When Lindsay Storey’s husband was posted to Faslane in Scotland, it meant leaving the job she loved as an experienced teacher.
She planned to find a new job when they were settled, but it wasn’t that easy.
Having qualified in England, Lindsay discovered she’d have to invest in registration fees to apply for jobs, even supply work. Roles within a sensible distance were thin on the ground. So she chose to tutor instead, earning little more than pocket money. She also worked part-time in a café, just to get out of the house.
When she was ready for full-time work, Lindsay looked outside teaching. She applied for lots of jobs and landed the occasional interview, but she found she was considered over-qualified for some and her lifestyle as a military spouse was a barrier.
Then Lindsay discovered Recruit for Spouses. She tapped into valuable online support, advice and mentoring on the phone, questionnaires to identify her strengths and weaknesses, and help to redraft her CV.
Lindsay says, “I felt like they understood the problems I felt I was facing and were giving me clear guidance on how to overcome them… when applying for jobs I got back some confidence that I had lost.”
With this help, Lindsay was offered a job.
“It took nearly six months for me to get offered a job and I know this would have been significantly longer if not for the Recruit for Spouses team,” she says.
Recruit for Spouses: Case Study
Being married to the military whilst maintaining a career is not always easy and everyone has to find their own way. For me, combining work whilst being married to a serving member of the Royal Navy for the past 20 years or so has been immensely rewarding but not without its challenges. We have had amazing opportunities presented to us; living overseas, living amongst fellow military families and the huge benefits that bringing up children in these communities can bring. On the flip side, multiple house moves and numerous deployment cycles are not necessarily the best recipe for a stable occupation! During a career break to have my family, I worked as a sole trader for well-known card franchise and also made and sold my own products before eventually taking a part-time role with a local SME when my children started school. Throughout all of this time, it has been incredibly important for me to maintain my identity as a person in my own right as well as a ‘military wife’.
A friend recommended the Recruit for Spouses website to me and, whilst I was happy in my current job, I thought it would certainly do no harm to sign up for the job alerts. In September of last year, an email entitled ‘Executive Assistant – Home Based’ came through and immediately caught my attention. Having spent the past 7 years juggling work with holidays and childcare (not to mention a deploying husband) this was music to my ears. As I read through the job description my excitement grew as the role involved working for an International Development charity – not only ideal for me, but also a really worthwhile cause. With nothing to lose I submitted my application and was delighted to be selected for interview. Although I was nervous, I was immediately made to feel at ease as it was clear that as a potential future employer, the charity were in no doubt of the reciprocal value that someone connected with the military could bring. After crossing my fingers very tightly and hoping for the best I was absolutely delighted to be offered the role.
After nearly four months in post and one of the steepest learning curves of my career so far I can honestly say that it has been the right choice for me. I can manage my days to my own timetable and now have the ability to fit my working routine in the school holidays around my children – which has to be one of the bests bit of all (….that and the commute!).
Recruit for Spouses are doing fantastic work in assisting military spouses in their career searches whilst highlighting to potential employers of a unique (and potentially overlooked) section of society which brims with talent and resources. My experience has been extremely positive and it has been good to learn that whilst the life of a military spouse might be unconventional, there are employers out there who recognise our value and want to invest in it. I would urge anyone to sign up to the Recruit for Spouses job alerts or the training webinars (if you are not quite ready to jump back into the workplace yet) as you never know what is possible.
I am certainly very glad that I did!
“I would use them again and recommend them to any military spouse who wanted or needed work.”