“Don’t Be Scared To Counteroffer. You Know Your Worth, Show Them That.”

Military spouse and veteran Kay Goke works in social media marketing and customer care. She is also a full-time student at an online university.

 

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 and veteran Kay Goke works in social media marketing and customer care. She is also a full-time student at an online university.

Name: Kay Goke

Years as a military spouse:

9

Tell us your job title/profession:

Banking Social Media Marketing and Customer Care

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

Full time

How long have you been working in this career field?

4 years, the longest I’ve been with the same civilian employer.

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

Office

Tell us one thing you love about your job.

I love the flexibility. My boss is super understanding and supportive of my husband’s service and when I need off. I also like that our company has a lot of former military like myself. It makes the transition easier.

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

I applied online and got an entry level position with my company. I started at the bottom and have been promoted 3 times in the 4 years.

I work hard and show my employer that despite the chances of my husband getting orders, I can surpass obstacles and think out of the box.

I also lack a college degree. So I have to work twice as hard as anyone else to be taken seriously. I am currently full time at my job as well as a full-time student at an online university.

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

Don’t shoot for jobs you’re not qualified for, that just leads to disappointment. If you have to start at the bottom, do it. Get your experience.

How do you feel about failure?

Failure isn’t an option. I literally mean it. You work for a reason, people likely count on you. Just because something doesn’t work out today doesn’t mean it won’t tomorrow.

I’ve been through some tough situations being a female with the military and corporate America, everything always has worked out for the best even if it didn’t feel that way at first.

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

The biggest challenge is working for past employers who aren’t supportive of needing time off for deployment homecomings and things of that nature.

Once an employer threatened to fire me. I went and found another job. I started after taking a few days off with my husband.

Also, the transition from military to civilian employment was hard. But it’s possible. I think it’s made me stronger in my civilian career and helped since I don’t have a degree.

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t underestimate yourself. You get offered a salary, don’t be scared to counteroffer. You know your worth, show them that. If they say no, consider taking the job and proving yourself.

Who is in your support squad and what role do they play in supporting your career?

Oh, wow…everyone in my life! They all give me great advice!

Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks?

Yes. My husband does the yard, his laundry, and we rotate kitchen duty. He does the kitchen more during school semesters.

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

I try to do all my phone conversations on my Bluetooth in the car. I’m traveling to or from work and talking to my daily contacts. Then when I’m home, I can focus on my other tasks.

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.

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

My laptop.

Favorite app for making the most of your day?

Notes…yep, pretty basic. It keeps me organized.

Must-have song on your productivity playlist?

Cumbia Anthem by El Dusty

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

I would get more time at the gym. I recently lost 48 pounds and I’d like to lose about 45 more.

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

To be able to do everything at once and never get tired!

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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