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: Loren Previti
Years as a military spouse: 2
Tell us your job title/profession:
I am a Grants Officer for an intermediary grant-maker and international donor advised fund in Washington, D.C., called Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAF America). I manage more than 15 donor client funds and assist our due diligence team with the review process for international charities. Our nonprofit assists donors in United States in giving tax-effective and low-risk donations to charities operating outside of the U.S. In the last 10 years alone, CAF America and its subsidiary, the CAF American Donor Fund (CADF), have given more than $450 million to charitable organizations in over 100 countries.
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
I started out interning in the nonprofit world and began working full time after completing my master’s degree in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
Office, but I telework frequently (at least 3-4 times per month)
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I submitted my resume through LinkedIn, where I was matched with the job based upon my background and interests. After submitting my resume, I completed a phone interview and in-person interview before I was offered the job as Grants Associate. After working as a Grants Associate for a year, I was offered a promotion to Grants Officer, which is my current role.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
I think the greatest challenge is managing schedules. My husband is a sergeant in the Marine Corps and his schedule can often vary, which makes it difficult to plan time together or other events like vacations and weekends away.
In general, our everyday life can be very normal. However, it is the times when he is working a 24-hour shift or has to travel to an undisclosed location, that it can be difficult.
Overall, we are both supportive of each other’s careers, but I understand that his commitment to his job takes on a very different character as a member of the military.
Tell us one thing you love about your job:
I love that my organization provides the opportunity to grow professionally while still contributing to the charitable causes that I care most about. I have always been distinctly attached to charitable work and I am happy to know that my work directly affects those in need all around the world.
I am also given the flexibility to work from home when needed and, being a member of a small non-profit organization, I feel that I am recognized for my work and supported by my colleagues.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
My top life hack is to spend 2 to 3 hours on Sunday afternoon preparing for the week. When our laundry is done, our home is clean and our meals are somewhat prepared for the week, I feel like I can focus my full work week on the things that matter like putting in extra effort at work or spending time with my husband.
When allow myself to take the time to cover the “administrative” duties of being a wife (paying the bills, budgeting the grocery list, etc.), I find that I am less likely to feel stressed or pulled in too many directions during the week.
This also helps me have fun with Joe (my husband) on Friday and Saturday without worry!
Best work-week hack – taking a walk after lunch!
I take a 20-minute walk every day after lunch, no matter what. I swear this is the secret to productivity!
Just having those few minutes to relax, enjoy the outdoors, call a friend or just sit and read for a few minutes makes all of the difference when I get back to my desk. I feel so refreshed!
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
We do split household tasks! I honestly feel so lucky to have someone who comes home from a long day and will help me fold the laundry, clean up the dishes or just generally pick up around the house.
We don’t have any set rules for keeping things tidy or splitting up the chores, but he definitely pulls his weight. I’m always so impressed when I come home to a stack of folded laundry or a car that has been washed – those things make me feel so appreciated on the days when the last thing I want to do is work at home after I’ve worked all day!
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without: My iPad!
It was a gift from my husband and I use it for everything – work, Netflix, catching up on bills, etc.
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
This isn’t an app, necessarily, but I do fill out a daily to-do list and I keep a daily planner. It is MAGIC and keeps me totally sane and organized for the day.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
Rihanna’s “Work”…mostly because I am determined to figure out WHAT she is saying without Google’s help!
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Don’t be afraid to take a risk! Get out there, introduce yourself to people, join professional groups or apply for a job that you think you aren’t quite qualified for.
Be thoughtful with your resume and your cover letter and take a few risks (maybe even fail) in order to get what you want. I bet you will surprise yourself and you just might find something you really love doing.