Military Spouse Jobs & 8 Million Tiktok Views: Miranda Head from LinkedIn | Military Money Manual Podcast Episode 84

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Miranda Head, Corporate Engagement Lead at LinkedIn and @CookingWithMiranda on TikTok, joins Spencer and Jamie to talk about military spouse jobs, using LinkedIn to find your next job, and overcoming the aniexity of meeting new friends with each PCS.

  • How Miranda found remote jobs while moving every few years in the military
  • Secretarial housing allowance waiver – for short term PCS, you can leave your family in place and collect the higher BAH of the two locations.
  • Should you hide your military spouse status from potential employers?
  • Negotiating maternity leave at a new job
  • Military spouses are eligible for free premium LinkedIn every time you PCS

If you have a question you would like us to answer on the podcast, please reach out on instagram.com/militarymoneymanual or email podcast@militarymoneymanual.com.

LinkedIn Premium for free for one year for active duty and mil spouses anytime you move or if you are transitioning out of service

Follow Miranda on LinkedIn

Connect with the military community – there are so many veterans who have started businesses helping other veterans/military spouses on finding employment. 

Military Money Manual Podcast Episode #84 Links

Outline of Episode:

  • Miranda’s experience through various jobs as a military spouse
  • Navigating feelings of doubt, lack of experience, or resume gaps 
  • Connecting and networking with other spouses or military members
  • Overcoming “taboo” topics in interviews and jobs such as pregnancy, maternity leave, and simply being a military spouse
  • Accepting help
  • Childcare
  • Family Readiness Group and Key Spouse programs
  • Military Spouse Licensure Reimbursement Program
  • LinkedIn resources for military members, veterans, and spouses

Military Money Manual Podcast Episode 84 Transcript

[00:00:00] Miranda: All it takes is finding one small commonality between another person where they might feel like they're ready to open up, and you have no idea the impact that might make on that person. And if you are that person that's listening that you know, you are feeling like, I'm not in the group. All of these people feel like they're friends with each other. That's actually just not true. We've all just used to making friends so fast because we have to and we welcome more people immediately. Do not feel discouraged to step out or attend something that you've never been to.

Reach out to your key spouse. Every single branch has a version of the Key Spouse program. 

[00:01:06] Jamie: Welcome back to the Military Money Manual Podcast. I'm Jamie, the co-host, and I'm here today with Spencer, the other co-host and owner of militarymoneymanual.com. Today we're joined as special guest Miranda Head, a military spouse, Air Force spouse, and her husband's now a reservist.

And today we're going to talk about all things spouse employment, what to do during resume gaps, how to find your new job, how to handle the stereotypes of military spouses moving all the time, people not wanting to hire you, and how to network and leverage tools like LinkedIn to help you land the best job for you and your situation.

So Miranda, thank you so much for joining us today.

[00:01:42] Miranda: Hey Jamie. Hey Spencer. Thank you for having me on. I'm happy to be here.

[00:01:46] Jamie: Alright, Miranda, you started as a kindergarten teacher or elementary school teacher.

[00:01:51] Miranda: I did. I started as a fourth-grade teacher and I did something called Teach for America. I chose to teach because I knew it would be an easier job to pursue because of all the moves you would have to make in the military.

And very quickly I got burnt out with the education system and I knew that I could not stay as a teacher. So I left teaching after about five years.

[00:02:16] Jamie: And you were able to find a new career, started with freelance social media stuff that led to friends and networks that took you from a stay-at-home mom for a few years to landing jobs at some pretty big companies.

[00:02:29] Miranda: Yeah. Yeah, no. So after teaching, I actually got into a sales role, a very entry-level sales role. And it was a great experience actually having a huge career pivot from education to anything else. I was lucky that I was in a situation where I wasn't solely relying on my income, right?

Like I had my husband and who was in the military and had a very steady income. So I was able to take a pay cut and go into the very entry-level sales role. But that's what got me into What corporate America is like. And if anyone has never had a job in sales, I highly recommend it.

It doesn't have to be at a massive Fortune 500 company. It could just be working as a cashier, but having sales as a really integral foundational step for anyone looking to broaden their career and growth. So I started in a entry-level sales role, and I did that for about a year. After that, I had my first son and that's when I decided, Hey, I'm going to be a stay-at-home mom.

