Own your reality: Military spouse encourages women to step out of career comfort zones
Digital Works, a Connected Nation initiative, Women’s History Month blog series
Fort Campbell, Kentucky (March 10, 2022) - The path to employment can be filled with twists, turns, and unexpected hurdles. This journey can be especially challenging for military spouses due to constant moving around, living in communities with limited growth-focused career opportunities, and the often-overlooked responsibilities that fall on a spouse because of their soldier’s position.
Melanie, a military spouse and professional adaptor, has encountered every hurdle you can think of, and she graciously shares her experiences and advice for those who are just beginning this adventure.
Melanie lives by the mantra, “You can have anything, but you can’t have everything.” For this season in her life, she has chosen part-time employment with a reliable, defined schedule that allows her to stay active and employed while meeting the family and personal obligations that are important to her. In the past, she has owned her own business, excelled to the top of her field and held a variety of work-from-home positions.
Melanie encourages job seekers to be honest with themselves. As a military-affiliated spouse/family member, you know that things can change at any time, so you have to be prepared to adapt. Your career path will probably not be linear, so mentally prepare to creatively pick up skills along the way. Military spouses should leverage their intrinsic superpowers of being adaptable, self-motivated, reliable, and good at putting out fires.
When looking for the next step on your career journey, get involved in the community and take advantage of available resources, which include the Fort Campbell Spouse Employment Center, Virtforce, FlexJobs, Amplify by Hiring our Heroes, Instant Teams, Military One Source, Blue Star Families Spouseforce, local chambers of commerce, events at schools, the base newcomer’s orientation, ASYMCA, SKIES, volunteering in the unit, faith-based programs and many more. Surround yourself with people who will be honest with you and encourage you to be the best that you can be.
Melanie wants to empower other spouses to “own your reality.” Your first job may not be the perfect job, but it’s a good starting point and can be used as a steppingstone. “Be brave, be honest, be ready,” she said. “Seasons will change. Build upon the last season and know that there is a reason for each season.”
About this blog series: We set out to create a blog series to honor Women’s History Month and highlight remarkable contributions made by women in the Fort Campbell, Ky., area. It became clear early in our research that women in this community are forging new paths and making history day by day, and individuals who share their stories can motivate others to do the same. Our blog series focuses on inspiring women who let their light shine and uplift the next generation of female leaders. You can also learn more about the Digital Works program by heading to www.digitalworksjobs.org
About the Author: Melissa Anderson is the new Facilitator and Development Coordinator for the Digital Works (a Connected Nation Initiative) Fort Campbell location, bringing more than 17 years employment and volunteer experience with remote work environments, training, and development. In addition to being an active-duty Army spouse, she has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior and a master's degree in Training & Development. She enjoys everything associated with books, reading, and learning and she is passionate about supporting the military family community.