“Leverage Every Single Work-Related (Including Volunteer) Position You Have Ever Had for Your New Job and Be Open to What the Job Opportunity Is.”

Military Spouse Who Works It: Erin Mitchell Richeson

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. 

MilSpouse Who Works It Erin Mitchell Richeson

Name: Erin Mitchell Richeson

Years as a military spouse:

6 (and change)

Tell us your job title/profession:

I’m a lawyer by training, but I’m currently a Diversity and Inclusion (“D&I”) practitioner and Corporate Social Responsibility leader.

In the D&I space, I am responsible for designing, developing and implementing strategy and programs to ensure the company workplace is inclusive, our workforce is diverse and our interactions in the marketplace reflect these best practices.

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

Full-time

How long have you been working in this career field?

Officially, I’ve been in the D&I space for 6 years.

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

I work in an office

Tell us one thing you love about your job.

My current role with MarketSource affords me the opportunity to design recruitment, retention and community relations initiatives that serve veterans and military spouses. As our company has open positions across the country, we have designed a program (and some pretty cool technology) specifically geared to military spouses.

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

I learned of the opportunity from an executive recruiting firm. I submitted my information, interviewed and that was it!

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

Leverage every single work-related (including volunteer) position you have ever had for your new job and be open to what the job opportunity is.

Sometimes, the title or the role may not sound appealing, but you could learn new skills that will allow you to get the job you really want!

How do you feel about failure?

It’s absolutely inevitable that failure will occur. That doesn’t mean that one should always live life expecting to fail, but we should know how to overcome it when it occurs – that’s true strength.

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

I think all married couples face this at some point and that is, “whose career do you put first?”. As a very career-minded person, I never expected that I would not work or have the opportunity to allow my career to flourish according to the goals I set forth.

But, being a military spouse definitely changed that perspective. It was difficult, as my husband was promoted and received new opportunities, but I am grateful that I was open to exploring a different career path for my life – one that has opened more doors than I could have ever imagined.

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.

The best career advice I ever received was learn everything you can about your job, your peers’ job and your boss’s job – this is how you become a great team member.

The worst (and absolutely unethical) advice I ever received was actually from someone trying to position herself as a mentor. She encouraged me to lie on my resume. That was the last conversation I ever had with her.

Who is in your support squad (i.e. spouse, neighbor, bff) and what role do they play in supporting your career?

My husband is my biggest cheerleader, followed by my dad. My husband sees (and encourages me) to keep striving for bigger and better. My dad helps me, every strategic step along the way.

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

We do. In addition to being the Navy Reserves, my husband is also a law student and works full time…crazy, I know. We basically split every task down the middle. For example, he places/removes the clothes from the washing machine/dryer, and I fold. He takes our son to school and I pick up. I cook and he cleans the dishes. This way no one task is overwhelming.

Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without that isn’t your phone.

Probably LinkedIn. The people in my network share the most amazing articles which allows me to fuel my intellectual curiosity.

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.

Favorite app for making the most of your day?

The Notes app!

Must-have song on your productivity playlist?

Take 5 – Dave Brubeck. It’s mellow, but allows my imagination to swirl and oddly gives me motivation.

If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?

Do more to learn a new language.

If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?

Freezing time. I often spend too much time thinking about “coulda, shoulda, wouldas.” If I could freeze time, that issue would be eliminated.

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 to complete our form. 

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