I don't need to work. I was very lucky to have, again, that other income, and we were also moving to Hawaii. So it was like, okay, this is, there's not a lot of job opportunities in Hawaii. I have a newborn, or I have a one-year-old at this point, so I'm not going to go after and look for a career. I'm good where I am.

About a year into it, I was like, you know what? I don't think stay-at-home mom life strictly is just for me. Like I need to do something else. And that's when I was leveraging all of my networks to see what can I do when my son is taking a nap and I have a couple of hours on my handS. I love to get back into the working world.

So that's when I started leveraging my military spouse network, honestly, to see what's out there. What can I do in my free time?

[00:04:25] Jamie: I'm sure there's a lot of listeners who, either they're the spouse themselves or their service member, spouse, and they're maybe at a stage where they're in a season of stay-at-home parenting and they're maybe looking to get back into the market.

Did you ever have anxiety about this time of, oh, I was just a stay-at-home mom or something like that? That you might have that persona placed on yourself.

[00:04:47] Miranda: Yeah, totally. That feeling is so real. That is such a real feeling where you just. You're like, what is little old me going to do here?

And that's honestly, I remember the first thing I did was I went to LinkedIn and I posted for the first time I said, hi, I'm looking to become a virtual assistant for someone. If anyone has any recommendations, let me know. And I was not really using LinkedIn very much. I didn't have a robust network at the time.

But somehow like the feed. Maybe it was like keywords of virtual assistant ended up getting me into the network of people who were looking for virtual assistants and I think that just asking the universe, Hey, what's out there, really helped me combat that feeling of what can I do? I was just a stay-at-home mom.

Because if you don't even put yourself out there, then you're not going to get anything.

[00:05:48] Spencer: So I want to continue your story there, Miranda. So stay-at-home mom sales role, and then where did you go after that?

[00:05:54] Miranda: Yeah, so I was a stay-at-home mom after the sales role for about a year, and that's when I was like, I need to do something else.

I put that post out on LinkedIn. I got connected with someone who was looking for a virtual assistant. I spent about six months being his virtual assistant, which was a lot of LinkedIn help for him, sourcing and finding leads. And it married my skills from sales, my very entry-level skills, don't get me wrong.

And after that point, when we were in Hawaii, actually, it was a very sad situation. My original guy that I had met, who I was working for, ended up having almost a widowmaker heart attack and obviously like he had to slow down. So here I was back to square one. By the way, he's healthy.

He's good now. But I was back to square one and we were in Hawaii and it was like, okay, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? I really just started making sure when I was at military spouse events that the squadrons would put on. I would always kind of ask people like, Hey, what do you guys do in your spare time?

A lot of us, we're in the same boat. We are living in Hawaii, a lot of us just moved there. It's a totally different world of living. If you've ever lived on an island, it's totally different. It can be isolating. So you have to leverage your network, not only just for your career if you want, but your personal health, your personal mental health you cannot stay isolated just within your family.

And I think that's probably true on most bases. But I just remember one lady and one of our spouse get together saying she was the COO of a company. And I was like, how are you doing that in Hawaii? And she was like, oh, it's completely remote. And I was like, Wow, that's ama, and this is pre Covid. So it was like, those opportunities are rare.

And I just kept keeping tabs. She posted one day in our military spouse Facebook group for our squadron, “Hey, does anyone want to work a few hours a week? Here's the pay rate. This is what you'd be doing.” And I immediately texted her and I was like, let's talk.

[00:08:11] Jamie: So the network like saved the day and just putting it out there that you were looking for opportunities and not just like sitting there thinking, oh, woe is me, I'm stuck here.

I don't have any friends. Yeah, I don't have any jobs. I've been a stay home mom. You're just asking for opportunities. Looking for opportunities, and something came up from that. That's awesome.

[00:08:28] Miranda: Yeah, you never know when you're at these squadron events, there's so many family get-togethers with squadrons and I honestly, I miss that a lot now that we're in the reservist side. But if you are in a situation of active duty and you have these events at your disposal, sometimes, I know it's hard to put yourself out there, but if you do go you've already decided with your husband or your partner, you're going make a goal to yourself.

I'm going to connect with three people that I don't know and I'm going to find out what they are doing. because you never know. It couldn't just be like, maybe for career, it could be, oh, your kids are the same age. Let's set up a play date. That's my recommendation.

[00:09:11] Spencer: Do you find in the military spouse community, there are mental health challenges and identity crises where sometimes the spouse might be coming from a high-performance career and all of a sudden now they've moved to Okinawa, they moved to Hawaii, or to Ramstein, Germany, and they're following the active duty military service member, and they have to give up their career because they can't do it remotely.

