By Tara Smith
SpouseLink Ambassador
& Guest Blogger

When I moved from Canada to the United States, I didn’t know what jobs would be available for me, as a military spouse. I had a new opportunity to start my life with my husband but there was limited job availability where I lived. So instead of looking for a paying job, I looked for opportunities where I could volunteer. You may have heard the saying, “Grow where you are planted.” I didn’t understand what that meant until I moved and did not know what to do next.

Volunteering is a beautiful way to fill in employment gaps in your resume, should your move be because of a PCS or retirement.  

Here are some of the volunteering opportunities I found:

American Red Cross

The organization helped me obtain my CPR and First Aid certificates. I also volunteered at the Naval Hospital, representing the American Red Cross, in the medical records department. 

Key Spouse

I volunteered with my husband’s unit with the Family Readiness Officer (FRO), now known as the deployment readiness coordinator (DRC). I could speak to higher-ups, coordinate family events, and network. 

L.I.N.K.S. Mentor

One of my most pivotal jobs was volunteering as an L.I.N.K.S. mentor. As a new spouse, I met several other military spouses who are in similar positions as myself. Some of the spouses I volunteered with are still my friends today. I also networked with other community-based organizations on the base and increased my knowledge about the Marine Corps and its operations.

I encourage you to take full advantage of what the military offers and the many volunteer opportunities available to you. Filling employment gaps in your résumé with volunteering will help you develop skills that could help land you a paying job later. Also, you never know who you’ll meet and who could serve as a reference later on! I wish you much success in all of your future endeavors.

Tara is an active-duty Marine Corps spouse of 10 years. She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who provides therapy to children and their families. Tara is a SpouseLink Ambassador, an expecting mother, and has one horse and two dogs. In her spare time, you will find her working out, walking her dogs, and spending time with her horse. 

Ways Volunteering Can Inspire and Fulfill You:

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