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: Molly Hayes
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
Academic Integrity & Student Conduct Officer at University of California, Irvine
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
Just over a year
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
The amazing team I get to work with! Our department includes over 50 people, and everyday I feel lucky I get to work with them!
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
Job posting online. I had a job that was similar but further to home, and once I saw this job through a listserv I knew I should apply.
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
You are the only person who truly knows your capacity. When I was applying for jobs there was an endless stream of advice, solicited and otherwise, from friends, family, past co-workers, etc. People told me a job was too far away, while others suggested it was better than nothing.
When I was considering leaving a job I was told that I wouldn’t be able to find another position, and the gap in my resume would make me look unemployable.
When I found the perfect job and was ready to make the change, I was reminded we would be PCSing within a year, so was it really worth it?
At the end of the day, I know myself and what makes me happy and I’m glad I stuck with my search.
How do you feel about failure?
It is part of life, and a learning experience. It will affect each of us differently, and it may take some of us longer to re-cover and bounce back than others but that is OK. Rely on your people, the things that make you happy, and get back up when you are ready.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced while trying to maintain a career while living the military lifestyle?
Figuring out how to tell a potential supervisor that this job will not be long-term.
I decided to be honest in my interview because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking this job under false pretenses, and in my profession having a good network will mean a ton. It worked in my favor, and now I feel more relaxed at work and I can be honest about my family situation.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.
The best: Life is too short to be miserable everyday. My mom reminded me of this when I repeatedly called her feeling awful about a long commute to a job that wasn’t satisfying.
The worst: If you try and leave a job in under a year no one else will want to hire you. I am searching not only for a job, but a vocation and purpose. If a potential employer doesn’t want to hire someone because I didn’t stick it out when I wasn’t happy, they are probably not someone I want to work with!
Who is in your support squad and what role do they play in supporting your career?
My spouse is No. 1. He is always supportive and understands how my career will be impacted because of his job, so he is always willing to listen, talk, and show support.
I call my parents a few times a week, and I rely on friends from home and graduate school to talk things out, just listen to the struggle, and empathize.
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks?
We definitely split things up! He comes home earlier than I do, so he often makes us dinner and I try to clean up afterwards. He absolutely hates doing laundry, and I really don’t mind it, so that is one of my consistent responsibilities.
There is always a lot of communication between the two of us, and we tend to share and help each other with most household tasks.
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week.
This sounds very basic, but I stay on top of my email, and I clear my inbox of anything that doesn’t require an answer or my attention. I have no time to get stressed out over unnecessary messages!
Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without that isn’t your phone.
My tablet. I use it mainly to watch videos, Netflix, etc., and I love it!
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
My calendar app! Every appointment, task, or meeting has its place.
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake
If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?
Probably use the extra hour for some “me-time.” Paint my nails, take a bath, read a book, and relax!
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
Currently, I wish I could fly! The Southern California traffic is no joke!
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. Click here to complete our form.