Do you find that's, that there's a big gap there between the people who can hold onto those remote jobs and the people who have to give up their careers?

[00:09:45] Miranda: Yeah, definitely precovid for sure. I also think a lot of military spouses like me did not pick a career path that would help them.

As I said at the beginning of this podcast, I chose to be a teacher because I knew I would be able to find a job anywhere we moved, and I think a lot of military spouses do think that way. Oh, I just need a career that you know, will be flexible when my husband's deployed. And yes, a hundred percent you need a career like that.

But I think that if you're still thinking that way in 2023, then that can be a downfall because. There are so many opportunities now in the working world where you don't even have to go meet your employer. I haven't met my manager and I've had four different jobs in the last five years. I haven't met a single one of those managers, and that has not limited me in one way, shape, or form.

[00:10:50] Jamie: So Miranda, getting back into the workplace after periods of being a stay-at-home mom or looking for a new job, or let's say you go back to school for a little bit. You mentioned earlier about reaching out on LinkedIn and a lot of times in TAPS or transition programs, they talk about making sure your LinkedIn's accurate and they help people learn how to phrase the right things about their military experience, translate it into civilian kind of speak.

What do you do with something like a resume gap if you've been a stay-at-home mom for five or 15 years, even to be marketable out there?

[00:11:21] Miranda: Yeah, definitely. Actually, something really interesting on LinkedIn is they've launched a new update to your profile where you can put on your profile, in your experience, your career experience, that you've had a resume gap, and you can say exactly what that gap was for.

Like you decided to be a full-time stay-at-home parent, or you took a gap year or you were deployed, which obviously isn't a resume gap. Anything that's happening, and in that section on your LinkedIn profile, you can explain what you were doing during that time. So first, I would definitely leverage that tool on LinkedIn.

Second, use that time to, like I said, network with other people. There's a bunch of groups. There are a bunch of groups on Facebook and LinkedIn where people are in the same boat as you. Just join those groups, find those groups, make sure you are keeping up to date with how the working world is progressing, and then hone your skills and passions.

Something I did that I will attribute to my success now is when I had that like stint in Hawaii a few years ago where I wasn't full-time working for a company, but I was doing part-time work, freelance social media work. I was honing my skills as a creator on TikTok, and I spent, a lot of my free time, creating great content to put on TikTok.

I amassed a little following there, and it wasn't just for a vanity purpose, it was, I wanted to learn what other people were doing, so I thought I needed to do what they were doing, and because of that, I got integrated into this whole other world of creators. And that kind of got me to where I am today.

So my point is, when you have a gap and you're, maybe you're a stay-at-home mom and you're stuck in it every day and you're just waiting for your partner to come home from a mission or whatever, there are things you can be doing to fill up that time that can you'll never know where it leads you in a year or two.

[00:13:34] Spencer: I think that's a great point In Miranda in 2023 with the resume gaps, do employers really care, do you think? Or do you think Covid broke the system where, if you say I traveled for two years, or I looked after my family for two years, and most employers are like, great, that sounds like you took care of what's important.

[00:13:55] Miranda: Yeah. Honestly, in my experience, and I've had a lot of different jobs in the last 13 years, I have never been approached with the question of what were you doing? Were you sitting on your butt for two years? I don't think that question can ever really get asked.

If you are properly positioning yourself in the interview, if you lead off with here are my skills, here's what I have done to hone those skills. Here's what I've learned along the way, then that's what the conversation becomes. It doesn't become this like timeline interrogation, so I truly don't think that's ever an issue.

As long as you are the one owning the interview and controlling the narrative.

[00:14:42] Jamie: You're making yourself better. You're not just being a victim of the situation, you're taking ownership of that period. I really liked the way you phrased that,

[00:14:50] Spencer: Miranda, have you ever seen other military spouses, or have you yourself ever heard of this where you have to hide the fact that you are a military spouse when you're applying for a job?

[00:15:01] Miranda: Yes, actually, this is literally something I did all the time. I remember when I left teaching and I was trying to find a new career, I interviewed at probably six or seven different companies in Charleston. That's where we used to live. And I remember them asking, obviously, employers cannot ask that question, but people are people and people make mistakes and sometimes in conversation, it just comes up because you're human.

