“Employers Are Just Unfamiliar with the Military Lifestyle, So By Educating Them You Can Mediate Some of Their Hesitation in Hiring a Military Spouse.”

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. 

Jennifer Chevalier, Registered Nurse

Name: Jennifer Chevalier

Years as a military spouse:

6

Tell us your job title/profession:

I’m a registered nurse

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

I worked full-time for a year and now I work part time 3 days a week

How long have you been working in this career field?

A little over a year

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

An office

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

I have a pretty in demand profession, so I simply applied online. I applied at the hospital where I had done my clinical rotations in nursing school.

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

I ended up taking a lower paying position in a clinic so I could have regular hours and weekends off. My husband works all shifts and weekends from time to time.

I sacrificed a better paying position with more potential for advancement because I felt it was important for my daughter to have one parent with a stable schedule.

It’s also difficult not having family close by to help with child care which is a big issue were I live. Luckily we have found a couple of awesome babysitters, but it’s still difficult not having that extra support. Especially when my husband is working 12-hour shifts for days on end.

Tell us one thing you love about your job.

All the different people I meet from all backgrounds, and being able to help people through a difficult time. I also enjoy the flexibility of my career choice. I can chose to work in the community, in a clinic, or hospital. I also know that it’s easily portable when we move.

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.

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

The crockpot! I’m able to meal plan on the weekends or my days off and then prep everything the night before and simply turn it on in the morning. It keeps us from ordering takeout all the time.

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

Yes!! He works nights so he takes care of the laundry overnight when I’m sleeping. We split cleaning duties. He takes care of the yard and I do the grocery shopping and cooking.

We know what our expectations are, but we also are flexible. I know when he is working a lot to pick up some slack around the house to help him out and vice versa.

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

On the days I work I tend to work 12+ hour shifts. I usually take care of the morning routine and daycare drop off because he is at work and he handles pick up and the nighttime routine.

Oftentimes because of our opposite work schedules we are solo parenting so we thrive on a routine. That way our daughter has consistency. We also know because there is so much solo parenting time we both need alone time.

So at least one day a month we get half a day off to go do whatever we like and the other person handles the kiddo.

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

My iPhone calendar. Seriously it’s the only way I know that’s going on!

Favorite app for making the most of your day?

I have a meditation app. It allows me to take a few minutes for myself and unwind after a stressful day

Must-have song on your productivity playlist?

Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake

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

Be persistent! Don’t be afraid to sell yourself and willing to follow up after an interview. I think addressing the employer’s fears of relocation directly is also helpful. Oftentimes, I think employers are just unfamiliar with the military lifestyle, so by educating them you can mediate some of their hesitation in hiring a military spouse.

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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