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Working spouses/jobs

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Guest ohcanada21

I will be married by the time I start my UPT and my fiancee is deadset on being able to work while I'm in UPT and afterwards. She believes that is the only way she will find fulfillment is simply working and doing something jobwise. Any advice or help from any other wives out there would be great! Does she have to work? Where can she work? We realize that training is short and she is not expecting anything grand in those couple years, but she needs something to occupy her time. Supporting me is not enough for her...someone please help!

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Guest IAGuardWife

Try using the search function, there are several old threads regarding spouses working during UPT.

If she can find a job will depend on her background and where you go to UPT. I have a business degree and spent the entire year in Del Rio looking for a job. There just wasn't anything. I could have been a substitute teacher, but that doesn't appeal to me at all.

Nurses and teachers were in demand in Del Rio, but that's about it.

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Guest nurselorber

Enid, OK has lots of jobs for military spouses, and businesses are very happy to hire us, although they may not pay much. I agree with IAGuardwife...nursing and teaching are the best. I've seen folks make good money as nannys also.

What is your fiance's job experience/schooling like?

It is important to support her in her decision to work. You won't need the money too much...as a 2LT you can get by. But it is nice as a spouse to be able to bring something to the conversation at the end of the day... and not ALWAYS be talking about flying. The shop talk gets old after awhile and her contribution will be good for your marriage.

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Guest AFMama

If you have a bit of time before you will be moving, and depending on her skills, you can always try to get on with a company that will allow her to telecommute. I started working for my company before my husband joined the Air Force (at the corporate office), and now I just do my same job from home. Same pay, same work, no matter where we would have moved to.

And as far as being "bored" during UPT as a spouse, it's what you make of it. There will be more than enough for her to do (most wives don't work), volunteering at places, getting together with friends, etc. since I worked full-time, I missed out on a lot of social activities that the spouses that didn't work were able to attend.

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Guest flychick

I am planning on working as well. My husband is at OTS right now, and I think I would go nuts sitting at home all day. (We don't have kids, so there wouldn't be much to occupy my time- at least not right away.) I have worked all my life, so to stay at home and hang out all day would be like torture for me. Plus, working will help her make friends and have her own life while you do your thing, and add some extra spending money. I think it's a grand idea!

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Guest pilotswif

I agree w/flychick. Working is definitely a great way to meet people and occupy time. But help her to not put so much stress on having a job. What if she isn't able to get a job right away?! Try to help her get involved w/the other wives in your flight class. Help her to enhance any hobbies that she has. Hopefully she will find a job that she loves, but there is that chance and try to help her to see that life isn't boring without a job. Good luck w/the job hunting. Hopefully she will find something that she loves.

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Guest SeekYeFirst

If your future wife wants to work, it would be very unfair of you not to support her, and encourage her. It sounded like you were a little upset that she has a desire to do more than just be a house wife.

I have personally really enjoyed not working during pilot training, but I can't wait to get one once he graduates. I also have several friends who LOVE working, and it really fufills them and gives them a sense of purpose and independence which I think is good.

My encouragement to you is to remember that your wife's job or career is just as important as yours. It may not be as consuming, but just as important. You need to remember to support her with just as much enthusiasm that you expect her to support you with.

That's an important foundation for a loving marriage- mutual support and appriciation for each others desires and abilities.

Good luck.

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If your future wife wants to work, it would be very unfair of you not to support her, and encourage her. It sounded like you were a little upset that she has a desire to do more than just be a house wife.
Didn't sound that way to me. Sounds like he's activly trying to find options so his wife can work (a scenario I'm very familure with), or find some worthy pursuite for her.

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Guest jriggoMOANG

I have heard it mentioned several times that teachers are always needed. I am in the application process right now (first interview is July 10) and I am looking in the future. My wife is a certified teacher (K-9) in Kansas. How diffulcult is it to find/get a teaching job? Does anyone have any experience with this? How does it work when we possibly could be getting to or leaving from UPT during the middle of the academic shcool year? Just curious, my wife would be sacrificing a lot letting me follow my dreams and I would want to find someway that she can continue to follow her dreams. Thanks to all.

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In defense of YeFirst, the post can be misunderstood (or perhaps it did come out) as a little patronizing, based on these:

"I will be married by the time I start my UPT and my fiancee is deadset on being able to work ......"
Aren't you deadset on becoming a pilot?

She believes that is the only way she will find fulfillment is simply working and doing something jobwise."
The adverb here makes a lot of difference...

Supporting me is not enough for her...
WOW.....It should? This one, I think, is the one that got him in trouble.

I do agree that most UPT locations are rather limited in the way of professional employment, so it is definitively a factor to consider when making a decision to move down with a spouse or not.

