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Finding a Job Overseas as a Military Spouse

Depending on your individual interests and skills, there are many job opportunities available to you while you’re living overseas. Here are a few things to consider as you prepare your resume and begin to explore what job opportunities await you during your time abroad.

On the installation

  • Check the installation website for job listings. This is a great place to get started and see what's out there.
  • Look for civil service or appropriated funds positions. Getting into federal civil service may be easier overseas than it is in the United States, but the process takes time. Most federal jobs are posted on the Office of Personnel Management site.
  • Consider non-appropriated funds positions. Non-appropriated fund employees support installation services through programs such as Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Marine Corps Community Services.
  • Work at your installation exchange and commissary. These positions can provide a similar working experience to those available at comparable facilities in the United States, such as grocery store cashiers or stockers. Check out the Defense Commissary Agency to learn more.
  • Be a defense contractor. Defense contractors provide a wide variety of services on overseas installations. Check with your installation’s employment readiness specialists for more information.

Off the installation

You will also have the option to find jobs in the local economy. Do these two things first:

  • Check the Status of Forces Agreement. In some foreign countries, the Status of Forces Agreement allows military spouses to work in the local economy.
  • Consider taxes and fees. Before starting work in the local economy, make sure you have a clear understanding of what local taxes and fees you may have to pay.

Nontraditional opportunities

  • A home business. This may be the perfect time to begin the home business you've been thinking about. Be sure to consider any licenses, permits or housing requirements you may need. Meet with the Military and Family Support Center or legal assistance office at your installation to make sure you're covering all your bases.
  • Virtual work. Computer-based businesses have become more common with faster internet connections and better computer technologies. This growing field may be a perfect opportunity to connect with a former employer or step into a new portable career.
  • Volunteer work. Volunteering is a great way to test out new career tracks and learn about your new community. It can often be a great way to break into a new field and potentially lead to a paying position.

Above all, remember to give yourself time to get settled and investigate all the options. The right position or opportunity may not appear overnight, but with a little research and patience you'll figure out the best choice for you. Military OneSource is here to support your next step, at home or overseas.