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 every Wednesday.
Name: Megan Harless
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
Lead Doula at Stars & Stripes Doulas of Hampton Roads
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
Full time – independent contractor
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?
Anywhere someone gives birth and their homes
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
I love supporting families during one of the most precious times of their lives!
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
Becoming the Lead Doula requires an interview, but I also had sent in my resume and letter of intent. Having experience being a doula and doing office manager tasks also helped.
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Make sure it is a job you are passionate about and love, because then it’s not really work!
How do you feel about failure?
Failure is my first attempt in learning. I can either learn from failing or learn nothing. I choose to learn so I can become a better person.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
Starting over at a new location. Fortunately with Stars and Stripes Doulas, they currently have 4 chapters open and are looking to expand again. Being a doula with them means I can take my career with me anywhere.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.
Best advice – it’s OK to walk away from a job that you are not happy with no matter how good the pay and benefits are. If you are not happy there, it takes a toll on you – physically, emotionally, everything.
Walk away if you are not happy.
Worst advice – you need to go into debt to start a business and be successful.
Who is in your support squad and what role do they play in supporting your career?
My husband is my No. 1 supporter in any crazy idea I come up. I always have him next to me cheering me on.
My friend, January, who started this doula journey with me and has always encouraged me to keep going.
I have some good friends who have stepped in to help with my children when I’ve been on call for a birth. Having them around has really put that stress behind me, knowing my kids will be well taken care of.
My doula team for sure. We are always cheering each other on and pushing each other to be better!
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
We split as much as we can. We love working as a team. But we know the Army can give him long work days and take his weekends. At the same time I could be at a really long birth too.
We split when we can, have our kids help when they can and cover for each other when needed.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week.
Prep on Sunday.
I get all the kids’ school lunches put together – sandwiches for 3 kids for 4 days made and in the fridge. I put together the snacks, lunch for the husband and me too, plus I have the kids pick out their clothes for the next day and lay them out.
I will usually take Sunday afternoon as dinner prep time for the week too.
Having those things prepped and together usually makes our mornings and dinnertime so much easier and smoother.
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without that isn’t your phone.
My iPad. Easy to take in my purse and I can get so much work done on it!
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
The calendar app. I can put all appointments in there and sync it with my husband’s so we always know what is going on with everyone.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Tough to pick just one. I’d say “Sexy Back” by JT.
If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?
Nap. Or work on painting something or refinishing a piece of furniture
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
My superpower would be to bring joy to everyone. There’s so much hate and negativity these days that I think everyone could use a little extra joy in their lives.