Military Spouses Who Work It: Rachel Shoemaker, ESOL Assistant

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. 

Military Spouses Who Work It Rachel Shoemaker, ESOL Assistant

Name: Rachel Shoemaker

Years as a military spouse: 5

Tell us your job title/profession:

Recently made a career change to an ESOL Assistant at a middle school after 4 years of being a legal assistant.

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

Full-time and is limited contract

How long have you been working in this career field?

8 months

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


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

I was a substitute teacher and decided to look for a more permanent steady job so I went on the school district website and applied online.

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

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced while trying to maintain a career as a military spouse is finding work after every move.

Tell us one thing you love about your job:

I love working with middle school students. My job deals with students who are new to this country and do not know any English and I am their support and their voice. So if they have any issues, problems, teachers need help to communicate with the student I am there to translate and guide them. Of course to teach them English and be a productive student.

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

My best life hack for saving time is waking up early before my son does and getting myself ready. Have a little me time in the morning and Sundays are to prepare for the week such as foods, clothing, etc.

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

That depends if my husband is here then yes we split, but if he is deployed then I do everything in the house. This year I was lucky enough to have amazing neighbor’s teenage sons mow my lawn! Although I have done it before it is once less thing I have to worry about.

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

Honestly, with my husband’s schedule it’s really hard for him to help out especially during the mornings. He is gone by 6 a.m. and doesn’t get home until after 6 p.m. My son doesn’t wake up until 7 a.m. So I change, feed and take him and pick him up to/from school every day.

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.

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

My phone. I can check my work emails, personal emails and my calendar.

Favorite app for making the most of your day?

Calendar app

Must-have song on your productivity playlist?

Recuérdame by Pablo Alborán

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

Never give up! About 2 years ago I was trying to get into the field of human resources since I have an MBA, but nobody was hiring me since I didn’t have the experience, but only the education.

So I decided to go a different career path and that is when I went into substitute teaching and within less than 2 months, I was hired at the position that I am in. Honestly, I love working there every day. I realized that being a teacher is what I am meant to do and now I am working on getting my teaching certificate.

Sometimes life takes you in a different direction than you want, but in the end it takes you to where you are needed.

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.


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