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: Paig Horton
Years as a military spouse:
Tell us your job title/profession:
Admission Representative at Martinsburg College
Is this full-time, part-time, hourly, contract or freelance work?
How long have you been working in this career field?
4 years in various higher education positions
Do you work in an office, telecommute from home (or Starbucks), or a little bit of both?
I telecommute from home but spend a lot of time at local coffee shops (which is awesome!) meeting with local military spouses
Tell us one thing you love about your job.
I love connecting with other spouses at our current duty station through social media and in-person. The best part is when I can help them continue their education. As a first generation college student myself, I know education is important!
How did you get this position? Was it a resume, referral, job fair? Spill your magic.
I was an attendee at a college event close to base where I met an Admissions Representative from another area. We chatted about my prior work experience and I learned there was currently an opening in my area! She put me in contact with the hiring manager who asked for my resume by 3 p.m. the same day. She’s now my best friend. You never know who you’ll meet!
What is your No. 1 tip for a military spouse on the hunt for a job?
Always keep an updated resume and cover letter that takes you less than an hour to tailor to any job opportunity! You never know when you’ll meet someone who knows of or has an opening.
How do you feel about failure?
It’s essential to growth. If we didn’t fail, we would want to stay exactly where we are and who wants that?
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.
The best career advice I received was from a past co-worker who wisely said,
“You don’t have to enjoy every aspect of your job.”
Every job will have aspects you don’t enjoy but make sure you take note of what you do like. You might discover a new passion and learn something new. Keep an open mind.
The worst career advice was “to apply for every position you can find while looking for a job.” This not only wasted my time on jobs that I wasn’t a good fit for but also wasted the time of the person who I interviewed with.
I stretched myself too thin which caused me to fail following up with the jobs I really did want. I recommend that military spouse apply for jobs you can see yourself growing in.
Who is in your support squad and what role do they play in supporting your career?
Number 1 is my husband who happily comes out to my work events and never once complained when we had one car and would have to wait for me to get off work to pick him up when we first got married. He constantly supports the decisions I make regarding my career and I do the same for him.
Outside of our home, our down-the-street neighbor makes sure our dog is taken care of on days when we both work long hours and I have a few close friends who I can call at a moment’s notice for help. They make military life less chaotic which is the best support!
Do you and your spouse or partner split household tasks? How do you do it?
Absolutely! We both have full-time, demanding careers so we both choose to pitch in but I’ve also learned to accept that everything might not get done one week. Things like the first one home starts dinner and splitting most chores – he does the dishes and I do the laundry – keep us sane.
Once we have children though, I vote we hire a part-time housekeeper!
Share your best life-hack for saving time or sanity during the work week.
I am NOT a morning person so instead of running around crazy after waking up, I have a nightly routine. I put together my outfit, grind my coffee beans for my French press, pack my work bag (if needed), jot down a few priority items for the next day, and make sure my computer is charged.
Favorite app for making the most of your day?
Quickmemo! It’s easy for me to forget an idea while running around every day so I just jot an idea down, then brain dump it which makes it easy to add more!
Must-have song on your productivity playlist?
River – Bishop Briggs
If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?
Relax which means drinking a cup of coffee while enjoying the sun on my patio with my dog at my feet. Too often military spouses take care of everything and everyone around them first, leaving little time for their selves. We deserve self-care too!
If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?
To teleport! Living in Southern California, the traffic can double my time on the road and plane tickets home to the Pacific Northwest can be expensive. If I was able to teleport, I could save so much time wasted in the car or on a plane.