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: Jennifer Harms
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
Vice President of Partner Development at the Columbia Chamber, S.C.
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
I have worked in the career field for 5 years.
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
Prior to my husband and I moving to South Carolina, I held various positions with 3 other Chambers in 3 other states.
Upon arriving in our new state, I called to introduce myself even though they were not actively hiring in hopes that I could at the very least volunteer my expertise. Timing turned out to be perfect as the organization’s CEO was wanting to create a position where my past experience would blend well. Following discussions and negotiations on what the job would look like, I began work a month later.
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.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
Trying to make sure our home is taken care of and that my husband I actually get to see each other. With him being an active duty pilot, his flexibility on the home front is nonexistent. I was honest with my employer from the beginning and I have been allowed flexibility when I need it. This gives me such an ease of mind.
It’s a true blessing to have a pro-military spouse employer.
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
While working in the Chamber industry, it has allowed for my husband and I to truly become a part of each community we live in as opposed to looking at it as outsiders. We become completely engrossed in our new homes and we love it.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
Plan all of your meals ahead of time and have the recipes ready to go! Since everything is already planned out, whoever is able to make it home first starts the cooking. It makes things so much easier during the week.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
Yes we do. It worked out naturally since we both enjoy different tasks. Of course we still have some lazy evenings when dirty dishes last until the next morning.
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without that isn’t your phone:
Phillips Wake Up Light
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Anything from Meghan Trainor!
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Be creative and don’t be afraid of unconventional job hunting.
If you have the traits and skills an employer is looking for, they will find a place for you at their organization and train for everything else later.