Archive for the 'Career' Category

Highlighting How Melissa is “Keeping a Career on the Move®”

Aug 20 2014

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Q: What branch of service are you affiliated with?
A: USMC

Q: Briefly tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I hail from picturesque Harford County, MD. I’m a military spouse entrepreneur and enjoy being able to operate my business from my home office. I favor weekend trips, exploring the local landscape, kayaking or paddle boarding for recreation or simply staying at home, which makes my two cats very content.

Q: Where has the military taken you?
A: I married my high school sweetheart after he graduated college and we’ve been stationed on the East Coast for the preponderance of his active duty service bouncing between Virginia and North Carolina.

Q: What do you do for a living and are you working in your chosen career field?
A: With years of executive office experience, I was looking for a more flexible and portable career to match my busy and fluid lifestyle. I combined my administrative office skills with the available technology to become a Virtual Assistant (VA) and launched my company, Paper Chaser, a virtual-based company providing a wide array of online office support services for small business owners in April of 2006. I am by nature a helper and love helping small business owners grow their business by handling back office clerical tasks (which I enjoy) so they have time to focus talents and energy on the areas of their business they are most passionate about. I appreciate the ease of a virtual workspace in working with multiple clients.

Q: What resources, programs or initiatives have you used to keep your career on the move?
A: The Small Business Center (SBC) at Coastal Carolina Community College (http://www.coastalcarolina.edu/sbc/) is the #1 resource in the local area for entrepreneurs. The SBC is part of a statewide network designed to support the development and growth of small businesses. As a small business owner I have gained tremendous knowledge by attending workshops offered along with mentoring available with the business professionals on staff who thrive on sharing their expertise. From branding to product development, I have applied everything I’ve learned there in my virtual-based business.

I have also connected with other business professionals through online and offline networking by becoming a member of organizations such as the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN) and American Business Women’s Association (ABWA).

Q: What advice would you give to other military spouses who want to keep a career through the military lifestyle?
A: Focus on your strengths, set goals and be willing to grow where necessary and stay the course to achieve your desired result. Determine if your skillset and ambitions match a need and can be combined with today’s technology to work remotely or seek out a company that offers telecommuting. Connect with other like-minded spouses for professional networking, masterminding and channels for employment opportunities. The biggest benefits of having a portable career as a Virtual Assistant are the ability to make my own schedule around family and leisure time, participating in my Marine’s unit’s family activities and volunteer commitments; no worries about losing clients because I can work from most anywhere; building a network of other like-minded spouses in the military and civilian communities and experiencing a broader reach for potential clients in new areas.

How are you “Keeping a Career on the Move®”? Share your story with fellow military spouses. E-Mail the MOAA Spouse team at moaaspouse@moaa.org to learn more.

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Highlighting How Reena O’Brien is “Keeping a Career on the Move®”

Aug 13 2014

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Q: What branch of service are you affiliated with?
A: US Army

Q: Briefly tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I am a communications professional who spent 17 years in local news and state government. I met my now husband 4 years ago and we married 2 years ago – so I am a relatively new military spouse. I grew up all over the world so the military moving process was not so daunting. I have been fortunate to land in positions that are in my field as military life guides us.

Q: Where has the military taken you?
A: Tallahassee, FL & Fort Knox, KY.

Q: What do you do for a living and are you working in your chosen career field?
A: I am currently the Director of Marketing for a web developer and yes, I am working in the communications industry.

Q: What resources, programs or initiatives have you used to keep your career on the move?
A: I believe that being proactive and sourcing your relationships. Talk to people you know. Reach out to people you don’t know very well. Use the social networking sites to introduce yourself. I truly believe initiative shines through when you are job searching. Don’t be afraid to use the tools at hand. LinkedIn worked for me. I applied for a job but wanted to stand out. So I shot my now boss a note via the site and connected. Ultimately – it got me in front of him faster than in a pile of resumes.

Q: What advice would you give to other military spouses who want to keep a career through the military lifestyle?
A: Look for opportunities and tell people what you are looking for. People want to help people. It makes them feel good. Use everyone you know and the tools at hand. Military spouses know so many people all over the world. Use those connections – you never know who knows someone that can help you land your perfect gig.

Don’t be afraid. It is about taking a leap of faith. Do your research on the career or company you want – and NETWORK! Military spouse are so good at breaking the ice & making new friends. Get out there with your job search in the same fashion. Call companies you are interested in and see if you can get a meeting. Even if they don’t have a position, they can give you some guidance. If a position opens up, you definitely will be top of mind. There will be days you get discouraged but keep your head high and keep on pushing towards your goal.

How are you “Keeping a Career on the Move®”? Share your story with fellow military spouses. E-Mail the MOAA Spouse team at moaaspouse@moaa.org to learn more about sharing your story.

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