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.
Name: Maggie Tibus
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
I am the owner of the freelance marketing company, The Text Effect, LLC, as well as the VP/Research Lead of The Curio Group, a research and brand strategy firm.
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
I love the pace of this career. Everyday there is some new trend or metric or technology coming out that digital marketers are experimenting with. Marketing is an ever-evolving field and I love just being a part of the momentum.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I basically took what I know and what I loved and I started out on my own. I come from several generations of marketers who started their own businesses and I worked as an intern in an ad agency through college.
My passion is writing and I have an MA in Sociology. I knew I wanted to do work online, I wanted to be in marketing and I really wanted to stretch the bounds of academic research to be able to offer it to small businesses and startups.
As far as I knew, a job with all those elements didn’t exist. So I created my own.
Bonus: I can take it with me, which takes some of the sting out of PCSing.
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Use your network. Military life is full of women who have education, experience and passion. If you cannot find a job in the “civilian world” then make your own via a startup with friends or by contacting some other milspouses who have made it work for them through jobs, their own businesses, etc.
How do you feel about failure?
No bueno. I’m not a fan, but, I know it’s inevitable.
When I’m confronted with failure, I use it as a stepping stone to head in a different direction. if this one path didn’t work, then I pivot my direction and start again.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
Balance. I’m kind of obsessed with my Marine and I have a hard time trying to balance my busy schedule with his busy, uncertain schedule. Yearning to spend time with him can cloud my mind when I have a full plate.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.
The best: It’s about the people. Whatever job you’re doing, whoever your client is, whatever your position in a company hierarchy, it always comes down to the people. Keeping focused on who you are providing a service to is really important in a world that has become increasingly distant due to technology and the pace of everyday life.
The worst: Having ambition means you can do it all. Being passionate and striving for that next goal is not equal to saying yes to every project and request that comes across your desk.
Who is in your support squad (i.e. spouse, neighbor, bff) and what role do they play in supporting your career?
My man, my fellow Marine wife ladies and my fur-babies (dogs).
These people and pets keep me sane, keep me humble, and remind me that work is important but it’s not everything.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
Yes. I will typically cook and clean, while he is in charge of the trash and taking out the dogs when he gets home.
It’s a pretty much unspoken contract, but sometimes I’ll ask him to pick up around the house…or put his smelly boots in the laundry room…or please, for the love of God, get that gear out of the middle of our living room!
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
Breaks for mental stimulation. I take a few breaks during the day to just read a chapter of a good book, check out a webinar without taking notes, listen to a podcast, or just go for a short walk.
My brain needs time to breathe between projects and I’ve found this little routine to be really effective for getting (good) work done throughout the day.
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:
Well, literally my insulin pump since I’m diabetic. But, also my fan since I cannot sleep without the smooth hum of white noise in the background.
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Buffer. It’s amazing for social media automation and I don’t always have to be at my desk to do work.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Currently, it’s the Hamilton mixtape
If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?
Spend it outdoors, preferably on a hiking trail, double preferably with my Marine.
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
Never-ending energy. Not the annoying kind, just the ability not to have to sleep if I don’t want to. There’s too many things I want to do in a day – sometimes those sleeping hours just get in the way.