Finding Temporary Work During a Loved One’s Extended Hospitalization

Your service member’s hospitalization may be causing you financial and emotional strain. Perhaps you gave up your job to be with your loved one during the recuperation period and are falling behind on your bills. Or maybe you need a break from the hospital environment and hope a temporary job will offer some relief. If you are considering temporary work, the following information and suggestions can help:

Reasons why you may want to find temporary work

  • Financial – If you left your job to be with your loved one, you’re probably wondering how you’ll make up your lost income. While a temporary job will bring in some cash, keep in mind that emergency assistance may be available through your Service branch relief organization. You can contact the Army Emergency Relief, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society or Air Force Aid Society.
  • Social – It’s perfectly normal to want to get out of the hospital and be around people outside of the medical community. A temporary job offers the opportunity to interact with people socially and professionally.
  • Psychological – Your life has been turned upside down. In many ways, returning to work means returning to some form of normalcy to your life. A temporary job will offer you a mental break from the hospital environment while allowing you to do something productive with your time that doesn’t involve your service member’s health care.
  • Professional – A temporary job may help you feel more empowered and in control. It is an opportunity to network, obtain additional skills and experiences, or simply refresh skills you already have.

What to think about

  • How will your loved one feel about you getting a temporary job? You might be concerned that you’ll hurt your service member’s feelings if you leave his or her side to go to work, but your service member may well support your decision. If his or her medical condition allows it, discuss why you want a temporary job and how it would affect the time you spend together.
  • How many hours can you work? Before looking for temporary employment, calculate how many hours you can spend on the job. Will you work full time or part time?
  • What hours can you work? An early morning shift may be best if your service member is usually asleep at this time. If he or she gets restless and bored in the afternoon, you may want to leave that time of day free so you can be there.
  • How will you get to your job assignments? If you don’t have a car, is public transportation available? Is it possible to find something within walking distance?
  • What type of work are you best suited for? Many of the temporary staffing agencies place workers in a range of positions in a variety of industries, including sales, manufacturing, retail, law and human resources. You shouldn’t have to settle for a position that you’re not comfortable with.

Preparing for temporary work

As you inventory your skills and prepare a résumé it’s important to keep the following in mind:

  • Your skills – These should include “hard” skills, such as any computer software programs you know how to use, and “soft” skills, which include traits such as adaptability and ability to prioritize tasks.
  • Your experience – This will include work experience, but be sure to list any experience you gained outside of paid work, perhaps through volunteering.
  • Your accomplishments – What are you most proud of? Maybe you organized a successful fundraiser, produced the company newsletter at your last job or trained to run a marathon. Even accomplishments made outside of work can demonstrate to a potential employer that you have the qualities that will help you succeed on the job.

Where to look for temporary work

The CareerOneStop system can help you find temporary work. Go to the CareerOneStop Service Locator to find the closest One-Stop Career Center to your service member’s medical treatment facility. A workforce specialist can help you find temporary employment. The site will also link you to the CareerOneStop system’s online resources.