“If You Make Yourself Indispensable With The Quality Of Your Work You Can Parlay A Consulting Contract Into A Job.”

Grant Belgard is a computational biologist who telecommutes from a home office. He started consulting for a startup founded by his former colleagues and was then recruited by them.

NextGen MilSpouse is going beyond traditional career tips and tricks for military spouses! We are sharing the real stories of working military spouses (just like you!) and their professional success stories on Wednesdays.

Grant Belgard is a computational biologist who telecommutes from a home office. He started consulting for a startup founded by his former colleagues and was then recruited by them.

Name: Grant Belgard

Years as a military spouse:

5

Tell us your profession:

Computational Biologist & Neuroscientist

Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?

Full-time

How long have you been working in this career field?

10 years

Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?

Mostly telecommute from a home office

Tell us one thing you love about your job.

I am always learning!

How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.

I started consulting for a startup founded by former colleagues, and was then recruited by them. If you make yourself indispensable with the quality of your work you can parlay a consulting contract into a job.

What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?

Do not take yourself out of the running before you even apply. Let the prospective employer make that call.

How do you feel about failure?

Do not fear it! If you never fail you are not taking enough risks.

I am not talking about risks with a negative expectation value (e.g. the lottery) or where the potential downside can be devastating (e.g. pouring your life savings into the latest fad investment), but calculated risks with a limited potential downside and an unbounded potential upside can be worthwhile.

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

I was concerned that I would be unable to keep up a career in science remotely, as this is very unusual, but my mentors were very encouraging that I could find a way to make it work in spite of this. (There were some naysayers too.) Obviously this does not look exactly like a traditional career path, but thus far it has worked out well.

Constraints create a crucible for creativity, and one need not be restricted to the most common ways of working.

Who is in your support squad?

My wife has been very encouraging and supportive of wherever I want to take my career.

Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?

Yes, and we both work long hours and have a toddler so it is exhausting. We hire help where possible, and prioritize the most important tasks while accepting that we need to let nice-to-have-yet-nonessential tasks slip. (Besides Christmas, seasonal decorations are minimal. Household and yard maintenance wins over home improvement or landscaping projects.)

If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do?

Family time outside

If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?

Not needing sleep

Are you a working military spouse? Do you want to share your career tips and tricks? Fill out the MilSpouses Who Work It Q&A today. Click here to complete our questionnaire.

 

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