A major difficulty for families to
overcome when relocating to Europe is the limited availability for
employment for family members. However, spouses should be
encouraged to know that jobs can be found with preparation and
persistence. It is recommended to plan for a period of
unemployment lasting as long as six months. Just as in many small
towns, individuals with very specialized professions--such as lawyers,
teachers, and accountants--may not find employment in those professions.
The two major types of civilian government employment opportunities
available are Appropriated Fund (AF) jobs paid for by tax dollars and
Non-appropriated Fund (NAF) jobs paid for by money generated locally
from profits earned by morale, welfare, and recreation activities.
APPROPRIATED FUND EMPLOYMENT
One possible arena in which to find employment is the federal civil
service Appropriated Fund positions, commonly referred to as "GS"
positions. You can apply for most AF positions by submitting a
resume via email to the
Civilian Human Resource
Management Agency (CHRMA). Family members should submit
their resume to the CHRMA database prior to arrival in country.
However, the self-nomination process should not be started until they
are in country.
AF job announcements are listed on the CHRMA website and are classified
as Open Continuous or Special Announcement. Open Continuous job
announcements may or may not mean that there is a vacancy for that job
at the present time. Job seekers list all OC announcements that
they would want to be considered for on the supplemental sheet to their
resume. Then when positions fitting those announcements do become
available, the interested party's resume is forwarded to the hiring
official if it is found to meet the minimum qualifications for the job.
Special Announcements are for those positions that are currently and
actively being recruited for. Once a job seeker's resume is in the
CHRMA database, he or she can self nominate for any Special
Announcements listed on the CHRMA website with a click of a mouse.
NON-APPROPRIATED FUND EMPLOYMENT
Another possible arena for spouse employment is federal
Non-Appropriated Funds (NAF) jobs. NAF jobs are most often found
in morale, welfare and recreation facilities and include a wide variety
of job titles, including food service workers, child-care providers, and
clerical staff to name a few. NAF announcements are also posted on
the CHRMA website. To apply for them, candidates must submit a NAF
application package and supplemental application forms. NAF
facility managers have direct hiring ability and may also be a good
source for information regarding these jobs.
OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT
Teachers that are interested in applying for employment with the
Department of Defense Schools (DoDDS) should make inquiries to the
school directly. Prior to leaving the states, you can contact the
Recruitment Unit, 4040 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203; Phone (703)
696-3068 to inquire about teaching opportunities at your school.
Employment opportunities are available with the Army & Air Force
Exchange Service (AAFES) and to the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA).
AAFES applications should be made to your local administrative offices.
Commissary applications should be made at your main local commissary.
Independent contractors also provide employment opportunities.
While most contracting companies are looking for high-tech
telecommunications and computer specialists, opportunities exist for a
wide variety of candidates. Contract employment is available with
major corporations through direct hire for extended periods. Each
contractor is responsible for its advertising and for the hiring of
employees; there is not a central administrative contracting office for
these positions, but some contract companies do post listings on the job
board at your Community Family Support Center.
PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYMENT
Employment on the local economy is possible. However, getting
a work permit is difficult for non-European Union citizens and also
brings in tax issues. It is recommended that you consult with your
installation legal advisor before entering into a work agreement with a
local German firm.
An additional potential source of employment in Europe is associated
with the military's adult education program, namely, working directly or
indirectly with your Education Center. Colleges under contract
with the Department of Defense offer courses almost everywhere overseas
where Americans are stationed. Thes schools routinely recruit
teachers in a variety of academic areas. A Master's Degree is
required for most teaching jobs, but since this is not always the case,
a Bachelor's Degree or, in vocational-technical areas, an Associate's
degree in the area to be taught could be sufficient. It is
recommended that interested person make contact with your Education
Center and with the colleges for more detailed information.
PROFESSIONAL OR OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING
Please check with your professional organization before leaving the
United States to find out about certification and/or licensing
procedures while you are residing in Germany. Several professional
organizations have European Branches that enable you to participate in
networking opportunities, conferences, and continuing education.
The following professionals are highly encouraged to check with their
professional licensing/certification organization to find out about
membership in their European Branches: Nursing, Counseling & Psychology,
Social Work, Education, Occupational & Physical Therapy.
Volunteering is a great way to increase knowledge in a particular
field and to increase your exposure as a job seeker by networking.
All volunteer time is counted as actual work experience on your resume
when applying for federal employment through the CHRMA.
Most communities offer a Summer Hire Program for youths interested
in summer work. These positions include clerical, postal, and
manual labor positions to name a few. The Summer Hire Program is
usually a 6-10 week long program for ages 14-23. If you are
interested in the Summer Hire Program, you should contact your local
Community & Family Support Center. In addition, youths 13 and
older may become certified babysitters by completing the Red Cross
babysitter training course. There are also a few positions with
AAFES an DeCA available to teens.
EMPLOYMENT AT THE EDELWEISS RESORT, AFRC GARMISCH
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