Military Spouses Who Work It: Casey Kelley, Researcher

Military spouse Casey Kelley says

Editor’s Note: Give us your lawyers, your accountants, your massage therapists. Give use your teachers, your engineers, your real estate agents.

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. 

Military spouse Casey Kelley says "It's sad but true that some employers will refuse to hire you if they find out you're a military spouse." But don't give up in your job search. You will find a military-friendly employer.

Name: Casey Kelley

Years as a military spouse:

Married for 1 year, but together for 5 years.

Tell us your job title/profession:

Researcher! I source expert witnesses for top-tier law firms. Think big, newsworthy cases involving technology or other topics you use almost every day.

I finally found my niche, but prior to that I managed 150 tech office in D.C. among other admin tasks.

Right after college I taught English in Kurdish Iraq, which was the adventure of a lifetime. I also met my husband there.

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

Full time

How long have you been working in this career field?

6 months for researcher, 4 years in admin.

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

Office. Although I may soon switch to a combo of office and telecommuting – bravo military-friendly employer!

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

I used my resume, but took another position instead then realized I was unhappy (I was the assistant to the mayor of my town). Luckily the HR Manager and I had kept in touch. I took the required test and was hired immediately.

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.

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

It’s sad but true that some employers will refuse to hire you if they find out you’re a military spouse. It is illegal but so time-consuming and difficult to prove.

Moving also takes it’s toll, so make sure you’re adding new skills to your resume whenever you can. And update that dang thing every 6 months!

Tell us one thing you love about your job:

Each day there is a new and exciting topic I get to research. Also, hearing how the cases play out and knowing you had a small hand in the outcome is thrilling every time.

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

Minimize the time it takes to get ready – plan ahead for outfits and streamline your morning routine. I drive far for work, so I want to get out the door and on my way ASAP.

Also, meeting your friends for happy hour helps a lot!

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

Absolutely. He may not realize it but the man is a feminist!

That being said, I DO cook. Every. Single. Night. It saves us money and even an indulgent meal at home is better for you than take out. I also happen to enjoy cooking.

The good news is, he does the dishes no matter what I’ve encrusted onto the baking dishes. He also does “outside” chores like lawn care. He tidies, and I do the deep cleans like cleaning the showers and baseboards, etc. Anything broken he fixes. He always takes out the garbage and recycling.

We both vacuum/dust. We each do our own laundry, but he is the designated sheet folder. He can fold a fitted sheet like nobody’s business!

If you have children, how do you and your spouse or partner split parenting responsibilities?

We don’t have children, but I take care of the dog. He’s “my” dog even though we both adore him and I’m happy to do it.

Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without:

iPhone

Favorite app for making the most of your day?

My banking apps, especially USAA mobile check deposit.

Must-have song on your productivity playlist?

I Feel Better – Hot Chip

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

DON’T GIVE UP! It took me 3 weeks to find a job here and I know some ladies that had to wait 3 months. But in the end the patience was worth it.

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 for the form. 

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