!

Though the functions and types of services/classes offered may vary from installation to installation, most will have a person dedicated to assisting spouses (as well as contracted civilians, transitioning service members, retirees, and veterans) in all aspects of job hunting.

Deb told me about classes and one-on-one consulations that focus on career exploration, federal and civilian resume writing, cover letters, interview preparation, even how to work a job fair. Employment Readiness Managers also refer people to employers in our local community and refer to the appropriate point of contact wherever they are moving next.

I made an appointment with Deb to help me with my journey back to the workplace. We are working together as a team to polish up my federal and civilian resume. When it comes down to it, no matter whether you’re a new spouse, or you’ve been married a while (like me!), you can always learn something new. If you’re thinking about going back to work, or you need to spice up your resume to be ready when the next opportunity comes along, consider meeting with the Employment Readiness Manager on your installation.

I have been lucky enough to utilize this program, and thanks to people, like Deb, I’m ready to tackle the next adventure!

Have you ever used the Employment Readiness resources on your base? Leave us a comment telling us about your experience!

Posted by Jessica Richardson, military spouse and NMFA Volunteer

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