Fort Bliss seminar provides valuable info for job-seeking military spouses
November 11, 2008
Army Community Service hosted a "Volunteerism: Building Blocks to Your Destiny" seminar Oct. 29 at the Centennial Club.
The goal was to empower military applicants into understanding their volunteer work is considered expertise, said Deborah Kloeppel, founder and chief executive officer of the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network and keynote speaker for the event.
"Sometimes we truly don\'t value all the skill sets we have," Kloeppel said. "The way you present yourself in public. Do you make people comfortable around you' Are you able to fundraise' Are you trustworthy' These are soft skills that cannot be trained. You either have them or you don't."
Kloeppel said soft skills are innate and help enhance hard skills. Soft skills are things likable about a person such as compassion, dedication and commitment, which help hone hard skills such as technology, phone and business skills.
"And that is why we are here today is to let you know that your personality is as much a factor in getting a job as your skill sets," said Kloeppel.
Kloeppel said she didn't know what to expect coming here, but her expectations were exceeded. She said the resources for training and helping find employment for military spouses on Fort Bliss was outstanding and one of the best she has seen in any installation.
"You have so many programs here that do not only help you determine what it is you want to do, but also give you the tools to go out and get that job you deserve," said Kloeppel. "Not using the resources Fort Bliss already has is a crime."
More than 60 people attended the seminar. A "Dress for Success" fashion show sponsored by Army and Air Force Exchange Service and topics including Power of the Military Applicant, Building a Resume Based on Your Volunteer Skill Set, Develop Your Elevator Speech, Marketing Your Volunteer Experience, and more were part of the event.
Stephanie McLaurin, a family readiness support assistant who volunteered as a representative for Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers and as an Family Readiness Group leader, said she attended the event to learn how to put her volunteer experiences on a resume to get a better job. She attributes her current job to her volunteer experience.
"I'm here to learn," said McLaurin. "So far, I've learned what to do and what not to do on job interviews, key words to put on my resume, and how to network.
Tephanie Hopper, the Fort Bliss volunteer coordinator, said volunteers have the opportunity to network, gain experience and knowledge in different fields, and most importantly, give back to their community.
Volunteer opportunities include; working with the Family Team Building Program; providing instructional training to others; working with the Family Advocacy Program, which gives volunteers the opportunity to get experience in classroom facilitation; and working with FRGs where they can gain skills in event planning, fundraising and leadership.
"Volunteering is a win - win situation," Hopper said. "At ACS we have a lot of programs that family members and servicemembers can use to improve themselves. That's what we are all about: providing military personnel resources to have a better life within the Army."
Volunteers are encouraged to go through the Fort Bliss volunteer program to help them find the right volunteer opportunity that suits them. People interested in volunteering can visit www.myarmylifetoo.com, where they can find a list of volunteer opportunities throughout the community, or call Hopper at 568-1132.