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: Laura Frasse
Years as a military spouse: 1 year (together 6 years! 3 moves!)
Tell us your job title/profession:
I work as a counselor in the Admissions/Selections Office at the United States Air Force Academy. I work with students to help them prepare and complete their application and I help to select the next class of incoming cadets.
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
I have been working in higher education since 2011 when I got my Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University.
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks) or a little bit of both?
Office and sometimes TDY
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.
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
My husband and I got married in Savannah, Georgia, near Fort Stewart, and 4 days later we were PCSing!
At our new post the first thing I did was register with the Priority Placement Program (PPP) at Fort Carson. I told them I wanted to work at the Air Force Academy and they helped me to prepare my resume for the USAJOBS site and apply for jobs. It took 4 months after applying for this job to get the offer, but it was worth it!
I’d highly recommend using the Priority Placement Program. Even if you don’t find something right away, your name stays in the system and when you do find a job you really want it can be a huge help!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
I’ve been extremely lucky to find jobs in each post we’ve been to, but some have been better than others! For many of my jobs I have felt overqualified, but I always try to make the most of it. I am always grateful to have a job in my field.
Military spouses always have to make the best of the post we are assigned to and the career opportunities in that area.
One challenge I’ve faced is explaining to civilians why I have moved so much and have gaps in my resume. It can be hard for some civilian employers to understand, but I just tell them how proud I am of my husband and to be a military spouse and what an asset I would be to that company.
Additionally, applying for a new job every year or two can be very daunting. But at the same time, the thought of a new job in a new town is exciting to me!
Tell us one thing you love about your job:
I love that at the Air Force Academy I get to put to use two of my passions, the Military and Higher Education, each and every day. I am able to support and serve the United States and Air Force and select future leaders in new cadets.
Also, I am able to make a difference in student’s lives as they apply to the Air Force Academy, an institution of higher learning, to learn and better themselves. I know that I am changing lives by helping to select the new cadets and making a real impact on our country’s future leaders.
It is really enjoyable to be part of something so much larger than myself and to see my work come to fruition when the students arrive and begin their training in the military and their collegiate education. It is truly a dream job to me and I couldn’t be prouder of what I do or happier in my position!
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week:
I work out in the mornings before work or during lunch so that my evenings are free for errands or catching up.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
He is deployed right now, so I do all household tasks. But when he comes home, we usually split them (80/20). I do most of the cooking and cleaning, but he chips in with chores I don’t like and keeps up with the yard work and car maintenance. I am blessed to find a husband who likes to vacuum!
And after 6 + years together I will not wash his uniforms – he does that himself!
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without:
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
My Pandora station changes each day! Depends on my mood!
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Use the Priority Placement Program (PPP) and sign up right away when you get to a new post! Apply for jobs through USAJOBS but also use other sources like indeed.com.
You can even use temp agencies to help you find work and get your foot in the door. Some of the temp jobs could become permanent!
Don’t give up hope when looking for a job. Make the best of your individual situation in each new post and you will be a lot happier and less stressed.
Don’t compare yourself to other military spouses and civilians. Do what is right for you and your life and family and be grateful for what you have.