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: Amy Bushatz
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
Spouse and family editor and reporter, Military.com
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?
Work from home
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
I love how my intellectually challenging my job is while still being highly social. I get to combine talking to interesting people with nerding out over legislation, budgets and policy.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
Getting this job, which I’ve had for almost 7 years, was truly thanks to networking. Five months after reconnecting for a different project with a former coworker at a totally unrelated publication, he cold called me and offered me a part-time job doing some very minor editing and content work. Over time I was able to turn that into the job I have today by making myself indispensable as a subject matter expert.
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Don’t give up. I say that instead of “never underestimate networking” because, truly, networking is an important part of not giving up. Push forward every day believing that this will work itself out, that you will find that gig – and while you do that, do everything in your power to make it happen. Network, continue your education, meet new people. Do something, anything every day to make fulfilling your dream a possibility. Do. Not. Give. Up.
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?
I think one of the blessings of hitting my 30s was understanding that while, yes, I hate-hate-hate failure, it also has benefits. How you handle failure shows you who you really are and gives you lessons for next time. Failures are a part of life – they just are.
Before I let them crush me. Now I see them as a chance to learn something new and get better every day.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
I’ve always struggled with how to balance my priorities. Life has seasons where one thing is more important than the other. But you can only really have 3 priorities. Some times my priority has been my job when it should’ve been my marriage or kids. You have to wake-up every day and ask “what am I going to give my best to today?” and “What gets the leftovers?” That balance is tricky.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.
The best advice I’ve ever received was from Jacey Eckhart, my former co-worker and mentor and a long-time military spouse. She told me “done is better than perfect.” That advice applies to every single thing – career, life, everything.
The worst advice isn’t a word or phrase, it’s more an attitude. People will tell you that you can’t do this or that, or you’re not good enough. Don’t believe them. Never believe the haters.
Who is in your support squad (i.e. spouse, neighbor, bff) and what role do they play in supporting your career?
I have 4 long-distance military spouse friends who are the very definition of “squad goals.” We push each other forward, listen, lift, give advice and open doors for each other. We also compete in ways. They are all extremely intelligent and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be friends with them.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks?
My husband is now in the National Guard and splitting tasks has gotten obviously easier since he is home more. While he was active duty, however, we also split many of the same things we do today. He has long been responsible for folding laundry, a task I absolutely hate. When he’s not home, I slooooowly fold it myself.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
Sleep. Seriously – you need to sleep. Productivity experts regularly identify “sleep” as a key component among successful people.
I get a solid 8 hours every night, and it’s the difference between taking names and, well, not. I don’t care when you do it or what time you go to bed. But sleep is key.
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without that isn’t your phone:
My watch. I happen to have a Garmin for running, but anything would do. I feel like I’m lost when I don’t know what time it is.
What’s your favorite app for making the most of your day?
MyFitnessPal. This is the only thing standing between me and too much wine.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
It’s cheesy, but I love “Fight Song.”
If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?
Sleep. Really. Think how much I could get done if I had 9 hours of sleep every night instead of 8?
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
Teleportation. That would make traveling so much easier.