And I remember, I'll never forget, like preparing for these interviews and I remember chatting with my girlfriends who were other military spouses who were in the same boat as me. We would just be like, okay, how are you going to skirt around the question of what your husband does, how are you going to skirt around the question of why do you guys live in Charleston?

Or what brought you to Charleston? What are you going to say where it's not a lie? And I just laugh looking back on that.

[00:16:03] Spencer: What would you say to Miranda, five years ago when you were living in Charleston or to a current military spouse do you think, again, now that remote work is such a thing, do you think that's still a thing that military spouses have to hide?

Or would you say just be honest and if it's not right for that job or for that company then that's, you probably don't want to work there anyways Any place in my mind, any place that's going to discriminate against a military spouse is not a place I want to work anyways.

[00:16:36] Miranda: It's definitely a little bit of all the above. I think that the main thing to remember is, You control your interview, you control the tone you set of your skills and what you bring to the table. And if you have this like mentality of oh my gosh, they're not going to take me because I'm a military spouse, that's going to eat away at your confidence in an interview.

The second thing you do need to do is be confident in the fact that an employer must accept my lifestyle. Times have changed a lot and companies really consider their employees and their employees' well-being. So you have to make sure they understand what your limitations are and what's going on without you coming across as brash or forthcoming or you have to make sure that I can take this time off because of the deployment or whatever.

I truly feel like if you bring your full self to the table and you are showing up as someone who is strong and can get the work done, then the military spouse life is a non-issue for them and it should be, and they should bend over backward to help support your life if you are providing great work to the company.

Does that make sense?

[00:18:01] Spencer: Absolutely.

[00:19:40] Jamie: Okay, Miranda, so the network was huge for you in the military spouse network, and that eventually got you back into full-time work.

Can you talk a little bit about that and then what your journey's been like back in the workplace full-time now?

[00:19:52] Miranda: Yeah, absolutely. I worked as a freelance social media employee for about a year and a half in Hawaii and a piece of advice is to never stop looking for opportunities. I remember I was actually editing a podcast for my employer and one of the guests he had on was a CEO at an accounting tech company in LA and I truly was not looking for a new job.

I was very happy where I was, but I decided, we were considering moving to LA after my husband got out of the military. So I thought I would connect him with him on LinkedIn, send him a DM, and say, Hey, I am editing the podcast you did with my employer. Great job. Your company sounds awesome, which it did. In a few years and we're looking to move back to LA. I will be looking at your company. And he wrote back right away. It's like he didn't even read anything I said about moving to LA in a few years. And he just said, Hey, we're actually hiring a full-time social media manager right now. What's your schedule like? And so I was like shocked.

I was really shocked. Anyway, I did the interview. I got the job. It was now me moving from a contractor to, I could set my own hours work when my child's sleeping. Oh, by the way, I was eight months pregnant when I got hired, and I remember walking into that interview now, here I am. We're not only worried about being a military spouse, but I am literally about to have a baby and that is something you cannot hide.

And it was a Zoom interview anyway and we can talk a little about that if you want. But that was a big decision for my family because when I walked into that interview, I actually did not know was a full-time position. I thought it was going to be a contractor position and here I am, very pregnant.

So when I got the offer and the CEO did say it was full-time, something my husband and I had to decide okay, we're going to have to get serious childcare now. Like we're about to have a second kid and it's a baby, right? We are going to need a nanny. We're going to need something. So that was a big moment for us to decide I was going to go into full-time work.

And that's what I decided. I worked there for about a year and another opportunity came up to work at LinkedIn. You never say no to an interview or an opportunity, and I was very, again, I was very happy at Flow Cast. I loved my job. They were very supportive of me. Obviously, they hired me at eight months pregnant.

It was a great company. I loved it. Here comes LinkedIn. So I had the interview, I got the job there, and now that's where I am today.

[00:22:46] Jamie: So you have to hide that you're a military spouse, hide that you're pregnant, and or have kids. There are a lot of barriers that spouses might have to deal with here, defining jobs, but I'm glad that you're an example of how taking ownership of this situation, networking and continue to make yourself better and more marketable does work out sometimes.

[00:23:04] Miranda: Yeah. Honestly, if employers don't realize like a working mom or just a mom, in general, would not make a good employee that they can come talk to me. 

[00:23:18] Spencer: Miranda. What kind of challenges did you experience when you guys were on active duty? Moving around the country, PCSing all the time. And there's I guess it's pre covid, post covid, things changed a lot. But are there any stories or experiences that you saw or that your friends saw from the military spouse perspective?

