Resilience and Agility: Life at Centene for Military Spouses
For those in the military and their families, receiving orders to relocate is a part of the job. While it’s an opportunity to explore a new area or region, it can also cause stress for the whole family, including spouses who may find themselves looking for a new job.
“You spend a lot of time planning: researching the area, researching the move, and potentially looking for a new job. Military spouses are often reinventing themselves each time they move,” explains Becky V, Senior Manager in Member Engagement and Communication as well as a military spouse.
“And sometimes, just as you’re feeling settled in the area, you get the call and you’re going to have to start all over again,” she adds.
Becky recently found herself doing just that. After getting settled in Hawaii (relocated from California), the call came again. This time, the new orders were almost as far as you can move in the United States – from Hawaii to Florida.
Fortunately, this time she was able to remove one item off her list: finding a new job. She connected with her Centene People Leader to work out a plan for how she could continue her role at Centene from an entirely different time zone.
“It takes flexibility on both ends: both from my manager and me”, she said.
Flexibility is just one asset Becky believes that military spouses can bring to the table. “Military spouses will bring undeniable loyalty and responsibility,” Becky notes. “There is enough change in our lives, so if a company is willing to stay loyal, they will receive it right back.”
Other attributes include the ability to learn and adapt to new situations; a fearlessness to take on new challenges but also speak up when there’s too much on their plate. The nature of being a military family leaves spouses with no choice but to be flexible, resilient, fearless, and unafraid to speak up.
“The old school way of thinking was to never mention you were a military spouse,” notes Becky. This was for concern that the hiring leader may opt to hire a candidate who would be around for longer. But for companies and candidates that value flexibility, military spouses could continue their role from wherever their spouses are stationed.
At Centene, Becky has been able to continue to grow her career as well as support her family. Starting her career as a nurse for Centene’s ‘Ohana Health Plan in Hawaii, she later moved on to supervisor roles in prior authorization and then utilization management. In her current role, she can combine her background in nursing and previous experience to engage members and the community.
A Military Family at Work
CENVET, Centene’s Employee Inclusion Group (EIG) focused on veterans and military spouses, provides networking, mentoring, and other opportunities for anyone interested in joining Centene.
“It’s like a military family at work and combines both of those worlds,” Becky says. “It’s a great place for networking, but also a place to have a voice and platform to raise awareness and advocate for policies that would improve the lives of both Centene employees and members of our health plans.
As part of her leadership role in CENVET, she traveled to Centene’s headquarters in St. Louis for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Summit. There, she was able to speak with Centene leadership, including CEO Sarah London, about her experience as a military spouse at Centene.
“Through CENVET, you’ll have a voice and a seat at the table. If you have an idea for something that might improve the lives of our former military and their families, the EIG is the place to bring that idea to the conversation,” she adds.
As for other military spouses considering a career at Centene, here is what she has to say.
“You would be hard-pressed to find another company that already has this system and benefits in place for military spouses and former military.”
Learn more about military spouses and former military at Centene here.