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: Cortney Gumbleton
Years as a military spouse: 11
Tell us your job title/profession:
I am the Executive Director/CEO of the Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, an foundation in Fort Worth, Texas that is promotes depression research, drives suicide prevention education, and is dedicated to eradicate suicide in our community.
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?
Work from home
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
After finishing my master’s in social work, I applied for and was offered a position at Texas Christian University working for the Counseling & Mental Health Center. After a few years of hard work and dedication, I applied and was offered a position as the first ever Executive Director of the Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation.
My education and experience, a stellar resume and cover letter, and lastly reputation and connections within the community is what helped me achieve my goal of leading a foundation. If you work hard, stay humble, and give it your all, people remember and it pays for itself later on down the road.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
My husband is currently stationed out of Norfolk, Virginia, and we have been apart for the last 3 years. Being a full-time professional, mom, dog-wrangler, handy-gal, etc… can be challenging. The biggest challenge for me is not being able to plan around concrete dates.
If I’m attending a conference across the county, I can’t rely on my husband to stay at home and watch our son because chances are high that he will be in the field or training.
Not being able to plan ahead for holidays, vacations, milestones or really anything at all is the most frustrating part for me.
Tell us one thing you love about your job:
Only one thing? Oh gosh…this is hard! I wake up every single day with the widest smile on my face because I know I am making a difference. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to empower people with the tools to save a life, and be the person to give someone hope when they are struggling.
I love our foundation’s mission and I love giving back to our community. I love the opportunity to work from home, which is a luxury as a military wife and mother. I love the people that I work for and the people I work with.
Most importantly, I love serving our community just as my husband serves our country.
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.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
This might not be the most conventional life-hack, but 2 years ago I hired a housekeeper to help me every 2 weeks and it has made a world of difference for us. Not only has it significantly reduced my anxiety of trying to balance my roles as a full-time professional, doctoral student, mother, and chief worrier, but I actually have time to do the important things like bring my son bowling or grocery shop. Every other Thursday has become my absolute favorite day of the week!
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
That sounds absolutely lovely! My husband is many great things, but cleaning isn’t one of them. He only reaches for the garbage once I’m to the garage door with it. He doesn’t help with household chores, which is why having a housekeeper is so essential.
If you have children, how do you and your spouse or partner split parenting responsibilities?
Yes, we have a 10-year old son together. Since my husband isn’t stationed with us right now he isn’t able to do as much as he would like, but hopefully when he retires he will take a more active role.
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without:
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Spotify. I have to listen to good tunes.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Oceans (Where feet may fail) by Hillsong
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Use LinkedIn! Most people in the professional world got their job based on connections. Get involved in the community as a volunteer or join a service organization.
I’m involved in a few professional organizations, Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. These are where all the movers and shakers are and these are amazing connections to have.