By Bryan Tharpe, Fort Rucker Soldier for Life Center Transition Services ManagerApril 13, 2018
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- When thinking of getting out of the military, some Soldiers say, "I can't wait!" They are excited about getting back into civilian life.
Those who have been in the military for more than 10 years may experience a dichotomy of feelings. They experience periods of intense excitement and extreme sadness. They anticipate the adventure ahead and fear not being able to find an adequate job. Some are not sure what kind of job they'd really like to look for, if they have adequate educations or training, or even where they want to live.
Sometimes those leaving the military dread putting on the uniform for the last time and the changes that will ensue in their lives. Most job seekers worry about finding a good job in the chosen location at a salary that will give their families a comfortable lifestyle.
With all of these extremes of feelings, it's not hard to imagine the stress job seekers feel. Research shows that the stress during a job search is second only to that experienced when a spouse dies.
Is it any wonder that job hunters need support and help during this stressful time?
Many clients at the SFL-TAP Center work as a team with their spouses. The training offered is beneficial to spouses who are looking for a job-and for those who just want to assist with the job search.
Even if they are not seeking a job, spouses can help with writing, typing and reproducing resumes and cover letters. They can help search employers and locate job openings. During the interview preparation, spouses can assist with rehearsals by asking tough interview questions and helping with good answers.
One of our successful job hunters got his whole family involved in the job search process. They subscribed to newspapers in the areas of interest, and the children went through the want ads, found likely sources for jobs and entered the data into the computer. The family has now located a job and is happily resettled in another state. When he landed a job, the entire family celebrated because it was their success-they had all contributed.
It's always sad for us to learn that a few of our clients must carry the entire load of job hunting. It's a heavy load when the welfare of a family is at stake. Sometimes the job seeker doesn't want to worry the family. Sometimes the spouse is unsupportive.
Often the sources of the stress involve money, relocation or adjusting to a different lifestyle. For example, when the family has to tighten the financial belt, it is a big help when spouses and children cooperate on conserving money until the job search is successful. This all contributes to the positive attitude, which is so important while meeting prospective employers.
The most together job searchers are those who have the support of their spouses, families and friends. An adage says, "Marriage doubles your happiness and halves your sorrows." A shared stressful situation is much the same -- half as bad when the load is shared.
Visit or call the Fort Rucker SFL-TAP Center at 255-2558.