Occupation: Public Relations Manager and Writer
When did you know you wanted to be a career woman and why? I think I had a good idea what I wanted to be when I grew up at the age of 8. I launched the Bisbee Court Buzz, a newsletter all about the happenings on my cul-de-sac that I distributed to the neighbors. My parent's newsletter software allowed me to layout and write different types of stories and games. I reported on cul-de-sac specific activities; "Kickball Game After School Tuesday," or breaking news; "Garcia Family Welcomes New Pet!" There was even a Horoscope and sports section that covered the Yankees exclusively, just for my Dad. Since then, my interest in the business has multiplied. In high school, I challenged myself with a newspaper internship along with a part-time sales job. In college, I continued my work in the publishing, marketing and public relations fields.
What advice would you give a woman, in particular a military spouse, who wants to climb the corporate ladder? Never stop. Even if the tough gets going, there is never an end. When I graduated college, I had a tough time landing that first job. The market was saturated and there were tons of graduates that were competing against each other. In the year I spent job hunting, I probably interviewed 30 times before I found my fit. Despite all the challenges, don't loose hope.
What is the most challenging thing about being a military spouse and a career-driven woman? What is the most rewarding thing? Now as a military spouse, the challenge is finding the balance between living the military lifestyle and holding a job. I spent a lot of time contemplating the best decision for myself and realized the best thing for me to do is start freelancing from home. I left a job in New York City that I loved, so it was really difficult to let it go for uncertainty. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. I actually embrace the freedom that working from home does and can make my own schedule. I guess that would be the most rewarding thing.
How did it feel what you landed your first professional job? Like a dream. I mentioned before, I was on the hunt for a year. Luckily, I was holding a paid internship in the field so it wasn't so bad. But, getting that call with the job offer was awesome. And ironically enough, I got another job offer the next day. It was very fulfilling to be recognized for your fit into a particular position.
What is one obstacle you have faced on a personal level, as a military spouse, that you would have never expected? I would say meeting new people on a personal level. It's been great networking and sharing career stories with other military spouses -- and I've actually built friendships with most, but I still find it scary (I guess that's the word I'm looking for...) to interact in a buddy-buddy situation. I think I just revert back to the new girl at school mentality and "do they like me?" starts looming in my head.
What is one career goal you hope to accomplish by the end of 2014? To continue my growth as a freelancer. I JUST started in February when my husband and I PCSed to Fort Belvoir. I work with such amazing people now and just hope to continue my relationships and workload into 2015!
How has being a military spouse helped you grow on a personal level? It's helped me embrace the stories of other military spouses. When I was working in NYC, I spent a lot of time just thinking about my growth and development. I love the military spouse community because it is all encompassing. We are all in this together.
As a military spouse, I know one thing for certain, it is . . . I'm going to keep at it! No matter what the military throws my way, there is always something to get yourself back on track.
What strengths do you possess, that you did not know you had, until you became a career woman? Determination. I realized that if I wanted something, I went after it. Also, I learned that I had a good balance between fun and my career.
My biggest fear: Not knowing what's going to happen next. That's why I try to take things day by day with a general long-term goal in mind.
My greatest accomplishment: making the big leap of moving out of Texas to NYC. That move, I'm convinced, shaped me into the woman I am today.
When I grow up, I want to be . . . Awesome. I want to influence people as much as other awesome woman have helped me. It's weird to think that I'm basically doing what my 8 year-old self sought out to do as an adult.
In 2050, I hope women are/can/have: know that they can have it all. The family, the career and even the military all at the same time. Really, you don't have to give up anything, just learn to balance it.
What is your legacy? Oh dear, I hope I'm building that as I speak.