By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
Military spouses who need guidance on education and careers have a new online tool at their fingertips, according to a program analyst for the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program, or SECO.
“My Individual Career Plan,” allows spouses to build a virtual career roadmap based on their specific goals and objectives, Lee McMahon said.
MyICP launched Jan. 10 on Military OneSource’s MySECO website, the primary access point for the Defense Department’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program, McMahon said.
“SECO provides expert career and education guidance to military spouses worldwide,” she said, “supporting them in four career lifecycle stages: career exploration, education, training and licensing, employment readiness, and career connections.”
The MyICP tool is available for all active-duty Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps spouses and to National Guard and Reserve spouses as well, McMahon said, noting that it’s also open to spouses for up to 180 days after their service member separates or retires from the military.
Spouses must first register here. Surviving spouses of military members who died while on active duty also are eligible.
To illustrate how MyICP works, McMahon used the example of a nursing student military spouse who has just moved to a new duty station and wants to see what opportunities exist in the new area.
Licensing requirements are an issue for nurses, McMahon notes. So once logged on and after clicking on “manage my individual career plan,” the spouse would begin to build a MyICP by selecting “licensed” and “student.” Next, the spouse would go to the occupation page to find “nursing,” which would generate information from the Labor Department. The spouse would then select topics from the “challenges and growth opportunities” category. This category may include topics such as child care and relocation or time-management skills.
The self-service wizard then produces a MyICP, McMahon said, which recommends activities to meet a person’s career and education goals based on the selections made.
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership, a component of SECO, is composed of more than 200 companies and organizations that have committed to hiring military spouses, she added, so MyICP also includes the ability for users to see which of MSEP’s partners might have jobs in the user’s occupation, and provides a link to check the company’s openings in the chosen field.
McMahon encouraged all military spouses in search of such opportunities to try the MyICP tool.
“We would love to hear their feedback,” she said, noting that users can submit their input on the MySECO website by clicking on “SECO Satisfaction” or the feedback button.
Military spouses who have additional questions or need more information about using the MyICP tool can call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 and speak to a SECO career counselor.