"For those spouses who want to utilize those advanced skills that they worked so hard to obtain, Instant Teams is providing great opportunities."
I signed up for an Onward to Opportunity workshop at Fort Drum as I was transitioning out of the military. I’d been a military spouse for two years when I joined, and my husband is still active duty. I remember vividly the trouble of finding gainful employment, or at least not being underemployed.
When I first heard Liza talk about Instant Teams (previously known as MadSkills) at one of the orientation events, I lit up. I had just finished writing a letter to my Congresspeople about how the government should transfer more state and federal jobs to virtual positions. It is such a big issue for military spouses to find portable careers and Congress is in the position to help. It’s an area I’m passionate about because it’s so frustrating to be working with these genius people with advanced degrees, and then find out at their next duty station, they’re working at Kmart. Think about all of those qualified, talented workers that could be in our economy and aren’t, simply because they’re military spouses.
After talking to Liza about our shared passion for connecting military spouses with meaningful employment, Instant Teams ended up hooking me up with an NPR interview and eventually offered me a contract in HR, consulting for them. Now I work with staffing placements. When clients come in with requirements, I dig into the Instant Teams resumes and search for people I think would be interested in a position and ultimately a good fit.
I know how frustrating it can be to put your resume out into the wind over and over and over again, hoping you get an interview and finally remember to not mention your military spouse status. Instant Teams is so awesome because it celebrates the soft skills gained from the unique challenges of this lifestyle, and cultivates jobs that require technical skills, instead of the usual jobs that prey on our community. For me, I have two degrees, and it’s so fulfilling to feel as though I’m, for once, working at my potential. For those spouses who want to utilize those advance skills that they worked so hard to obtain, Instant Teams is providing great opportunities.
Military spouses are an untapped market. I see all these resumes and it’s just amazing. We have a military spouse who toured with the troops in Afghanistan as an embedded journalist, and she's looking for a writing job. We have program directors from national companies, business executives and people who have worked at the Mayo clinic. We have so many spouses with vast skills and impressive career histories. They are multi-talented with diverse cultural experiences that make them better employees. For example, when you go to hire a web developer, they’re going to have these other talents too, because of their backgrounds. They’re going to also be a photographer and a social media manager and have secondary skill sets that will be an unexpected asset. They’re going to learn quickly, adapt to change, and show resilience. I want military spouses to know that they can find meaningful, important work through Instant Teams, and I want companies to know that we are a force worth hiring.