Editor’s Note: Give us your lawyers, your accountants, your massage therapists. Give use your teachers, your engineers, your real estate agents.
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: Kim Robertson
Years as a military spouse: 13
Tell us your job title/profession:
Senior Marketing Manager for MKK Consulting Engineers (global engineering firm)
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
10+ years in this industry
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
Office + telecommute when I travel
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I entered this industry (architecture/engineering/construction marketing) through a 4-line newspaper classifieds ad looking for graphics assistance. Low and behold, it was for an architecture firm. With my background in design and a little bit in marketing, it was a perfect fit.
After a few months, my supervisor left the company and left the entire department to me (with little to no experience). I was given the opportunity to prove myself and learn by throwing myself in the deep end.
Since then, I have transferred duty stations (at the bottom of the recession), worked as a telecommuter for 6 months and transferred to 2 separate firms since through networking.
I now oversee corporate marketing activities for a global engineering firm and affect the strategic vision for the company.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
Moving at the most inopportune times in my career – whether it was during the recession or right after a promotion. Having to make those big decisions to follow my husband’s career or stay on my path.
It turned into a rocky roller coaster, but I’m pleased with my decisions to sometimes put on the gas, while others put on the brakes.
Tell us one thing you love about your job:
Diversity in the position. Each day is something new, and I really get to be creative. My company entrusts me with a lot of decisions and lets me run with crazy ideas. The best part, though, is working with a team to set the strategic vision of our growing company.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
Go into work early (whether it’s 5 minutes or 30 minutes) before everyone else, just so you can wrap your arms around the day’s tasks and focus yourself on your to-do list. That will help you achieve more on your list than just spinning your wheels.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
We used to, but we are now geo-baching so all the household tasks rest on my shoulders.
When we were together, we shared everything, down to laundry folding, vacuuming and cleaning. We have our strengths and weaknesses so one of us leans toward certain tasks that they are better at: for me, it’s cooking. For my husband, it’s fixing things.
Now, everything is on my shoulders, but I am set up with good neighbors (for fixing things) and our daughter pitches in a lot more now that she’s older.
If you have children, how do you and your spouse split parenting responsibilities?
It was never a doubt that we would co-parent. My husband has probably attended more doctor’s appointments than I have, but I have attended a few more choir concerts than him.
Parenting is a give and take and it is based on working together to achieve a common goal: create good citizens for the future.
My husband loves being an active father in our daughter’s life, and it’s important for him to attend events, except maybe suffering through choir concerts (he’ll attend one a year just as a courtesy).
We also know that sometimes, our careers have seasons where one of us is busier than the other, so we take on more responsibility than the other (like we are going through now), but when that season is over, the other steps in and evens it out.
When my husband visits home for a week, he tends to take over all parenting tasks, down to carpooling, just to give me a break.
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without:
My Outlook Calendar. I live by a calendar that is attached to all my tech devices.
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Gmail. My husband and I email everything from finances, to events, to notes from school.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Best Day of My Life – American Authors
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Read the job description and see how your skills adapt to those in the job description. You don’t have to have direct work experience to the position, but if you can show passion and commitment, combined with skills that go along with those requested, you can get to the interview.