However, I wouldn't be so "granted" about her being well-served to join the Stepford Wives Club, and I think that's where some of the demeanor in the post came into question. Not everybody (my gf included coincidentally) is attracted to the UPT wife club thing, some like to establish primary social circles outside of the Air Force, which I would actually encourage in my relationship, but that's a matter of personal opinion.

The important thing is not to take either position for granted, and I can see how some folks in the posts above took the statements as reflective of that attitude. That said, I wish you both good luck, it's a challenge but it matters for very important reasons. My 0.02 pesos

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Guest AFMama

JR - I have my teaching degree, and if your wife moves around with you, it will be in her best interest to finish off a school year or semester before following you if you were to PCS in the middle. You may be separated a bit, but in the long run it would benefit her for finding future jobs (be reliable to a school system), and also for the kid's sake. Finding teaching positions is usually pretty easy, since there are so many opportunities nowadays. You can teach in a school, office, after-school program (like Sylvan), etc. The opportunities will depend on where you get stationed most likely. I've been working in the training department of a large company for a few years now, and though it's not teaching little kids, I have found the benefits to far outweigh the rest. I now telelcommute and take my job anywhere (same job, same pay). Just a thought.

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Guest AF_WIFE07

Born2Fly190:

My husband just got accepted on the 0505 board, so my opinion may not be worth much (this being my first post and all) but I feel you have a valid concern. I love to work and I need to stay busy, even if I am in school, to feel that I am making a difference in society and in my own life. I know that I would not like being home all day long alone, while my husband is in class all day meeting new people, learning new things, and accomplishing his dream of flying. Cleaning and trying new meals can only go on for so long before boredom sets in. Maybe that is how your fiancee feels.

I love my husband and support him in anything that he does. Just because I plan on working while he is in UPT doesn't mean that I don't support him any less, but in our case, I will be doing him a favor. If I sit around the house all day, when my husband gets home I want to spend all the time together and I would be nagging, asking questions, and probably becoming an annoyance. Which can interfere with his studying time (probably not a good thing). If I work, I won't be as annoying to my husband, and we will be able to appreciate our time spent together even more. Maybe your fiancee feels the same way? Ask her. I'm sure she loves and supports you like many of the AF wives, but she doesn't want to be on the sidelines while your out meeting new people, making friends, having work-related jokes, etc. Now I don't have children, so I'm sure that if children are involved, that is a different situation. Hopefully you have received a lot of good information from all that responded to your concern. Good luck.

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Guest CuriousGeorge

Having a job and a life of her own will be helpful both in UPT and w/the rest of your AF career.

I found that working full-time during UPT was a nice break from all of the flying and studying talk that inevitably comes up in any conversation! It was nice to have friends at work that had nothing to do with the military.

I was told that there were no jobs at the UPT base, but found something w/in a month in my career field, so sometimes it just takes a bit of searching!

Good luck to you and your fiancee!

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Guest melissakae
You can always go the travel nurse route....I have a few friends whos wives did this (one was a RN, another a RadTech, another a Ultrasound tech). There are numerous companies out there that do "travel assignments", which equate to nice paying short-term assignments across the country. They called as many as they could find online and told them they wanted to be in or as close as they could be to the city...it seemed to work out pretty well. Good pay with a lot of tax-free money. It may be worth checking out. PM me if you want the name of the company they used.

Thanks that may be a good route. I don't think of this option too often, but now that you mention it it may be a good resource to myself and others that may be moving every few years... or even months!

Thanks sparky too. The one hospital I did ask about relocation packages said they did not offer them... but it was after I mentioned we were associated with the military, Humm maybe I should just not mention that in the future and see if I get a different answer?!?!

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Guest aspiringpilotsfiance

This is really eye opening for me. This is my first time on the forum by my fiance's suggestion. For the past 4 years, we have been following my career in politics and education. We've now switched focus to make his dream reality, being a pilot, so.... from what I'm gathering here is that I will have lots of time on my hands and not much to do.

I assumed we would at least be in one place fore 3 or 4 years (outside of training, of course which is much shorter), but within 3 to 4 years... i'm hoping it is possible to get a professional job and continue pursuing my career as a side project. We do not have children nor do we plan to have children.... so I'm guessing I need to get really creative.

Lol.

Thanks for the perspective folks.

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This is really eye opening for me. This is my first time on the forum by my fiance's suggestion. For the past 4 years, we have been following my career in politics and education. We've now switched focus to make his dream reality, being a pilot, so.... from what I'm gathering here is that I will have lots of time on my hands and not much to do.

