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: Kimmie Fink
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your profession:
Identity Writer, Romper
Consultant/Facilitator, Welcoming Schools
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
Romper – hourly, Welcoming Schools – contract
How long have you been working in this career field?
Writing – six months, Consulting – one year
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
Writing – telecommute from Starbucks; Consulting – at area schools
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
I love Romper because I get paid to write about my life (and find funny GIFs)! Welcoming Schools is awesome because it helps me be active in the fight for LGBT equality.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I’d had my own blog on diversity and equity in education for about six months when my sister suggested that I try my hand at writing about parenting. I’d been trying to get published on a mommy website for a few months when I finally got a “yes” from Sammiches and Psych Meds.
Romper rejected my pitches four times, but in the last rejection they mentioned the Identity Writer position. I completed the edit test and got hired right away.
I was a teacher for 13 years. I was trained in Welcoming Schools in 2014. My trainer knew I was having a baby, quitting my job and moving out of state. She stayed in touch and invited me to facilitator training in D.C. at HRC headquarters.
It was hard getting into schools here in Texas at first, but now that we have some grant money, work is picking up.
The program director noticed all the writing I was doing and hired me on to write their blog as well!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
When I got married and then immediately pregnant, I knew I wanted to leave my teaching job and be a stay-at-home mom.
I got married when I was older, and I honestly felt like I’d already accomplished what I wanted to in my career. Having to move was actually a great excuse to get out of a draining job.
However, I soon found that I wanted something just for myself.
I’ve been able to cobble together a few side hustles and I love it. I work remotely, so moving isn’t a problem.
The biggest challenge is that I work when my daughter is at Spanish school or napping, which doesn’t leave me much time for maintaining my household, and my husband is gone for a year.
How do you feel about failure?
I’d like to say it’s an opportunity to learn, but really…I hate it.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
When I was leaving a terrible job, my former boss told me “You don’t even need their recommendation. It’s just a blip on your radar.” That gave me the courage to quit.
Who is in your support squad and what role do they play in supporting your career?
Spouse – encouragement
Mom – reads everything
Sister – motivation, inspiration
Military family (other spouses) – promoting my writing, letting me crowdsource them, providing ideas
Expert trainer – tips and tricks, overall makes me feel good about myself
Romper boss – great feedback, she’s also understanding and hilarious
Former bosses – career advice
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
We did before he deployed!
In the morning, he would feed the pets, sanitize bottles and empty the dishwasher before I got up. I took care of the baby and household chores during the day.
When he got home, he watched the baby while I made dinner. Then I’d bathe her while he cleaned up the kitchen.
Related: 9 Inevitable Reintegration Fights
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week.
I’m a writer, so I use my morning commute to brainstorm ideas. If I have an idea during the day, I’ll add it to my Notes app on my iPhone or iPad so I don’t forget it.
What’s your favorite app for making the most of your day?
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do?
Take a nap.
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
I have a toddler, so I would have a bionic eye with a camera that snapped video or picture whenever I wanted.
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Be patient. I blogged for almost a year without pay, and now I have two jobs because of it!