MSEJ August 2018 - Page 17

Stephanie’s Advice:

1. Always stand up for yourself. Your career is just as important as your spouse’s.

2. Don’t rush into a job out of desperation or fear. There are other ways to fill employment gaps, like volunteering.

3. If you carry a professional license, research maintaining past state licenses—you never know when you might use it again.

4. Remember: Happiness is the most important thing in a lifestyle full of stress.

Meet Nicole:

Nicole has worked in cybersecurity for over ten years, a career she chose prior to choosing her spouse. While she’s managed to maintain wedded bliss, maintaining her career has not always been as easy. With the demands of juggling work and home (often as a solo parent), Nicole hasn’t had the flexibility to travel for work, which is imperative in her field. She’s worked remotely for much of her career, however, remote work has a glass ceiling that is difficult to crack. Although it’s a hard road to maintain a career and a military marriage, Nicole maintains it hasn’t made any of her decisions less worthwhile.

Nicole’s Advice:

1. Come to terms with the reality of your career situation. Your career will look different from what you imagined. But different doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

2. Work your network. Make connections and keep in touch. The connections you make today may lead to job possibilities and industry tips in the future.

Meet Karen:

Karen transformed her passion into a career as a certified athletic trainer. When Karen chose her field, it was a young profession primarily dominated by men, but she followed her passion and blocked out the naysayers. While many spouses experience career setbacks with a PCS move, Karen’s move gave her the opportunity to elevate her career, expand her network, and engage in research at a prestigious university. She also used her proximity to large universities to continue her education, earning a doctorate in Health Science.

Karen’s Advice:

1. Consider career flexibility, but don’t give up your dreams due to PCS moves.

2. Block out negative “advice,” and don’t let others cloud your thoughts (no matter how much they may mean well). No one should sacrifice their career because they’re a military spouse.