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The MCN - helping to unlock the potential of military spouses and partners

Updated: Jul 11

It’s not just serving personnel, reservists, and veterans who are impacted by their military service. Military spouses and partners are also affected, especially when it comes to realising their career potential.

50% of military spouses reported that military life has had a negative impact on their careers, with one in six stating they’ve had to leave a job or education to allow their serving partner to pursue their careers. *

The reason for this is the military lifestyle.

It's complex. With regular postings across the UK and abroad, sometimes as often as every two years for many regiments. Partners being deployed on operations for months on end or sent on longer-term military exercises, a key component of our military strategy. Military life is unique. And it's challenging, especially for military families.

To achieve some level of stability in their lives and those of their children, some military spouses opt not to follow their partners around. But that has its consequences, too. They face the added burden of having to go it alone and deal with long-term separation from their partner. Or take on the stressful role and responsibility of lone parenting.

Others choose to accompany their partners to keep the family together and to protect their relationships. But that brings with it other challenges, especially in terms of their career and their children’s education.

And when their partners are deployed on operations, they all share the added burden and associated worries of having a partner away, oftentimes in dangerous or volatile environments.

Whatever the circumstance, military life inevitably impacts the ability to hold down a job, have a career, or study.

Combine that with the reluctance of many employers to invest in a military spouse because they are deemed to be ‘always on the move’, and now, with the end of the pandemic, the increasing trend to return to full-time office work or at best hybrid working, that challenge takes on another dimension.

Even if you are lucky enough to secure a fully remote contract, you maybe required to prove you have proper office space available at home where you can work undisturbed and uninterrupted. And Service Family Accommodation (SFA) does not always meet that requirement!

The impact of military life

Consequently, many military spouses and partners find themselves having or rather 'choosing' to make untold career sacrifices and compromises in favour of their serving partner. Many opt to not pursue a career whilst others adopt an entirely different path and develop a career that may work alongside military life but does not necessarily fulfil their personal ambitions.

They understand that the military partner needs to come first so they can provide without any hesitation or reserve, the defence and security levels we require and expect of our Armed Forces.

But military life doesn’t mean you have to put your career on hold. It just requires a different way of thinking and a unique approach.

Help is at hand

And that is where the MCN comes in. Our mission is to enable every military spouse and partner to create and maintain the professional career of their choice alongside military life.

We do this in two distinct ways:

Firstly, our unique network of coworking hubs gives the military spouses and partners of serving personnel a fully-equipped, professional office space to work or run their business from. At just £30/year they offer an extremely cost-effective, very affordable and highly practical solution to home, remote, or even hybrid working. Somewhere to work without any distractions that doesn’t cost the earth – TICK.

Secondly, our online community gives our members FREE access to a wide range of exclusive resources and online events across three priority areas**, including careers/business, wellbeing, and networking.

The online Members Area is a great source of inspiration and ideas, as well as useful tips, and meaningful insights on organisations that support the British Armed Forces community, helping our members to navigate their way successfully. A community that understands them and can offer the right support – TICK.

And because military spouses and partners are busy people with a lot of responsibilities that most of us don’t have, we make it easy for them to find the right solution. We do all the hard yards, so they don’t have to. Make it easy for them to find what they need – TICK.

The future of the MCN

To ensure that the MCN is here to stay, we need to demonstrate impact on a greater scale to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). We’ve got their attention – they were impressed with the results of our 2023 Evaluation Report. They like what they see, but to fully adopt it and make it part of their standard family offering, we need to provide more evidence. This means more hubs, more members, and even better results. But we can’t do it on our own. We need your help.

Do your bit

If you have a skill, resource, or opportunity you’d like to share, a story to inspire, or would like to be a guest speaker, or even host an event for our members, please get in touch.  We’d love to talk. After all, giving back is the greatest reward.

As Audrey Hepburn once said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

Will you lend us one of yours?

Why not join us?!

If you are not yet a member of the MCN Online Community, now's your chance to join.

Membership is 100% FREE and open to the spouses and partners of serving personnel, veterans, reservists, and bereaved families.

* Source: 2023 MCN Evaluation Report

** Source: Military Coworking Network 2017 Survey that surveyed over 2,200 military spouses and partners.


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