[00:23:39] Miranda: Yeah. No, I think moving is so difficult and so many employers don't understand how it just eats up your whole life. Like your whole world is justisc dombobulated for sometimes two to three months, especially a move from Hawaii. The biggest thing that I've experienced was companies, they usually have zones of pay, right?

Based on where you live. So Hawaii Zone is way different from a zone like New York or San Francisco, and we moved from Hawaii to Oklahoma, which is like the lowest pay zone. That's a separate issue. Companies have to do what they have to do. I don't have any specific guidance or anything that I hear from other people.

It's more just like you just get through it. And I think all of us in the military understand how much a move is literally the worst thing ever.

[00:24:42] Jamie: And I think that's where the network comes in because only another military family or spouse is truly going to understand, most of the time, what it takes.

Like we had a friend the other day because we're in the middle of PCSing. Full DITY move overseas. We'll see in a couple months whether it was worth it or not, but we just had a friend from church, and like they don't really understand the military thing, but they're just like, “Hey, can we pick up the kids for a few hours?”

And we're like, yes. Like right now. And they came and we're like, take them to the trampoline park and lunch. Here's $40. We'll see a, and they kept for hours and it was the best thing they could have done for us. A lot of times the other military families in your network will know that.

Yes, and they know that when your neighbor moves in that you need help and you don't have mustard and you need butter, and you need friends for the kids.

[00:25:28] Miranda: A lot of the time though, we're so proud, right? We all go through hardships. It's so hard sometimes for us to say, Hey, I need help. And I actually feel like my husband and I feel like that. We don't really want to burden other people.

But that is such a huge learning experience. You've gotta ask for help or accept the help. Don't just say, oh I got it, because like it really does make a difference.

[00:25:51] Spencer: Yeah, the, if they're a true friend, It's not even going to feel like they're doing a favor for you. They're just, no, this is what we do.

This is why you have friends so that when someone's moving house, you can show up and carry a couple of boxes out. It's not that hard. And, or look after the kids, like Jamie was saying. One sidebar that I did want to mention, and this was a listener sent this in regards to moving, was there's this new program called the Secretarial Housing Allowance Waiver.

And the waiver does not provide for dual housing allowance. However, it allows for a service member who is PCSed or long-term TDY to a different location to keep the higher BAH of the previous permanent duty station. So for example, let's say that you're in Charleston and you have to go to Maxwell for school for a year, and normally it would be a PCS, but let's say your military spouse has a really good job in Charleston.

You could keep the Charleston BAH, move to Maxwell, but you'll still be on the hook for paying rent or a mortgage in both places. But you can keep the higher BAH you don't have to accept the lower Maxwell BAH. So that's a great change that just came about recently and all branches are implementing that now.

I know the Air Force especially has a great program set up for that where it's just, talking to finance and submitting a form, and then they'll probably lose the form. You have to submit the form again, but eventually, it does work where you can keep the higher BAH. So I did want to mention that program.

That's the Secretarial Housing Allowance Waiver. If you're PCSing, especially for a short, one year overseas or one year to school, make sure that you look into that.

[00:27:36] Miranda: That's great. Also, while you were talking about that, I remember in Charleston at the FRG, is that the Family Readiness Group, is that right?

They had a program for when you were either PCSing in or PCSing out that you can get 20 hours of childcare during the move. Not every base has it because Hawaii did not have it. But I would check your FRG to double-check if they have something like that. And we definitely used it.

[00:28:09] Jamie: Yeah. So speaking of child care, you mentioned going full-time, we have serious childcare.

Are there any financial resources that help? Is the CDC our only option? What are we talking about as you guys look through the childcare dilemma? 

[00:28:23] Miranda: Oh gosh. Childcare, like someone needs to write a book on military childcare.

[00:28:29] Jamie: Solve it. You'll be a millionaire. 

[00:28:32] Miranda: So there is a really great program called Childcare Aware that is offered to all the branches.

However, there are differences between each branch. I remember in Hawaii the funding for the Navy side was very depleted versus the Air Force. So that's why what I'm talking about, what my experience was Air Force. So you'd have to check with your branch, but go to childcareaware.org and read through everything and figure out if you qualify.

The chances of you qualifying are probably 50/50. But go ahead and fill it out. Reach out to them. They do take a while to respond to you, but they get back to you. You can get assistance for childcare if you do not have the CDC available to you. So in Hawaii, the CDCs were very full. They had waiting lists of over a year to get into them.

