Probably the most bizarre comparison of womankind I ever heard was when someone likened footballers wives to microwaves and rugby wives to Agas… It was meant to favour the rugby wives, the flattery (if you can call it that) being that an Aga has more substance, character even, and is built to last. Or at least that was how I interpreted it.
My husband doesn’t play any sport but it does take a certain type of character to be a military spouse too. Recently I found myself attempting an early morning Instagram live while standing on some wasteland between military hangers, farmland and a sewerage plant. Such is the glamor of running your own enterprise with an online community to serve, while also juggling life as a mum and trailing spouse.
My husband had been night flying and therefore needed his sleep in the day. So after nursery drop off I'd been attempting to stay out of the house a little bit longer while walking the dog to make sure he fell back to sleep before heading back to creep around the house like a ninja. My home office which doubles up as the spare room was also out of action as a place of work so it was back down stairs to the dining table for computer work and into the car when I needed to take and make calls.
After leaving my last employed job I set up as an online personal progression and business coach when we got married because I wanted to stay independent and carry on working, in this case for myself, and there are many spouses that run their own enterprises, just check out the inspirational podcast 'The Independent Spouse' by the lovely @jesssands but there are also many who are keen to stay actively within the workforce and this is what I’d like to talk about a little bit.
We live in a modern culture of constant change and diversity. Gone are the days of finding a job and then staying with the same employer for the rest of your life. Reflecting on the fact that your average civilian isn’t guaranteed to stay in a role for any particular length of time why should employers be put off from employing a military spouse? They are ninjas! With all the life transitions they have dealt with they ooze adaptability, capability, resilience and transferable skills. Essentially, no matter what life throws at us (OK, no matter what the MOD throws at our families) the show must go on. We adapt, we sacrifice here, to gain there, we adjust and essentially, we continue to thrive. In fact I personally feel the military spouse is one of the most resilient and pro active problem solvers ever and a massively untapped resource. Wouldn’t it be better to employ someone loyal and trustworthy with such amazing skills and capability in the knowledge it will be for only two years or so than settle for an average Joe who may leave you in the lurch anyway?
And if you need someone to work remotely then all the better you will probably be able to keep them even longer. Tech companies or anyone looking for flexible workers really should think about the benefits of employing a military spouse. It was with the knowledge of all of this that the lovely @heledd-kendrick set up the ground breaking business Recruit for Spouses. I would thoroughly recommend checking out her website. When I spoke to her last she said 'This is a really exciting time for military spouse employment. Our clients are describing our trained spouses as overwhelmingly productive.'
And as a closing thought, if I were going to liken the kind of person (male or female) brave enough to marry into the armed forces to any kind of oven, I cant think of anything more appropriate than one of those mobile pizza ovens you see built into the back of a Land Rover! Fired up and ready to roll with a fast turn around.