When we first learned we would be moving to Mason City, Iowa, I started the job hunt almost immediately. I re-wrote my resume and cover letters. I found a new system to keep track of all of my job applications, which was important in case I needed to file for unemployment (so I could prove I was still seeking work.) It’s no secret that the job hunt is going to be more difficult here than it was at Fort Knox, and I wanted to do everything I could to jump in feet-first.
Although working 2 jobs at once like I did last year (one as a seasonal tax preparer, the other as an office assistant at a department store) was a fun challenge, we both knew for these next 3 years it isn’t feasible. Given that Andy’s job is much more demanding as a Recruiter than “regular” Army, we both decided these next 3 years will be spent focusing on his career instead of mine. (Our plan for post-Recruiting life is to switch so I can take a few years to focus on my career. We actually are planning for me to go back to Murray State for a second Bachelor’s degree, this time in Human Resources.)
We made a list together of what I would be looking for in this job hunt, knowing that it could potentially be a long search given my criteria, but we’re willing to wait it out. I’m so glad we made this list, because it kept me from falling into any old job. Too often as an Human Resources professional, I saw many resumes that were filled with odd jobs and I couldn’t distinguish a clear career path. I know that as a military spouse, I don’t always have the luxury of working completely in my career field, but I want to stick to it as closely as I can.
No weekend shifts, especially Sundays.
I struggled a lot with my faith in the past 6 months, which I feel was due to working every single Sunday. Sundays in the department store were busy days as far as the office duties went, so I rarely had a Sunday off. The few Sundays I did have off, in fact, I had asked for because I would be traveling or have other obligations that would keep me away from church. I know the Recruiting lifestyle will be a challenge, so I want to stay as involved in church as possible and make friends there. Also, Sundays are the only day of the week that Andy should have off. Granted, I’m sure he’ll have some Sunday obligations now and then, but overall Recruiters tend to have events on Saturdays and have Sundays off. I don’t want to miss our already-limited family time for a paycheck.
Day shift hours.
I know not every job is fortunate enough to work day shift, but this goes back to needing to focus on Andy’s career for these next few years. While I worked the 2 jobs for a few months, Andy and I were working opposite shifts. Thankfully, his work was fairly predictable at the time which we both know is a blessing given in this military life. Our time together was very scarce because I was always working, and I don’t want to repeat that right now.
Pays me a “fair wage.”
This is mostly related to commuting. Given the amount of time I would spend traveling to/from work, the price of gasoline (regular gasoline is more expensive in Iowa since super unleaded is preferred), the strain it would put on my car, and the potential for bad weather, at the end of the day, will I be making what I deem to be a “fair wage”?
Human Resources or related field.
I worked in Human Resources for 2 years before I was married and eventually plan to go back to school for a degree in HR. I’d like to stick to a Human Resources job or a similar position (such as Administrative Assistant.)
I’ve never considered a telecommuting position before, but I’m open to it this go-around. I’m also open to possibly commuting to a “big city” (Des Moines or Minneapolis, preferrably) once a week. Obviously, if it’s a local job, telecommuting is not necessary 😉
Military friendly employer.
Sadly, not every employer is military-friendly. From an HR perspective, I can understand why– the cost of training new employers is 3-5x the employee’s annual salary. Since Andy will be visibly public in the community, I wouldn’t be able to keep his job a secret nor would I want to (since that just doesn’t seem ethical to me.)
Challenges me in a good way.
This is due to my go, go, go mentality, but I highly prefer being busy and always on the move. I want something that will be a challenge and require me to think.
Provides work life balance.
Again, this goes back to Andy’s job, but I want to make sure I still have time for family life and community involvement instead of being a workaholic.
I was fortunate enough to have a job interview lined up before I even left Kentucky, and I credit this to my preparedness in knowing what I was looking for. I hadn’t planned on interviewing so quickly upon my arrival, but when I found a position that met all of the criteria on my list, I knew I’d be a fool to turn it down!
Update: When I originally wrote this post, I had just finished an interview at the local community college. I really wanted this position, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up in case things didn’t work out. I was thrilled when they offered me the position– which of course I accepted! The best part: this position hits every criteria on my list except for one (telecommuting… which I honestly prefer working at an office if it’s a possibility, so I didn’t mind!) And, they even offer another perk I was super excited about… taking college classes for free! I have been wanting to go back to college for a few years now but didn’t want to pay out of pocket for classes, so I’m thrilled to be able to study where I’ll work! Today is my first day of work and I am so excited!!!
What is on your job “wish list”?