“I Got Fed Up with Interviewing and Not Being Hired Because of My Situation as a Military Spouse.”

Monika Jefferson, Public Relations Professional and Entrepreneur

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. 

Monika Jefferson Military Spouses Who Work It

Name: Monika Jefferson

Years as a military spouse:

15

Tell us your job title/profession:

Public Relations Professional and Entrepreneur. I collaborate with clients to build their brands. I went to school for PR and started my own virtual PR agency in January 2016.

Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?

Full Time by contracts

How long have you been working in this career field?

5+ years. I have been volunteering and using these skills before starting my business last year.

Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?

I work for myself and from a home office with clients from all over. It’s a virtual business.

Tell us one thing you love about your job.

1 thing, lol! That’s hard but I will say it is the ability to work as creatively as I want. I work on what makes me happy and tackle the tasks I need to accomplished based on a job I already love to do.

It is so empowering to decide who I want to work with and what I want to work on.

How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.

I started from the ground up. I have bootstrapped my business.

I got fed up with interviewing and not being hired because of my situation as a military spouse.

It was frustrating and out of that I woke up one day and started an LLC. It is my passion and I love helping and working with entrepreneurs and companies with reaching their business potential.

What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?

If you can’t find it, create it!

With the massive hours and efforts you put into finding the “perfect job,” you could be spilling into creating a career of your own your own way. If that’s not for you create opportunities to volunteer to keep using your skill set and building your resume. Volunteering counts!

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.

How do you feel about failure?

Failure = growth.

This past year has been a huge testimony to that. While I have had wins I have had lots of fails and disappointments. But they have opened my eyes to the bigger picture and purpose for my business and personal growth as an entrepreneur.

I have had a lot of no’s which hurt. But I took it as a lesson and tweaked what went wrong.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?

Oh gosh…what hasn’t been a challenge. I know for me the gaps in my resume never look good. But I would say practicing my skills from base to base to keep up with the trends.

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.

I would say the best would be to outsource, if you can. You don’t have to have a lot of money but getting someone to work on your email list, business cards or website will allow you to build your clientele and work on your skill set, which in turn makes you more money.

The worst would be go to every networking event! It is just spreading yourself to thin, overwhelming and becomes unintentional. If you choose 2 or 3 networking events to attend at a time and go a handful then you know if it a group you want to stay in.

Who is in your support squad (i.e. spouse, neighbor, bff) and what role do they play in supporting your career?

My husband for sure, kids they are so vital in the day-to-day events, my neighbor who helps get kids on and off bus when I have client meetings or networking events.

Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?

We do. Actually my entire family splits the household chores. My kids are 12, 8 and 4 each has daily and weekly chores. I used to do it all because I was stay at home parent but now times have changed and I can’t do it all. They are the best team!!

Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week.:

#1 CROCK POT LOVE!!! I get like 6 lbs of ground beef and seasoning and onions and garlic and cook. That gives me 4 meals – spaghetti, tacos, stir fry, and sloppy joes BAM! Thinking about dinner can be so stressful, like for real. So knowing and having a dinner plan at least 4 nights takes away so much stress about it.

Favorite app for making the most of your day?

Honeybook

Must-have song on your productivity playlist?

Work by Rihanna

If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?

Seriously just read a book. Right now I am listening to podcasts because of the time I have but there is just something about touching and holding a book that feels so much better. Now a days I can barely get through an article.

If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?

My superpower would be to clone myself. I feel like I am needed in so many places and have events going on at the same time that I like to be at both.

Or have one of me cook, another on a client call and another having coffee with a friend. That would be AWESOMENESSSS!!

Are you a working military spouse? Do you want to share your career tips and tricks? Fill out the MilSpouses Who Work It Q&A today. Click here to complete our form. 

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