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.
Name: Jen McCumbee
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
Telecommute from home and travel
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I started as a Production Assistant for a start-up, which later merged with a larger publishing company. I transitioned to a sales and consulting role, and now oversee 2 markets.
So what started with a basic resume and a lot of enthusiasm blossomed into a consuming and rewarding career that’s kept me on my toes for over a decade!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
A frequently training and deploying spouse presented problems for me early on, as it left me handling everything from breaking vehicles to sick children while trying to juggle a growing workload. I evidently survived, but not without my fair share of self-pitying moments!
In the past we PCSed several times in a short period, which meant I couldn’t really sink myself into any job I had because I knew I would be leaving.
Then we remained at one location for 13 years which allowed me to put down my roots and settle into something.
Last year my husband surprised me with PCS orders, which I didn’t expect this late in his career. My company opted to keep me on-board as a remote office so now I do much of my work from my home office and travel monthly to the East Coast for client meetings.
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
I have a lot of flexibility now and freedom to express ideas for our company and our client base. I love to see them develop and produce results, and really appreciate being valued in this regard.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
Structure my job into my life rather than the opposite. I try my best not to check emails on my phone in the evening or weekends.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
Split, completely 50/50. Obviously (that’s) not (always) possible over the years he’s been gone, but when he is home it’s a total share. Even though I work from a home office now 60% of the time, it’s still important to share the responsibility.
Are you looking to connect with career-minded military spouses? Join one of In Gear Career’s 20+ local chapters around the world. In Gear Career is a part of Hiring Our Heroes and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
If you have children, how do you and your spouse or partner split parenting responsibilities?
Depending on schedules, whichever one of us can run to a practice or go to the school is the one who does it.
Because I travel, my husband gets loaded down with parenting responsibilities like I used to when he was deployed.
We both make it a priority to attend the important parts together such as parent-teacher conferences and games.
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Anything by the Avett Brothers is like a balm for anything crazy in my day!
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Be confident. As military spouses we have a tendency to go into job interviews feeling like we already have a black mark against us because we might PCS at some point. Know you will be an asset to that company whether you are there 2 years or 12, and assert yourself that way.