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: Dianne Villalobos
Years as a military spouse: 7+
Tell us your job title/profession:
Social Media Marketing Specialist
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
Full time, salary
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?
Mostly in an office. Telecommuting is an option when needed (sick days, etc.) and an opportunity for the future when we PCS.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I used indeed.com to find the opening and then applied on the company website and submitted my cover letter and resume. I ALWAYS submit a company and job-tailored cover letter and resume.
I didn’t have a network connection, I hardly ever do (understandably), so because of that I make sure to take the time to apply for positions thoughtfully.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
The lack of network and combating stigmas that come with being a military spouse (frequently moving). I can’t hide that on my resume so I’m as honest as I can be about it. If an employer over-steps and asks me if I’m a military spouse, etc., I just tell them the truth and let them know how much time I have left in the area.
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Tell us one thing you love about your job:
Flexibility. Flexible start times, lunch times, end times, telecommuting, & travel.
Second would be benefits. Since I don’t need health benefits I look at 401K, vacation accrual and flexible spending accounts (in that order).
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
We hired a house cleaner to come every 3-4 weeks, for 1 day, to get those nooks and crannies we tend to ignore. It’s been a life changer. We’re forced to straighten up before she comes and it opens up some weekend time for us to enjoy our family.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
Absolutely. We both do anything and everything. Whatever needs to get done we divide and conquer. Nothing is off-limits for either of us. It’s the only way to live.
If you have children, how do you and your spouse or partner split parenting responsibilities?
We have 2! I do morning drop-offs, he does afternoon pick-ups. He puts one child to sleep earlier in the evening, I put the other down a little later. For bath nights I wash and he dresses.
We rotate medical/dental appointments. We also rotate sick days. Luckily I’m salaried too so my pay doesn’t dip when I have to leave work or stay home with a sick child. When I was hourly I tended to lean more on him for sick days since his pay isn’t impacted when he has to stay home with a sick child.
It’s truly a team effort.
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without:
My phone…with internet access. That’s all anyone needs, right? Aside from food.
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Facebook. When I’m out of touch with all of our friends and family who live around the world it’s the quickest way I can see how everyone’s doing.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
I was just introduced to Explosions in the Sky so I’ve been playing that on Pandora while I work.
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Get an education. If you’ve already got that then be confident and only apply for the jobs you want in your career and on your resume. Don’t settle for a job you can get by with because you’re losing experience you could be gaining in a more relevant job.
Does that make sense?
I.e. if you have a degree in nursing and you apply for anything under the sun, you’re going to get hired at WalMart doing anything but nursing. But if all you apply for are nursing-related jobs, you’ll eventually get a nursing job.
P.S. There’s nothing wrong with WalMart if that’s what you want (I used to work there). You get my point.