“I, Like Most Military Spouses, Am Practical, Patient and I Can Think on My Feet.”

Military Spouses Who Work It: Meghan McCarthy, Director of Community Health

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 Spouses Who Work It: Meghan McCarthy, Director of Community Health

Name: Meghan McCarthy

Years as a military spouse:

5 years

Tell us your job title/profession:

Director of Community Health for Baptist Health Care. I manage the health of our employees and their families, about 10,000 belly buttons.

I save the hospital money by making people healthier. I also work with businesses, schools and other partners in the community. I get to wake up and think about how to build a culture of health!

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

Full time

How long have you been working in this career field?

20 years — including for Navy Medicine as a civilian in Okinawa

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

Wellness Center Office

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.

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

During a 48-hour visit (6 months before the move) I requested an “Informational Interview” with the Vice Presidents of Human Resources at each of our 3 hospitals in the community.

I asked them each about how to connect in the community. This lead me to organizations and people you would not be able find easily via Google as an outsider.

And soon I felt like an insider!

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

  1. Building trust with teams who know you may have to leave.
  2. Knowing how and when to communicate fear and the roller coaster of change within the military. I learned not to burden others with that stress!
  3. Reinventing yourself with every move.

Tell us one thing you love about your job.

I love solving problems! I, like most military spouses, am a practical, patient and I can think on my feet. This makes me built to help others navigate change.

Health care is traditionally not good at change but we need to get good at it fast!

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

I take pictures with my phone of the small tasks that I need to get done. At the end of the day I go through my camera roll and delete the photos of things that are off my list and then the others automatically roll over to the next day.

I used to be a crazy TO DO LIST person but after spending so much time writing and rewriting list, I found that pictures were more fun! Same sense of accomplishment with more joy and less stress.

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

Yes, we try to always be a team. Some things matter more to one person than the other so we use a 1 to 10 scale. If he says something is a 10 to him and 6 to me then he can run the show. It works both ways.

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

We have 3. I am the bonus mom to my step-prince and two step-princesses. The oldest has always lived with us full-time and he just left for his first year of college so we are technically empty nesters.

The two girls, 16 and 11 go to a modified year round school in Phoenix, Arizona, where mom is. They are there for 6 weeks and then with us for 2 weeks with longer winter and summer holiday breaks.

We usually plan man-to-man defense verses zone.

It is non-traditional but it works for us!

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

My Peloton Bike

Favorite app for making the most of your day?

Capti. It will read PDF files to you!

Must-have song on your productivity playlist?

One Clap-Pull your 84 Jerseys Out by DJ Steve Porter with Randy Moss

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

Don’t wait to start the process! As soon as you know where you are going start researching, networking and applying.

If you wait until you hit the ground and get settled you can tell yourself that you may only have a year or 2 years but that is a long time! When you do go back you need to explain those gaps in your resume.

If you need a gap think about volunteering or getting a certificate to help keep your work skills fresh.

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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