Jokingly, I considered adding “unofficial military spouse secretary” to my resume. However, as I turned the idea over in my head, becoming an administrative professional didn’t feel like such a leap after all. In fact, it sounded like a leap that could add to my resume and my paycheck.
As military spouses, we manage schedules, make appointments, keep track of budgets, pay bills, and address countless crises that arise with little to no notice. We shift childcare pick-up, purchase supplies, prepare for multi-state (and overseas) moves, and navigate technology as we try to keep up with our spouses, family, and friends. And, to top it all off, we sort out that darned pen that exploded in the wash (sometimes we even handle the plumbing).
Administrative professionals manage schedules, payroll, invoices, and projects; they often oversee critical situations and act as office gatekeepers. Any of this sound familiar? Work as an administrative professional is versatile and can be found in virtually every industry, so it’s a great career choice for military spouses. Administrative professional positions also provide two key elements military spouses need: growth and portability. You can find online administrative positions as well as in-person jobs, no matter where the military sends you.
If you have experience and are looking for an administrative professional job, or are looking to hone the kind of skills administrative professionals need, consider the following opportunities:
- LinkedIn® Learning: This platform will give you access to thousands of training courses from Microsoft basics to data analytics. Learning these skills will help you advance your chance as a potential administrative professional and refresh your skills if you’re feeling a little rusty. This feature is a part of the LinkedIn® Premium package. While it is pricey, you can try before you buy with their free 30-day trial—and Veterans receive a free one-year membership to LinkedIn® Premium.
- Ed4Online: This is a platform that offers a ton of professional development and career training courses. You can take a course on QuickBooks® Pro or complete an administrative assistant online program.
- Check with your installation’s ACS, MWR, local libraries, or community colleges—they may have opportunities for you to strengthen your administrative skills.
While I negotiate my salary and benefits package as an unofficial secretary (I’m thinking pay in wine and chocolate, with a weekly dinner I definitely don’t have to cook), you may want to consider a career as an official administrative professional. After all, you already have some real-life experiences that make you an ideal fit for the job.
In the meantime… Thank you to all the administrative professionals who keep America's industries running, and thank you to all the unofficial secretaries who keep our military families going strong!
Story by Amanda Marksmeier