Yoga instructor. Master’s degree in social media marketing. Go to bed at 9:30 p.m. Be zen-like for future PCS. Advanced Toastmaster. A full-time location independent, self-employed writer/editor that earns enough cash to cover the cost of daycare … with extra money for a monthly lunch date with my girlfriends. Run a 5K without stopping or crying. Do crafts with my daughters even though I can’t cut straight.
That random and seemingly non-related list is my goals for this year. Now I know that I won’t cross all of these goals off my list in 2015. But my goals list provides a blueprint for my professional, physical and personal goals. This list is what makes me a goal digger or at least a little closer to being a goal digger in 2015.
What’s a goal digger? Are you a goal digger? Should you be a goal digger? Can military spouses be goal diggers?
A goal digger is a person who:
- desires wealth in all areas of life.
- seeks the secrets of the millionaire mind.
- has the smarts, optimism, integrity and passion to do it themselves.
As military spouses we are often the commanders of our households, holding down the homefront while our service members come and go. We are the anchor. We are the foundation. We are a lot of things and we wear a multitude of roles in our communities and at our military installations.
This month we are adding a new title to our identities: goal digger.
We are proud to say that military spouses are goal diggers. Don’t believe us? Check out our Facebook page. The evidence is on that virtual wall. I wasn’t always a goal digger. But with frequent career shifts and reinventing myself at each duty station, military life has made me a goal digger. If I wasn’t a goal digger, I would lose my focus and flounder in military life.
Here are 4 Ways Being a Military Spouse Has Made Me a Goal Digger
No Gold Watch, No Problem
With my service member’s MOS, it’s impossible for me to live with him and work my way up from obit writer to editor-in-chief of the New York Times. That career goal vanished during our first PCS. The Yuma Sun newspaper is a LONG way from New York. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t worked as a writer for the last 10 years. In fact, I have worked as a writer, but not always a journalist. My goal is to have a job that involves writing at every location the Navy sends us. Following this goal meant that sometimes I worked as a customer service rep for MCCS (ever wonder where those nasty ICE comments go? I was the person following up on your complaints.) Other times I volunteered as the publicity chair for my MOPS group. I was writing and designing the group’s newsletter, hence writing.
It took me a while to come to the realization that my career path isn’t a ladder. My career path is an obstacle course that dips into muddy waters and rises up to steep rope climbs. By being a goal digger, I’m OK with that. I own my career path. I’m forging it every day. I can’t explain it to a high school guidance counselor, but it makes sense in my head.
Disregards Doesn’t-Fit-Me Advice
In my first year as a Navy wife, I was told repeatedly by on-base career counselors to forget about writing and editing and retrain in a career field that was “more convenient for military life.” MilSpouse Employment Code: Become a teacher, nurse or daycare provider.
Those jobs are fantastic … if being a teacher or a nurse or a daycare provider is your passion. Writing is my passion. Even though speech writer and website editor will probably never make the list of “Top 50 Jobs for Military Spouses,” that’s fine by me. As a goal digger, I’m smart enough to realize that I need to work in a career that I’m passionate about. As a goal digger, when I saw the blogging world and social media trend ramping up I realized that my outdated print journalism degree could be revived online. Hello telecommute.
As My Stubborn 2-Year-Old Says “I Do It Myself”
No one is going to tell me … “hey, Michelle you need to keep making new goals and reaching for them.” Wait, that’s not true. My husband says that exact statement to me about every 6 months. I also have a strong support squad that gives me advice to keep reaching for my goals when the rest of the world is saying “You know you should give up.”
Wait it’s not the rest of the world. I hear this negativity in my homeport. Some of my closest friends and family members have told me “Honestly I wouldn’t hire you. You’re a Navy wife. You’re going to leave after 2 years.” They don’t get it. As a goal digger, I’m OK that they don’t get it. I don’t have to defend my goals to them. Instead I keep hustling because my support team won’t accept excuses from me.
Tenacity with a Capital T
A goal digger is optimistic. In that regard, I’m not a goal digger because I’m naturally a pessimist. I’m more of a “You don’t think I can do it… oh I’m totally gonna prove you wrong” type of person. Tenacity. Like a bull dog. I will not give up, even when it’s the easiest thing to do.
I’ve went on countless job interviews where the supervisor told me that I was a great candidate but “we want someone for the long haul.” That’s HR code for not a military spouse. I used to accept this answer. As a goal digger, I refuse to be dismissed by society as an Army Wives stereotype. I believe it’s my mission to help my civilian friends understand military life (both the good and the bad) so that more employers will seek out military spouses and veterans.