So when I found out I was starting this job, within a couple of months, I could not get into the CDC when I needed to. So Childcare Aware was able to help offset the costs so that I could go to another daycare in my neighborhood that was way more expensive than the CDC, but now I'm only charged the rate that I would've been charged at the CDC.

[00:29:53] Jamie: Yeah, it sounds like a great benefit. That's childcareaware.org, it looks and they have that program to help out. That's like a great resource because the CDC is hard and there's that prioritization of, dual military spouses, single parents, all those. And so a lot of times if you're just low on the list or they won't even give you really any feedback on, you're on the list, but we don't know when this spot will open up for you.

And you can't necessarily just wait until they call you one day. You have to have a plan.

[00:30:20] Miranda: And when you find out you're PCSing, literally like that day, get on the wait list or the CDC at the next base.

[00:30:28] Spencer: Miranda, do you have any advice for military families looking to improve their finances while they're on active duty?

[00:30:33] Miranda: Yes, definitely. I think it's not just saving, but giving yourself a strict budget of here's what I'm going to spend on food, or here's what I'm going to allocate towards fun. If you're just constantly spending your paycheck or you're just thinking next year my husband will be making a little bit more money, or when he gets out of the military, we're going to be fine.

You never know what's going to happen in your life. So no matter what income you're making, always have some kind of percentage of saving that doesn't change. And try really hard to not put things on credit cards. At least that's my opinion.

[00:32:52] Jamie: Okay, so getting a new job at eight months pregnant. Obviously maternity leave was at the forefront of your mind as you got that new job, and probably for a lot of military spouses, if they're battling a similar situation, how do they navigate the need and understand their employer's rules or what may or may not be available as they move around or take new jobs?

[00:33:13] Miranda: Yeah, maternity leave in the United States is just something that isn't great all around. It completely varies on your situation and the employer, and there is no way to foreshadow or forecast what that's going to look like if and when you get pregnant. For me, my situation was so unique, right?

Like I was just eight months pregnant, got this opportunity, and got hired. But what I did do is I made sure I understood all options available to me, and I didn't just take what the company told me was going to happen. I asked questions. I looked to see what other companies were doing in the same position.

I wanted to make sure that I understood everything I could about maternity leave policies. And if there are any kind of caveats with the military life or being a military spouse or having a husband who could get deployed, like that kind of thing. So what I did when I got hired, instead of getting hired full-time immediately, which meant that I would not have any access to maternity leave because I had been there for less than a month, right?

At a lot of places you have to be at the company for a year before you get access to maternity leave. I worked out with that company that I would just be brought on as a contractor, and that way I could take as much time as I wanted on my maternity leave and wouldn't be penalized by the company policies of working full-time.

All of that to say, just make sure you know the answers to every situation or scenario that could come up. And I know it's a lot of homework on our part, and we should just be focused on creating a baby instead of worrying about everything else. But that's the reality, and that's all I can offer on that.

[00:35:12] Jamie: In the Air Force, we have a program called the Key Spouse. I'm sure other branches have something similar, but just an anchor of resources in the unit. And you spent some time doing that at a couple of different bases. What are some of the trends that you saw or common questions people had? How can we be a better network to each other and better friends to the other families in our unit?

Anything like that from your experience?

[00:35:37] Miranda: Yeah, I think as a key spouse you have a roster that you are responsible for checking in on them, making sure that these spouses are doing okay. You're the point person. In a time of crisis, like in Charleston, we had a bunch of hurricanes, so anytime there was a hurricane evacuation, a lot of the times the key spouses would check in on everybody else.

I think something that was a trend that I discovered, and it's been a while since I've been a key spouse, I think I stopped after Hawaii, was just, you never know what someone is going through. And even though we are all in this military world and we have a lot of similarities and we understand what each other is going through, you never truly know what's going on in their life.

And you might think someone doesn't want to be a part of the network, but that could be not true. Like maybe they just don't know how to insert themselves, or maybe they're more introverted than extroverted, and sometimes that comes across as if they aren't willing to participate. They want nothing to do with the military squadron, but you can't assume that you just don't know how they're feeling and what they're going through.

So always offer a hand. Always offer to invite someone to something that maybe you've never seen them at. Say, hey, I'd really love for you to be there. I know we haven't gotten to hang out before, but you should check this out. There's going to be free food. Like our kids are the same age, whatever it is, whatever it takes.