I assumed we would at least be in one place fore 3 or 4 years (outside of training, of course which is much shorter), but within 3 to 4 years... i'm hoping it is possible to get a professional job and continue pursuing my career as a side project. We do not have children nor do we plan to have children.... so I'm guessing I need to get really creative.

Lol.

Thanks for the perspective folks.

I know in my case my wife (who is in engineering) got a career-track type job and is working there until I get to a more stable area. While we'll end up being apart about a year and a half it allows her to keep going and have a meaningful job than to be stuck in BFE (where I am on casual and where I'm going for UPT). Fwiw. Looking back, I may not have been so readily agreeable to it, but it does allow her to not be bored and unhappy somewhere else (we also have no children).

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Guest KM

FWIW...

I took a year and a half off of school/work to go with my husband through pilot training. It seemed like a HUGE sacrifice at the time because I was so eager to finish school and start a career. Now that he has been gone roughly half of the time the last 4 years, the time we had together during UPT has proved to be a real blessing.

It has been said on here many times that pilot training for wives is what you make of it. It can be boring and horrible if you have a bad attitude, but consider looking at it as an investment in your marriage. It is better to have a mediocre career and a great marriage than vice versa.

Edited by KM

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This is really eye opening for me. This is my first time on the forum by my fiance's suggestion. For the past 4 years, we have been following my career in politics and education. We've now switched focus to make his dream reality, being a pilot, so.... from what I'm gathering here is that I will have lots of time on my hands and not much to do.

I assumed we would at least be in one place fore 3 or 4 years (outside of training, of course which is much shorter), but within 3 to 4 years... i'm hoping it is possible to get a professional job and continue pursuing my career as a side project. We do not have children nor do we plan to have children.... so I'm guessing I need to get really creative.

Lol.

Thanks for the perspective folks.

You can still be career-oriented, but you have to work to make it happen. We're at Vance and Enid's much smaller than what we've been used to our entire lives. My wife's an IA/Poli Sci major and was understandably down about the whole job thing for a while (she's very career-oriented and would rather die than be a housewife). She has since found a great job writing for the newspaper/magazine in town (she very much enjoys writing) and working on the advertising/marketing side of the house as well. It pays more than I make and she's happy. However, it took a lot of work and patience to get there. Bottom line is you can make anything happen, even in "BFE" like a UPT base, but you have to realize it's not going to be as easy to get that job as it would be in a major city. I'm sure you will be able to find something you'll like that even if it's not in politics, international relations, etc., at the very least it can be a great professional resume builder; because at this point, a college degree doesn't mean a whole lot w/o a good resume. Keep positive and you by no means should look at UPT as you giving up your dreams. If that's what happens, it's your fault and no one else's.

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Guest WSOF15

As an "old wife" ---husband has 20 yrs., here are a few points I can add as experience.

First, every tour will be what you make out of it. If you dread going there you will dread beig there. Your marriage will suffer. Look at ever assignment as something new to experience, if the town is small enjoy the people. Go to the club, get involved with the squadron...everyone is in the same boat.

Second, some places don't like to hire mil. wives (knowing they will move) take the time and get a degree to use at the next base. I have an undergrad and grad (pd mostly by the AF). OCSC gives scholarships to assist.

Third, if u want a career that u can use at every base get an education degree. U will always get a job. Substitute if u want to fill your time, pay is good even in small towns and u can make your hours. If edu is not yor cup of tea try PT, dental, real estate or retail.

As far as my experince...I wish I was a Lt. wife again, to say I have loved every second is an understatement! I have worked in different fields every step of his career. When we 1st were married I became pregnant at FTU, worked as a sub 1st 2 years. Instead of staying at home I was involved in the squadron and OCSC (President) I was busy constantly. If I wasn't working or volunteeering, I was out with girlfriends seeing the area, having lunch and fun. At one base we had a group that met every Tuesday at 1 of our houses for coffee...which lasted through lunch and ended with got to go and pick up the kids. As his career progressed (9 assignments total) I chose to reinvent myself to fit the area. For the past 5 yrs. I have been a realtor. It has allowed me to make my own hours, be there for the kids when he is deployed and given me my own identity.

The beauty of our lives is the ability to enjoy it !

GOOD LUCK

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Third, if u want a career that u can use at every base get an education degree. U will always get a job. Substitute if u want to fill your time, pay is good even in small towns and u can make your hours. If edu is not yor cup of tea try PT, dental, real estate or retail.

I'm going to say that nursing is also a great career field to get into if you are a mil. spouse. You will have a job anywhere, since nurses are in such a high demand.

I discourage anyone from going into retail. And that is coming from some one who's been in the retail field for the past 5yrs.

