Fort Carson ACS hosts spouse career day
September 20, 2012
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- For many military spouses, finding employment can be stressful, frustrating and infuriating.
"I've been looking for a job for 10 months," said Amanda Avila. "I've applied to a lot of jobs online, but I never hear back. At most, I'll get an email saying I didn't get the job."
Avila joined dozens of other spouses Sept. 13 for the Spouse Career Day, hosted by Army Community Service. ACS hosted a career fair Sept. 14 for spouses to practice their skills.
"Military spouses need guidance on job searches," said Mercedes Jamieson, coordinator for the employment readiness program at ACS. "As a military spouse myself, I remember how
difficult it was to get a job."
Jamieson said she uses her experience to help other spouses.
"I try to guide them and mentor them," she said. "My vision is for all military spouses to have the same opportunities that I have had."
To aid spouses in their search, Jamieson organized the Spouse Career Day, which brought in a certified career coach to provide tips on job searches and career fair etiquette.
"The most important thing a military spouse who's looking for a job can do is get connected in the community," said Kimberly Hessler, career coach. "You want to strategically embed in the community and build relationships through volunteering."
Hessler encouraged spouses to maintain a profile on the professional social networking site, LinkedIn, and print business cards to hand to
At career fairs, Hessler suggested arriving early and collecting brochures from a variety of companies and review the information before approaching company representatives.
Hessler also encouraged spouses to meet with 10 employers they would not want to work for to practice engaging with professionals before meeting with representatives from companies that did interest them.
Lee Davis said he learned a lot from the session and found Hessler's tips beneficial.
"I learned how to work a career fair and how to go about looking for a job and the proper way to approach a search," he said. "I learned not to 'attack' employers with my resume and say, 'I need a job.'"
Avila said she appreciated the suggestions, particularly that she should be volunteering in order to make connections within a company.
"It's hard, especially with kids," she said. "To pay for child care while volunteering is difficult. I know I need to suck it up and do it."