New climates, new accents, and new ZIP codes are just a few of “new” things military spouses have to learn as they move from duty station to duty station. In fact, a surefire sign that you are a battletested MilSpo is that you have been locked out of your credit card at the gas pump because you couldn’t remember your current ZIP code!
It is a laughable situation (well, maybe a few days and a few glasses of wine later) but it highlights one of the superpowers of military spouses: their chameleon like ability to adapt to new environments and ZIP codes.
Adaptability allows military spouses to successfully navigate the unique journey they are on.
Many organizations (like USAA, Verizon and ReMax) have taken notice of this adaptability and hire military spouses to help infuse this characteristic into their organization. (Check out the 2017 Military Spouse Friendly Employers list, too.)
Adaptability is defined as being able to adjust oneself readily to different conditions, followed by a picture of a military spouse. Okay, so maybe that last part isn’t actually true, but it might as well be!
Military spouses are able to quickly respond to plans that change rapidly, often times with limited resources or support.
This ability comes in very handy when the RFO you have been waiting for comes back with South Korea instead of South Carolina. The good, and bad, news is that this isn’t the first — or last — time that you as a military spouse will be forced to throw out your existing plan and start from scratch. Pretty soon, you learn to “expect the unexpected.”
Military spouses know how to leverage both resources and networks to successfully navigate an upcoming PCS move. They know which schools get the best ratings, which churches inspire you, which Chinese takeout place won’t make you sick, and — most importantly — which hairdresser won’t make YOU cry!
Although avoiding tears at the hairdresser is important, there are also professional applications of military spouse adaptability.
Here are the top three reasons why organizations need to hire military spouses.
1. Military spouses adapt to respond quickly.
Business today happens at speeds previously thought impossible. Companies are looking for employees who can respond quickly to last -minute changes. The instability military spouses encounter does not stop them from planning; it actually causes them to plan more. Plan A doesn’t work? No worries because Plans B-ZZZ are ready and waiting!
2. Military spouses adapt to do more with less.
If you have ever doubted the creativity and resourcefulness of a military spouse, then you have never tasted a four course dinner prepared out of a hotel room using only a crockpot and hot plate! In this constrained economy, companies are also looking for people who can produce more with less resources and support.
3. Military spouses adapt to keep calm.
Military spouses have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of command climates and are well aware of the effects of a negative one. They have had to adapt our lifestyle around a commander that didn’t believe soldiers should return home until after 7 p.m. They have also had the pleasure of adapting to commanders who value family time and worked to grant long weekends. This ability to help keep calm no matter the circumstances is very helpful to an organization facing tough times.
So whether you are a military spouse who works outside of the home or if you are a military spouse who is supporting the infrastructure for your family, be sure to leverage your adaptability.
If you are interested in learning more about how to leverage adaptability in the workforce, check out this awesome article by our friends at Madskills. The more you use it, the more refined and powerful your adaptability becomes. It can help you successfully navigate a difficult move, land a new position, or even just remember those darn five digits in your latest ZIP code!