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: Delanie Schulze
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
I am a Director of Revenue Management for Wyndham Vacation Rentals. I help manage rates and inventory for vacation homes and condos across Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and California.
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 telecommute from the home or a co-working office with other military spouses
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
I love using data and Excel programs to identify trends that are occurring in our business. Once those trends are identified, my team and I will make recommendations such as rate changes or marketing promotions to try and change the trend. It’s exciting to see how those changes can positively affect the revenue for the company.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
Prior to meeting my husband, I was an assistant buyer for a larger retailer in Texas. I loved my job and honestly had no plans of changing careers anytime soon. Then one fall afternoon, at a wedding, I met my husband and let’s just say, my plans changed.
We dated and then were engaged for about 2 years. A few months before the wedding I knew the inevitable was coming, I would be moving from Texas to Florida and would be leaving my job, so I started applying for positions in Florida. My family and I had been vacationing in this particular part of Florida where my fiance was stationed, for years, so I was very familiar with the area and local businesses.
The problem, there were no corporate retail chains in the area so I was worried that my retail-buying skills would not be relatable in that market.
Luckily, I applied for a marketing position with Wyndham Vacation Rentals. The HR lady recognized some of my skills that she thought would be a good fit for a revenue management position at Wyndham. She called me up and asked if it would be something I would be interested in.
At the time I had never heard of revenue management but it turns out that the skills I had acquired in the buying offices were a perfect fit.
I am so grateful that she was able to review my resume and see that I had skills related to a position she had open. I went through 3 rounds of interviews and ended up getting the position.
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
My advice would be to be open about moving forward and don’t spend a ton of time looking back.
I was devastated about leaving my job in Texas and really thought I was not going to find anything I enjoyed as much.
It turns out though, I found something I enjoy more and a company that works with me and my lifestyle better than my previous career would have.
In the military, change is inevitable, but if you can focus on the future and not what was, I think you will find that life can be great and this goes for your career as well.
How do you feel about failure?
Failure is hard.
I have had a lot of success in terms of my career, but I do feel at times I have failed at fully immersing myself in friendships and communities that we have been stationed at.
I try to overcome some of that by getting involved with community service and spouse groups but always feel like I could be doing better.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
It’s extremely hard finding friends in the military community that are living the same lifestyle as me in terms of career goals. There are quite a bit of activities that happen during the working hours that I am just unable to attend which makes me feel a little disconnected with the community and spouses group.
Luckily, I have been able to find other spouses who are in the same boat as me and we have been able to build some strong bonds.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of career advice I ever received was from a fellow full-time working mom. As a working mom, there is a ton of mom guilt that comes along with dropping your child off at daycare and this is something I have personally struggled with over the years.
One of my colleagues told me once, “You have to make time for yourself, to be the best parent for your child” and I believe this to be so true.
That time for myself is working. For others it may be working out, social clubs, spa days, etc. but for me, I truly have a passion for using my skills and working in a professional environment.
Who is in your support squad and what role do they play in supporting your career?
My spouse is definitely my No. 1 supporter when it comes to my career. He has always understood how important a career is for me and always encourages me to continue chasing that dream. We have a 3-year-old son and juggling traveling while my spouse is trying to excel in his Air Force career can be hard at times. But I am so grateful that together, we make it work.
I would also say my mom and dad support my career as well and help out a ton when my spouse is deployed. Although my company is very understanding of my situation, especially when my spouse is out of the country, I am still required to travel once or twice a quarter, which is where my parents step up and help out with my son.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
We definitely split household tasks. I wouldn’t say that we have specific tasks that we each do, although my husband definitely likes doing the dishes and I gladly allow that. We kind of both just work together to get the house cleaned, the kiddo ready for school and the dog fed.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week.
My sanity during the week comes from taking 30 minutes to do a home-based work out program each day. It keeps me feeling good about myself without taking up too much of my time.
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without that isn’t your phone.
My wireless mouse
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Maren Morris – 80’s Mercedes
If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?
If I had an extra hour in my day, I would go antique shopping. I love finding that next great piece that will make our house a home, wherever we are stationed.
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
My super power would be to have the ability to be in 2 places at once. Conference call at the same time as mommy and me play date, no worries…I got this!