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Guest loduck

This comment has a little to do with med school, but mostly with job availability. I am getting married right after asbc before IFS and my fiance will need a job when she gets out of school. I will be at Whiting, and she will be there also. She wants to go into med school pending her MCAT score. She wants to be an optometrist or physical therapist if the medical school thing doesn't pan out. What is the career outlook for spouses in those two fields when you consider the military lifestyle?

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This comment has a little to do with med school, but mostly with job availability. I am getting married right after asbc before IFS and my fiance will need a job when she gets out of school. I will be at Whiting, and she will be there also. She wants to go into med school pending her MCAT score. She wants to be an optometrist or physical therapist if the medical school thing doesn't pan out. What is the career outlook for spouses in those two fields when you consider the military lifestyle?

Being in the Medical field, she'll have the advantage of being able to go anywhere, she just needs to make sure that she is Licensed in whatever state you guys end up at.

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Guest MRichart

I just found this forum and have found it pretty interesting/enlightening.

I have to agree that keeping a professional life is very difficult, but not entirely impossible as long as you are willing to make sacrifices. Honestly I had no idea what I was getting into when I married military even though I've known my husband and dated him on and off throughout his time at the academy and pilot training and while I was in college and law school. Does anyone REALLY know? So, I'm an attorney and my husband is a C-130 pilot. While I would probably not ever recommend anyone go to law school, military or not, I will say that it's almost impossible to be an attorney and a military wife. In fact, for the past two years we've actually been maintaining two residences--one in Dallas and one in Abilene. So for those of you reading this--keep these things in mind if you are considering the legal (or any professional) field and considering "marrying military":

-Law is state-specific. Each time you move you will probably be required to re-take the bar exam. This is probably true for other professions which require state-specific exams. It's a nightmare. However, you can niche yourself, like me, you can get into a federal law field such as immigration or tax where new bar exams aren't necessary.

-Firms don't want to hire someone who they know will be moving around because they invest a lot of resources into attorneys hoping that they will stay long term

-Most air force bases aren't exactly located in glamourous cities. Pay is low in most base communities. Professional job opportunities are scare thus making school loans are hard to pay off. Plus, in most of these smaller communities, you're an outsider often coming into a small town "old boys network" in the legal field.

So, with all this, why do the legal field (or any career of your chosing?!)? Because, just as my husband, I worked my butt off to get my degree and we are both willing to make sacrifices. Right now our's is seeing each other only on the weekends while he's not deployed. However, during deployments it's a great time to focus on our respective careers. No, we don't have kids, which would make our arrangement probably impossible.

However, I just want to put it out there that it's nearly=), but not entirely impossible to have a successful career as a military wife as long as you are both willing to accept the sacrifices on both sides. You just need to make it happen and get yourself out there. Yes, his buddies give him a lot of flack about our relationship and how I wear the pants in the family=), but I secretly think he's proud that I'm doing my own thing. Obviously next time we PCS, we hope it's to a bigger city with more job opportunities. But at that time we'll reevaluate.

On a side note, if I had to do it over again...I wouldn't do law in the first place. It really ties you down.

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This comment has a little to do with med school, but mostly with job availability. I am getting married right after asbc before IFS and my fiance will need a job when she gets out of school. I will be at Whiting, and she will be there also. She wants to go into med school pending her MCAT score. She wants to be an optometrist or physical therapist if the medical school thing doesn't pan out. What is the career outlook for spouses in those two fields when you consider the military lifestyle?

It's really going to depend on where you go. If you go to a base with either a large facility (San Antonio and most overseas bases) or a base near a large city and facilities, then there are many options. As either of the two options you listed, she would have a better chance in a clinic somewhere in town since the optometrists in the AF clinics are all military (at least the ones I've seen), and I don't know how big the need is for physical therapists (not saying it's not there, I just don't know what it is). That leaves you with civilian jobs outside the gate - go somewhere like Del Rio and you'll probably be limited. Go somewhere like Langley and you'll probably have a lot of options.

So like everything else in the AF....it depends.

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Guest ukwxbelle

Something to consider for spouses either making a career change, or for those still in school just starting out . . . the Banking/Finance Industry. I was a weather officer and choose to separate due to our early lack of join-spouse assignments. Moving to Enid/Vance in the middle of Oklahoma everyone joked that there'd be plently of weather jobs because it's "Tornado Alley"- I knew otherwise. But I didn't want to teach and I don't have the time or the money to go medical. Banking was like the forgotten/unthought of travel field. There are several of the spouses in my class that have gone this route and in fact, we all happen to be working for the same bank! Especially in a time like this, gaining a wealth of financial knowledge is like a gift.

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