More than two dozen military spouses from around the U.S. are attending a two-day Amplify Military Spouse Career Intensive event beginning today (March 1) at Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.
The first-of-its-kind working-group event, presented by In Gear Career, which is part of Hiring Our Heroes’ Military Spouse Program, offers presentations and interactive sessions to help military spouses overcome the unique career challenges they face. In addition to Starbucks, the host of the event, participating organizations include Amazon, Capital One, USAA, NextGen MilSpouse and United Services Organizations.
Dija Fraser, vice president of North American Talent Acquisition for Starbucks, told attendees that Starbucks recognizes the hurdles military spouses confront, as well as the value they bring to employers.
“People don’t always want to tell employers that they’re military spouses because they’re fearful that the employer will say, ‘Well, you’re going to move on me, so I don’t want to train you,’” Fraser remarked. “We embrace that and we’ve made improvements in our transfer process because we want to make it easier to be a military spouse at Starbucks.”
In addition to flexible scheduling, the Starbucks College Achievement Plan and Military Family Stores are Starbucks initiatives that support the careers of Starbucks partners (employees) who are also military spouses.
Making Careers on the Move
Amanda Patterson Crowe, global program manager for In Gear Career as well as a U.S. Navy Reserve veteran and wife of an active-duty Navy serviceman, said the employment histories of military spouses may puzzle perspective employers.
“We’ve jumped from one position to the next and our resumes don’t always make a lot of sense on paper because we’ve reinvented ourselves and taken positions that were available,” Crowe said. “Making sense of that is something that we’ll spend some time on during the event.
Tamar Yellin, wife of a U.S. Air Force major and a lawyer specializing in intellectual property, said she’s attending the event to get a better handle on building her own business, so that future transfers will be less problematic.
“It’s frustrating when you’re trying to put things in play and build contacts locally, yet in the back of your mind you’re always thinking, ‘Are we moving? Six months? A year? What’s going on?’” Yellin said. “I’m working on understanding how you have a career and build a business while juggling that uncertainty of moving and dealing with military life in general.”
The Seattle event will be followed by similar gatherings in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in May and Austin, Texas, in October.
“It’s been great working with Starbucks to put this on,” said Crowe. “The programs that Starbucks has for military families are well known in the military community and the company’s participation brought a lot of attention to the event.”