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: Meghan Rodriguez
Years as a military spouse: 4.5
Tell us your job title/profession: High school teacher
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?
I work in a school
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I spent my first 3 years of teaching before I was officially attached to the military. When I left the school I had started my career at, to move to be with my (now husband) boyfriend, people thought I was nuts, because high school social studies positions are hard to come by! They were right…it took me several years to get back into the classroom due to a lack of positions combined with an over abundance of applicants where we live.
So in the interim, I got jobs that still let me work with kids, that were of a professional nature, and/or that allowed me to conduct trainings.
I also earned a master’s degree in my content area to make me more marketable. These things allowed me to remain competitive and proved that I do have a deep-seated desire to be in a classroom setting.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
Being in a field that tends to reward hometown applicants makes it difficult to break in as a military spouse.
Also, although there is a nationwide teacher shortage, the shortage is not in my subject area, meaning there are fewer job openings overall.
Tell us one thing you love about your job:
I love working with students of all ability levels. I live for the moment when I see the light bulb go on when they make sense of new information. There’s nothing better!
Additionally, because I work in a military town, I am able to offer support to my military child students when they need it most. That special bond is very rewarding too.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
The saying is true: do what you love, and you’ll never work a day! Beyond that, I plan outfits ahead and pre-portion my lunches to save time in the morning. Each night I make sure that I have 30-40 minutes to read something for pleasure so that I don’t burn out on grading or reading for professional development.
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 husband’s support has been essential to my success, and to my perseverance during the time when I wasn’t able to find a teaching job. We really are a team! If I cook, he cleans up; if I do all the dusting and sanitizing, he does the vacuuming. While I do the laundry on the weekends, he bathes the dogs. We have a great system! And when push comes to shove, and either one of our jobs gets in the way we are both ready to step up in each other’ solace with the chores!
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without:
My laptop because I make my weekly lectures on it.
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Facebook for all the teacher forums!
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Overcomer by Mandisa
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Brand yourself so that you can give cohesive answers at interviews, which should also be reflected on your resume and on any social media that you use.