Military Spouse Employment Initiative: Sara Schnabel

military-spouse
Sara Schnabel, Master Corporal (MCpl) Daniel Schnabel and family. Photo: The Maple Leaf

Defence Stories

I have been a military spouse for many years. I would apply for tons of positions and never got a call back. It was like unless you knew someone, and because of the potential to being posted, I had a hard time getting jobs. A lot of the times, employers can be biased against military spouses due to potential postings.

When we were posted to Cold Lake in August 2018, and I applied to the Military Spouse Employment Initiative (MSEI) right away. Applying was easy; I posted my resume, and applied for casual positions in one go. I was put in a pool where hiring managers can see my skill sets rather than a blank resume. By applying to the MSEI, I was able to show who I was.

Within 2 months, I was hired as a switchboard casual position on a 90-day contract with DND. After the contract ended, I was re-added to the MSEI pool and was hired on a 2-year contract as a Contract Clerk with RPOps. It was easier to get re-hired since I already had a PRI and a foot in the door. The MSEI created more opportunities for me to get a more permanent position.

The biggest impact of the MSEI for me is that I can work outside the home. I’m in a wheelchair and since I started working at DND, the accommodations they’ve made for my disability have been phenomenal and very inclusive. I’ve always been the type of person to be able to figure things out on my own, but this time, they’ve done that for me.

Because I now live and work on base, it’s allowed me to spend more time with my family. Before, my husband and I worked separately and we never had the togetherness that we’re finding now. We have a totally new stride to our family. My daughter was able to come to “Take Your Kid to Work Day” and was able to spend time with both parents, which made it more special.

Our kids take a lot of pride in their parents, and even though Mommy’s not in uniform, we’re both serving our country.

I would encourage military spouses to take the position, even if it’s a 90-day contract, because it opens up the doors. It gives hiring managers an idea of who you are. Taking anything you can get. It doesn’t matter if you’re able or disabled, the MSEI is unbiased.

For more information on how to apply for a job or on how to access the inventory, visit the Military Spouse Employment Initiative website or contact the National Staffing Programs team.