Why look for just another job, when you can embark upon a whole new career? Learn about the latest developments in careers for military spouses. With your mobile lifestyle, there are certain portable careers that can offer you and your family stability and future growth. If you have any topics that you would like to see us write about, feel free to email the editor:
Small Business Skills Have Big Payoff in the Work Place

If you are among the many military spouses who have run your own business, and are looking for a job once you finish school, you probably already have the skills employers want. The key is to pinpoint what an employer wants and showcase your abilities on your resume.

The Hard Skills

Hard skills refer to professional knowledge or techniques that are necessary for working in certain career fields. For example, neither great communication skills, nor initiative will get you a job as a dental hygienist without proper training in that field.

However, there are some hard skills that small business owners acquire as they keep their businesses afloat that are highly transferable to corporate America, the non-profit world, and government work. And sometimes, having those skills might give them an edge in the job market.

“My professional background is human resources, but as a small business owner, I had to learn a lot of things to build and maintain my business,” said Stephanie Harper, publisher of Career Magazine ( “I took accounting classes because there was no way I could afford to pay someone to handle my books monthly. I also learned graphic design and website development.”

Harper, whose dad is a 20-year Air Force veteran, believes she could easily make a case for going into the fields of social media management or marketing.

“As a small business owner much of my success is due to my effective and consistent presence on the web,” she added.

Soft Skills

Soft skills are more personality driven and are typically reflected in how you deal with people and situations. But don’t let the name fool you, being soft doesn’t mean these skills are insignificant.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2013 survey, 80 percent of employers looking at soon-to-be grads want evidence of leadership skills. Another 75 percent of employers are targeting grads with problem solving skills. Also on the employers’ wishlist: initiative and communication skills.

Most likely, evidence of your leadership skills is plentiful through your past volunteer work whether it was military-, community-, faith- or school-based. But, it’s in your entrepreneurial pursuits where you will find the best solid examples of initiative, communication and problem solving skills.

Consider these ideas.

  • What better demonstration of initiative than to turn a hobby into a business or upping the ante of the family income by maximizing your professional skills in your “spare” time?
  • Did you communicate your product or service by talking it up, creating flyers, composing email or social media messages or creating a website?
  • Did you research, network and use whatever resources you could find to solve problems when they arose in your business?

If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of these, tweak your resume to prove it.

No Magic Formula

There is no specific formula that indicates the ‘right’ mix of what hard and soft skills to market when trying to get a job. However, you can find out what is most effective for your situation.

Talk to people who work in that field, research your employers online and use job announcements to find clues about what skills employers want. Then, use the great deal of flexibility we military spouses are known to have, along with sharp focus and forethought, to include these skills on your resume and build a solid case that you are a perfect match for the job you want. 

For Military Spouses
Apply for the Salute to Spouses scholarship today and begin your education! You’ll be on the way to your dream career.

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