I almost didn’t go to Hiring Our Heroes – In Gear Career’s AMPLIFY in Seattle. I applied on a whim in January when I learned that the entire NGMS Happy Hour crew was going and figured, why not?
My husband was supposed to deploy the week prior, plus I could visit friends in the area. I could find a babysitter in Seattle, no problem right? Wrong.
Cue 2 weeks before AMPLIFY, my husband’s deployment date changed to smack dab in the middle of my planned trip. And I still had no one to watch my daughter while I was at AMPLIFY.
To say that I was stressed to the max was an understatement. I can’t tell you how many times I thought to myself
“don’t go to AMPLIFY.”
I said to my husband, “I don’t think I should go. I should stay here, take you to the drop off. Then I don’t have to worry about child care and I won’t be as stressed out.”
He looked at me and said
“No. You need to go.”
So, I kicked my butt into gear, joined Care.com, hired someone for the 2 days and knew my husband had a few options of getting to base while I was gone. I was even more grateful for his you-can’t-quit attitude when his deployment date changed AGAIN to after I got home.
I boarded a plane and landed in Seattle ready to go. Well…kinda. I was nervous.
After stumbling into freelance work when we PCSed twice in 6 months, I realized that I wanted to keep self-employment as my full-time gig. After a bumpy journey from journalism to graduate school to nonprofits, the thing that ties it all together for me is digital media. Managing websites. Managing social media channels.
But can I make this part-time gig become a full-time job?
How can I gain the confidence to get more clients?
How can I market myself as a writer for digital media?
When I read about the pilot program last year, I knew that I had to go. While I initially thought that I would wait until it came to Texas in the fall, March just made more sense for a lot of reasons, both personally and professionally.
So what did I get out of AMPLIFY?
Tangible Steps to Keep My Career Climbing
What does that mean? Well, you know how you may go to an event and get ideas of what to do next but then you come home and your notebook filled with notes just sits on your desk? That didn’t happen at AMPLIFY.
A Mentor in My Professional Field
AMPLIFY pairs each attendee with a mentor in their field. There were lawyers, engineers, writers, social workers, and more in attendance. The fact that the folks at Hiring Our Heroes – In Gear Career found mentor matches for everyone is MAGIC I tell you. MAGIC.
We got to meet with our mentors, in person or virtually, for an hour. My hour with my mentor gave me so much to think about and do, like figuring out my niche. She’s another person who is going to cheer me on as I build my career. Adding another person to my work squad is invaluable. Having someone to turn to for ideas? Even better.
My Professional Network Just Got a Whole Lot Bigger
I had a chance to meet 30 other military spouses. We are all in different fields, but it doesn’t matter, because we all know more people. And I got to learn about professions that I didn’t even know existed. I’m so inspired by all that they are doing and know that I can turn to them for advice or just an encouraging word.
And the next time that anyone moves, the chances got a lot higher that we’ll know someone to connect them to, because let’s be honest, the military world is pretty small.
Also, we got to know the sponsors who work every day to hire veterans and military spouses at Starbucks, Amazon, Capitol One, and USAA. Heck yes!
A Kick in the Pants to Work It
Yes I needed a kick in the pants to get to AMPLIFY but once I was there I got an even bigger kick to work it, work it, work it.
Throughout the entire 2 days I felt more confident. I knew that my career journey is not stopping me from doing what I want to do, I have everything that I need to make it work. I will continue to make it work.
I have a great support network encouraging me at all times but there is something about being surrounded by other military spouses and military employment supporters to give me that boost of confidence that I can do whatever I set my mind to in my career.
When I left I knew that every bit of stress was worth it. The 2 days of AMPLIFY were great for me and exactly what I needed to put my career into action for 2017.
Don’t hesitate, put AMPLIFY on your calendar, join your local In Gear Career chapter, and make 2017 the year of your career.
Do you need a professional kick in the pants? Apply to attend AMPLIFY today!