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: Kelly Gump
Years as a military spouse: 14
Tell us your job title/profession:
This is a tough one. I typically stick with “Experienced Educator” but that does not tell the entire story.
While I am a certified middle school science teacher, I have not taught in a traditional classroom since we had our first child 12 years ago.
My current hustle is:
- Online K12 science teacher with CTY Online
- Online adjunct and new teacher site supervisor with Grand Canyon University
- Online instructor with TEACH-NOW
- Online mentor for new science teachers with the New Teacher Center
- Reviewer for College for America (Southern New Hampshire University)
- Curriculum developer for Matchbook Learning
- Online facilitator with PBS TeacherLine
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
When I have a busy week on all fronts…it adds up to full time. Some work is part-time employee work while other is contract based.
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How long have you been working in this career field?
I have worked like this (multiple jobs at once from home) for over 12 years now. The organizations/roles can vary but this has been the arrangement for a long time now.
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks) or a little bit of both?
At this point, it is 100 percent telecommute for every role. I have taught at the local community college in the past and while I am still on their list of instructors, I have not accepted a course in months due to my other commitments.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I have worked very hard to land most of my work. I have a solid resume, but I am very active on LinkedIn and Twitter. I also have a handful of sites I visit with regularity that are great for locating legitimate work-from-home opportunities.
Those sites are:
- Rat Race Rebellion
I have also found opportunities on Craigslist and via specific organization websites.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
The biggest challenge is locating those telecommute jobs. While I have managed to put things together, ideally, I would love one full-time role rather than the numerous I have now.
That said…what I have now works great! The issue (as with most contract work) is that projects end. When that happens it is a scramble to find another project to replace it.
Tell us one thing you love about your job:
I love that I can work from home. The flexibility has allowed me to be active in other ways like PTO and taking care of all that needs to be done as a mom of two.
I can also say that I have found networking in this type of work to be easy. I often find another role/project via someone I already work for or someone will email me saying they received my name from someone else. This has been ideal for me.
Through each PCS I have been able to maintain a career and as my kids have gotten older, I have been able to gradually take on more hours each week.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
Working from home can take a toll. It sounds great but it can wear on a person to be home…all the time. I work hard to take breaks, get up from my desk and eat lunch or do a load of laundry. It is too easy to sit down at 7 a.m. and not get up until 3 p.m. when the kids get home.
I also work to get out of the house during the week. I may meet a friend for lunch or run some errands. I am fortunate that no one sets any limits on this for me as my work is on me to get it done. I can work at 3 a.m. or 9 p.m. It just needs to happen. I do have set meetings from time to time but not enough to impact my ability to get other things accomplished.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
We do split household tasks. I am fortunate that my husband understands that while I am home during the week I work. He is helpful with the yard, cooks dinner often on the weekends and is great help getting the kids from point A to point B when he is able.
He was active duty for 12 years and gone a lot. He has been in the Reserves and working as a contractor for about a year now. Luckily, that has him home more often which has been wonderful. He still leaves for 2 to 3 weeks at a time every few months, but when he is home, he really does help and we are a partnership.
If you have children, how do you and your spouse or partner split parenting responsibilities?
We have two kids who are in middle school. Kerry tries to make it to as many school events as work will allow. Often, I can get the kids where they need to be for activities after school and he can pick them up.
I am very active with PTO so I am at school often. This makes it easy for me to stay on top of what is going on with school, but if I ever need him to help in someway or feel it may be best “coming from dad” he is 100 percent there.
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without:
My laptop. This is how I earn my living and without it I could not work from home or take trips/vacations. Having it allows me to pick up and go anytime we can.
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Twitter. I used Twitter for work, checking in on my Buckeyes, news and more….it really has it all for me.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Anything Foo Fighters
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Put the time in and don’t be afraid. Find sites that have telecommute opportunities and apply to anything that sounds interesting. If there is a role that does not say it is remote email to ask if it can be.
The best chance to start/continue a career through PCS is to work remotely.
Get a strong resume (find help writing it if you need it) and get yourself out there everywhere you can…..Twitter, LinkedIn…..the hours you put in will pay off in the end.