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: Maria Reed
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
I am the creator of “Moving with the Military,” a home improvement and lifestyle web series that helps military families turn a house into a HOME. We laugh, we talk and share stories.
As an active duty military spouse, I understand the struggles and joys of military family life. I am here to help you decorate and organize your new house, get you connected with your community, share your story and be the sounding board that sometimes you may need.
During my 25-year career in the television and film industry, I worked on locations all over the world; creating spectacular scenes from the modern design to traditional.
As a military spouse of 14 years, I have learned to be resilient, kind and resourceful.
I came up with idea for this series after my daughter, who was 10 at the time asked, “Can I paint the walls in my room mom? I want to make it the way I want to. It would make me happy.”
Something so simple as decorating her room brought her so much joy. That moment led me on a journey to help military families create their own joy in whatever space they lived in, by finding solutions that are removable, reusable and affordable.
Through decorating and design I have discovered that treasures can be found in the most unlikely places, and helping people through creativity is my passion.
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
I have been in TV production for over 25 years.
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
Home, Starbucks, other people’s homes, on location, everywhere.
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
I love being able to help other military spouses and share their stories.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I created it! Lady BOSS. I felt the military community was hungry for informative and video entertaining content created just for them.
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Live your passion. Look for work in something you love and you will be happy.
How do you feel about failure?
I think failure is OK. I believe failure teaches us how not to do something, teaches us a different way to do something, and teaches us to be tougher.
It’s what we do when we fall that builds character.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
Knowing when to stop. I could work all the time, but I have learned that it will still be there tomorrow. Managing military life, deployments, school, children, after-school activities and a career; making time for myself can be difficult, but I set aside “me time” too.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.
The best piece of advice I have ever received was to look at the military life like a big field trip. To enjoy the journey. Go out and seek new places and adventures. Everywhere you will go, there will be something new and exciting. Go out, find it and enjoy it.
The worst…wait til the last minute to tell your kids you are moving. Nope, we work through it as a fam.
Who is in your support squad (i.e. spouse, neighbor, bff) and what role do they play in supporting your career?
Military spouses all over the world. They lift me up and give me courage and I get to encourage them.
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.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
My spouse and I split the tasks when he is home. He is very gracious and is always thinking of me. #Blessed
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
Cook on Sunday all your meals for the week. Get it done!
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without that isn’t your phone:
My MacBook Pro. I edit video everyday and it is my workhorse.
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?
I would be still with my children and my husband. I would like to pause and just be with them. No phones, no interruptions, just us.
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?