When my husband accepted his position a little over a year ago, we both knew there would be a period of time that I would be unemployed. We have been able to manage living off of one paycheck thus far, but we have not been able to save money or make extra payments towards debt. Thus, I made it a point to look for employment prior to moving here so I would be a working woman again as soon as possible after arriving at post.
My goal was to work at the Embassy, since they have great benefits and the pay is better than what I would make on the local job market in Kyiv. An added benefit is I would be able to carpool to work with my husband:) However, positions do not always open up right away that a person would be qualified or interested in, and if you accept a position, it can take months to receive the required security clearance.
Earlier this year, as luck would have it, a position opened up that was a perfect fit for me. I applied and was quickly selected for an interview. Within a week or two, I was offered that position. One caviat- the position was contingent on me obtaining security clearance. I knew from my husband’s application process for his job that the security clearance process can take a while. Most people told me that the process can take three to six months. A few weeks ago, I received a phone call that my background check came through and I was cleared to start my position!! After six and a half months of unemployment I am now officially a working woman again – I am so excited!!
It has been extremely useful for me to be at home to take care of everything house related, and I can’t imagine someone living this life alone the first few months of moving to post. There needed to be somebody at home to let in technicians, handymen, and movers at least a dozen times in the first few months.
Not to seem ungrateful for the job of housewife (or house manager, as my husband jokingly refers to me), but it has been as far from a relaxing and unstressful experience as you can get. For those who think that an unemployed EFM sits around all day eating bon bons and drinking wine, I beg to differ. The past six months I have been a housekeeper, the sole cook, errand runner, daytime dog walker (most days twice per day), financial planner, accountant, personal assistant and professional organizer for our household. I have also been a language student and blog writer on top of those responsibilities. Those tasks together accounted for a good 30-40 hours per week of my time!!!
We recently hired a part time housekeeper and a dog walker to take care of some of the household responsibilities I have taken care of while unemployed. My husband and I will split cooking duties again (yay!!!), and he will have to help with some errands, however I will most likely have to continue the never ending tasks of laundry and picking up after my husband.
I will hopefully also be able to continue Russian lessons a couple times a week and will continue with writing this blog, as it is a great creative outlet for me. Working will give me a sense of purpose again, and a chance to use my college degrees and previous work experience. I will be able to continue contributing to my retirement account and make extra payments toward debt. I am beyond grateful and excited for this new chapter in my career!!