As a military spouse to an active duty Marine for 23 years, and now the spouse of a retiree, I have had plenty of opportunity to reflect upon my journey as a military spouse. So many emotions come flooding into my heart as I think back on the excitement, the adventure, the exhaustion, the worry, the pride, the loneliness, the challenge, and the constant change.
Being a military spouse forces you to become independent, strong, brave, capable, resourceful, and adaptable. Wow, these sound like incredible qualities for an employee, colleague, or business partner. If I were running a major corporation; oh wait, while not yet a “major corporation”, I am the boss of my own business; I would LOVE to hire and work with these amazing people we call military spouses.
One of the most commonly discussed struggles that military spouses face is the constant recreation of themselves professionally. It is nearly impossible to have a career, with continued upward mobility, if you are married to a member of the armed forces and continually relocate with them throughout their career. Most military families find themselves relocating every 2-3 years. Some are blessed with staying in one location for longer periods of time, but in my experience, we moved every 3 years throughout my husband’s career, and sometimes even sooner than that.
After getting to our new location, setting up our home, getting the kids settled into school and their extracurricular activities, finding a new church, doctor, hair stylist, veterinarian, etc. and getting acclimated to the area, I would begin my job search. While I was blessed to always find work, it was never in progression to what I had done at my previous job. I started over, at the bottom, each and every time we moved. And although I was accumulating great experience along the way, all these experiences varied, and employers usually didn’t see them as useful to the job they were hiring me for at the time, so my salary never reflected what I felt I was truly worth.
I recently transitioned from being an employee in the corporate world to an entrepreneur in the field of consumer connected commerce. I have partnered with the amazingly successful, Stanford trained dermatologists, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields and am building my own business with Rodan + Fields, the number one skincare company in North America. It dawned on me one day, early into my new business, that all the varied jobs I’ve held in the past, and my ridiculous looking resume as a military spouse, had provided me exactly the skills I now need to excel as an entrepreneur.
My first job, after graduating from college, was as a Customer Service Representative. I worked all day answering calls, assisting members and prospective members with their life insurance needs. As our country was engaged in the first Gulf War at the time, and I was working for a military life insurance company, we were extremely busy and there were many stressed customers to assist. Providing exemplary customer service is vital to ANY organization or business and the skills I learned in this role have served me well throughout my entire professional career!
In my roles as an Office Assistant Manager, Payroll Specialist, and Assistant to a Navy Admiral, I learned the importance of implementing and following procedures and being attuned to details. In running my own business and training others to be able to do the same, having procedures in place for them to follow is essential. To build a thriving team, I need to have procedures in place that are easily duplicatable. Not everybody who joins my team will have my same skillset, so I need to ensure I am assisting them along the way and passing on the skills and procedures they need to become successful. I don’t think attention to detail can ever be stressed enough. Now that I am representing myself, everything I put out is a reflection on me. No detail is too small to care about. I want to be proud of my work, my company, and my team.
As a fitness instructor and an elementary school substitute teacher I learned how to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone! I had never worked with children before, other than my own, and had only taken aerobic classes myself for approximately three months when I started teaching. Talk about jitters during those first few classes in front of a group of Marines and my kindergartners! I quickly began to love both jobs. There is such satisfaction in taking on a new challenge and crushing it! I don’t want to ever be afraid to try something new and that is exactly what I’m doing now and loving it!
I have worked in sales and dabbled in network marketing in the past as well. Having a strong work ethic, being personable, and consistent with my efforts are three of the main skills I mastered while working in those roles. Add in the attributes of adaptability and flexibility, two qualities that all military spouses master, and my military spouse inspired resume is complete!
I recently read, and thoroughly enjoyed, #GIRLBOSS, by Sophia Amoruso. This excerpt resonated with me, “Most people don’t land their dream job right out of the gate, which means we all have to start somewhere. You’ll appreciate your amazing career so much more when you look back at your not-so-amazing jobs in the past, and hopefully realize that you learned something from all of them.” The key takeaway, after reflecting on what I previously viewed as my non-existent career path and ridiculous resume, is that I actually did have a career path and all roads led to exactly where I am supposed to be today…HERE!
If you are interested in learning more about my business and wonder “what if” this might be your vehicle to achieving your dreams, whatever they may be: a supplemental, or even a replacement, income, more time with your family, or something that inspires YOU and allows you to work for yourself, utilizing skills you’ve mastered throughout your life, visit my site: becmartin.myrandf.com.