Aug 20 2014
Q: What branch of service are you affiliated with?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.