Sep 10 2014
Please meet Jen and learn how she is “Keeping a Career on the Move®”:
Q: What branch of service are you affiliated with?
A: My husband is a C-17 pilot for the Air Force (we met as students at the Air Force Academy) and I am currently an IMA reservist for the Air Force.
Q: Briefly tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I originally started out after USAFA as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Once Kevin and I decided to have children it made sense for me to join the reserves and stay at home, at least for a while. After three years, I was getting the itch and began to look for part-time work. I was unable to find suitable pay (I have a Master’s of Education from Colorado State University) for part-time hours, and decided to go into business for myself as a home decorator (had become a passion after all the moving). I loved getting my feet wet in business and had significant success, but when, after 4 successful years of growth, we got orders to the Pentagon, I decided to sell my business to my partner, who kept the operation going.
Fortunately, right before our PCS a good friend of mine introduced me to a new company just launching by the makers of Proactiv, called Rodan + Fields. I understood the power of entrepreneurship, and although it was an awkward shift for me, I knew it could be a powerful partnership for many military spouses so despite my hesitations, I went for it. To show people I was serious, I decided I would give half of my earnings to a nonprofit micro loan organization (Accion TX), and I asked them to earmark my donations for loans that go to military spouses.
Three and half years later, I am now one of the top title earners and I am blessed to lead a team of nearly 2,000 independent consultants, many of which are military spouses. It is a talented bunch of ladies. We call ourselves “Team G.i.V.e” which stands for GENUINE, INSPIRED, VIBRANT, ENTREPRENEURS and we all have the common goal to not only do well by growing our businesses, but in doing so we are committed to give back to our communities along the way, whether it be through time, talent or monetarily!
Q: Where has the military taken you?
A: Colorado (USAFA), Eglin AFB, FL, Sheppard AFB, TX, McChord AFB, WA, Travis AFB, CA, Pentagon, and now JBLM, NJ.
Q: What do you do for a living and are you working in your chosen career field?
A: Answered above. I’ve been with R + F for 3.5 years now. My undergrad degree from USAFA is in Human Resource Development and my Master’s is in education. Obviously, I’m not using either, technically speaking.
Q: What resources, programs or initiatives have you used to keep your career on the move?
A: Owning my own business and having control over my own effort and schedule has made it possible to move seamlessly from Travis AFB to the Pentagon and again to New Jersey. When I was just growing my R + F business, I used the car time to make tons of phone calls and my business grew by double over the course of the 3 weeks we took to drive across country! I also do my best to include my kids and husband in my achievements and goals so they can partake in the fun of hard work too! I earned a Lexus through my company and my kids knew it was their job to help stay quiet while I took important phone calls. To help them feel a part of it, they were able to choose video players for the backseat of the car! Additionally, I used free resources like the Small Business Association counselors, other business mentors, and the National Military Spouses Network to provide support and encouragement along the way!
Q: What advice would you give to other military spouses who want to keep a career through the military lifestyle?
A: Be creative! I never in a million years would have imagined I would work in a direct sales company, since I wasn’t “salesy” and had no experience with skincare. But I love helping women see their potential and I am not afraid to learn new skills. By keeping an open mind, I was able to morph a business that may not have seemed like a good fit, to one that has now become my vessel to give back to military spouses and to empower them to find businesses of their own to pursue so they don’t have to give up when new PCS orders come around!
Join the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) for a free #MilSpouse event on September 17th at Camp Lejeune: The MOAA Military Spouse Symposium “Keeping a Career on the Move®”! You can access information and register here: www.moaa.org/spousesymposium.
Sign up today and invite all of your #Milspouse friends to join us!