Editor’s Note: Give us your lawyers, your accountants, your massage therapists. Give use your teachers, your engineers, your real estate agents.
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: Elizabeth Castro
Years as a military spouse: 15
Tell us your job title/profession:
I am a full-time 3rd grade Dual Language teacher with Boerne ISD. This is my 17th year teaching.
I am also the Blue Star Family Chapter Director for the San Antonio, Texas, area. I volunteer as well with my husband’s company (USMC Company H) as part of the Command Team Advisory board.
Previous to this post I had the opportunity to work with the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic as the Community Liaison Officer. During our time there I was on the board of the International Women’s Club of Santo Domingo as Vice President and President.
I am very blessed that at each post I have been able to follow my passion and give back to the community we lived in. I love being a military spouse!
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
Teaching – full time
BSF – volunteer
How long have you been working in this career field? 17+
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
Teaching is in the classroom. The volunteer work is from home.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
A few of my jobs have come from job fairs, someone I knew or simply having a wonderful interview.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
It’s very difficult for a company to invest in you when they feel that you may be leaving in 3 to 4 years. As soon as a company starts to get to know you and sees your potential you get orders and are moving again.
It is also a challenge to maintain yourself professionally if you cannot work and keep up with the newest trends and technology.
Tell us one thing you love about your job:
I love teaching, working with others, keeping up with the latest best practices in education.
With BSF and command volunteering, I love helping other military families make adjustments and transition. I love seeing a family grow in their post.
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.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
On Sunday I try to plan out meals for the week, share my calendar with my husband (whether he’s home or not) and get laundry ready as well.
During the week I usually set aside about 20 minutes to re-look at our week and see if any adjustments have to be made. Communication is key in our family!
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
We definitely split chores. Our boys are 13 and 9. They are responsible for their bathroom, bedrooms and sorting their laundry. They also help out with dishes and taking the trash out. We have a dog and that is also their job.
My husband and I usually go room by room together and get it done. For meals if I cook, he cleans and vice versa.
If you have children, how do you and your spouse or partner split parenting responsibilities?
My husband has always loved reading to our boys at bedtime. He still has story time with both boys, even the 13 year old. With our oldest they read a novel together then have discussions about the book.
When he’s home he loves to take them to Boy Scouts, Jujitsu etc. I usually take them to their Religious Education classes.
I usually handle the homework with our youngest and he now assist our oldest. Our 9 year old is now old enough to pack his own lunch but still needs some assistance from me.
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without: iPhone / IPad
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
I use the note/reminder in my iPhone.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Anything Stevie Ray Vaughn
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Network, network, network!!! Volunteering can lead to a paid job and it can also go on your resume. Put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone.