“Don’t Be Afraid to Be in Their Face About All the Awesomeness You Bring to the Table, Courtesy of Military Life.”

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. 

"Don't Be Afraid to Be in Their Face About All the Awesomeness You Bring to the Table, Courtesy of Military Life."

Name: Staci-Jill Burnley

Years as a military spouse:

8

Tell us your job title/profession:

Speechwriter/Communications

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

Full-time

How long have you been working in this career field?

17 years

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

Office

Tell us one thing you love about your job.

The opportunity to take the high-level senior leader goals and craft them to impact the workforce in a positive and motivating messages.

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

Applied via USAjobs.

The key is to make your resume reflect the job announcement. If the job announcement reads “small red dot,” that’s what your resume needs to state – not “tiny maroon pinpoint,” or any other variation.

Take your work history and make it mold to the job announcement!

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

Persistence and selling the milspouse thing as an asset. Don’t be afraid to be in their face about all the awesomeness you bring to the table, courtesy of military life.

Lived overseas? Sell that as “experienced in cultural diversity.”

Moved several times? See that as “experienced in multi-tasking and solving complex logistical challenges.”

Don’t sell yourself short. The challenges you have faced DO translate into the working world – you just have to learn how to apply them.

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 do you feel about failure?

I don’t deal well with failure. I am my own worst critic and my own harshest judge.

Failure is a fact of life – we all fail at some point – but you can’t dwell on it. Chalk it up to experience and move forward as quickly as possible.

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

Balancing child care responsibilities with my service member spouse. We have to sit and decide who will stay home with a sick kid, who has early meetings and can’t drop off at nursery school, etc.

Things were pretty manageable until we had our daughter, but adding a whole other human to the mix has been a challenge!

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Tell us the worst too, while you’re at it.

Best: Find a job that you would do for free and that is the job you should do.

Worst: You don’t want to become a federal employee – you’ll make more money and have better stability as a contractor.

Who is in your support squad (i.e. spouse, neighbor, bff) and what role do they play in supporting your career?

My spouse, of course, and my co-workers. Most of them are seasoned parents and have been in my shoes and are quick to offer a helping hand or advice when I need it.

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

Absolutely – if we didn’t, nothing would get done. We do the things we mind doing the least. He cooks and does dishes, I do laundry and run errands. We are fortunate to have a lady who comes once a week for a house cleaning and without her we wouldn’t have as much free time on weekends for fun.

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

Get a weekly housekeeper if you can afford it. All of the time mopping floors and scrubbing bathrooms could be spent relaxing or having fun. Every minute we don’t have to clean is time spent reading or playing with our daughter, so I see that as an investment not only for our sanity, but for her well-being.

Tell us one piece of tech you couldn’t live without that isn’t your phone:

DVR

Favorite app for making the most of your day?

Touchnote

Must-have song on your productivity playlist?

The 82nd Airborne Chorus Entrance Chant – “Here we go, all the way, AIRBORNE!”

If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?

Sleep. I never seem to get enough sleep!

If you were a superhero, what would be your super power?

Telekinesis. I would love to know what everyone is thinking.

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. 

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