All it takes is finding one small commonality between another person where they might feel like they're ready to open up and you have no idea the impact that might make on that person. And if you are that person that's listening that you know, you are feeling like, I'm not in the group, all of these people feel like they're friends with each other. That's actually just not true. We all are just used to making friends so fast because we have to and we welcome more people immediately. So do not feel discouraged to like stuff out or attend something that you've never been to reach out to your key spouse.

Every single branch has a version of the key spouse program and that's what they are there for.

[00:37:54] Spencer: I think while we're talking about military spouse employment, Miranda, another good program to mention is the Military Spouse Licensure Reimbursement Program, which provides up to a thousand dollars for a military spouse to convert their licenses from one state to another.

It's an excellent program. All branches have implemented it. They all have different programs. So if you go back and listen to episode 66 of the Military Money Manual Podcast, You can learn more about that program and also if you Google it, military OneSource and my website militarymoneymanual.com have a lot more on that topic.

[00:38:26] Jamie: Okay. We heard a lot of great tips today and one of the ones I think that kept coming up is how to use the tools on LinkedIn for your resume and networking opportunities to find your next career. And there's also some learning on there, so can you give us an overview of what's available on LinkedIn and what military families have access to, and how they should use it?

[00:38:46] Miranda: Yes, LinkedIn has a whole program department dedicated to military veterans, and military spouses. If you literally just Google “LinkedIn for veterans” or “LinkedIn for military spouses”, the first site that pops up is the dedicated page for all the resources you have at LinkedIn. But one of the biggest resources is you actually get premium for free for one year for active duty members who are mo, who are transitioning out of the military.

And for military spouses who are, anytime you are moving or PCSing, you get that one year freebie. 

[00:39:32] Jamie: With every PCS. Yes. You get it another year. Wow.

[00:39:35] Miranda: Yes. Every PCS, because military spouses have to change jobs a lot because of their move. So for active duty though, it's just when you're getting out that first year for military spouses, anytime you are moving and transitioning out, It's very easy to get access to it.

Again, go to Google LinkedIn for military spouses. I actually did use that service several years ago before I was even hired at LinkedIn, so I highly recommend it. And what does premium get you? It actually unlocks a lot of neat analytics and tools on your profile, but it gets you access to LinkedIn learning courses.

There are courses that are specifically designed for active duty getting out of military service, and there is one specifically dedicated to military spouses called Get Ahead as a Military Spouse. So highly recommend everyone take on that resource and then use LinkedIn every day. DM. Connect with people that might be working in a company that you are interested in.

Reach out to other military members or people who are helping the military community on LinkedIn. There are actually so many of them, and I don't know if you guys send out resources on your website from the episode, but I've linked three people that I actually worked with under LinkedIn who specifically help military members and their spouses find jobs and opportunities and of course follow people who interest you.

If you're not on LinkedIn and you don't know what to post about, don't start with posting. Just start with following other people, and engaging with their content. You can write a comment on someone's post if you're feeling like you don't want to post anything on your LinkedIn. That's a good way to kind step into the waters.

But if you have any other questions about LinkedIn, I am definitely your go-to person and you can find me on LinkedIn. Just my name, Miranda Head. That's awesome.

[00:41:39] Jamie: We'll definitely put those three top recommendations of people to follow in the show notes so people can find those. Miranda Head on LinkedIn is a great resource and she'll, she has all kinds of interesting things in there as well as her experience of going from periods of working as a teacher to stay-at-home mom, to freelancer to TikTok famous to now full-time employee at LinkedIn and in charge of managing a team and she's way cooler than her husband now.

Had to make sure I get a plug for that. So we're super honored to have you on the show today. Thank you.

[00:42:09] Miranda: Thanks so much for having me. It's been really fun. If anybody has any questions, I'm happy to answer them on LinkedIn.

[00:42:16] Spencer: Thanks again to Miranda Head for joining us on a podcast. You can find her on LinkedIn.

Just search Miranda Head. And you can leave us a five-star review on Spotify or Apple Podcast. If you got value from this podcast, if you want to reach out to me or Jamie, podcast@militarymoneymanual.com is the email and on Instagram we're @MilitaryMoneyManual. We'll catch you in the next episode of the Military Money Manual Podcast.

[00:45:00] Jamie: The views and opinions presented here are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of the DOD or its components.

Reference to any commercial products or services. Does not constitute DOD endorsement of those products or services.

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