Name: Amy Schofield
Business Name/Occupation: Schofield Strategies, LLC / Resume Writer
When did you know starting a business was right for you? Tell us about your business: Schofield Strategies®, LLC offers resume development and job search strategy help to job seekers around the world, most of whom are military spouses and transitioning veterans. I established and trademarked my own company, Schofield Strategies, LLC in 2011 because I decided that starting my own business would be incredibly beneficial to the military lifestyle. I wanted a portable career where I could also help others. I am now one of only a small handful of military spouses who hold a certified resume writing credential.
What is the most disheartening thing you have encountered in your career as a military spouse?: For me, I haven't really encountered the typical "oh you're a military spouse, we don't want to hire you" attitude that a lot of military spouses seem to encounter. In fact, I received one job offer because of the fact that they knew I was a military spouse! The interviewed told me that she liked the fact that I was a military spouse because I was used to having to adapt to anything that came my way!
I have heard from some resume clients that before coming to me, they have difficulties filling in their resume gaps since many have taken time off or have moved around a lot. Once they work with me, I can see a huge boost in their confidence when it comes to searching for a job.
What career challenges have you faced because you are a woman?: I wouldn’t say I faced career challenges because I am a woman; rather, I have faced career challenges because I am a military spouse. Even though I haven't had difficulty finding employment, moving around 5 times in 10 years is an obstacle in itself. I had to quickly transition career fields from public affairs to human resources with our first PCS. However, with each PCS, I was able to highlight transferrable skills and accomplishments to each potential new employer. I was also able to search for jobs, network, and land interviews prior to relocating. That helped tremendously for my career progression before I decided to start my own business.
What advice would you give a woman, in particular a military spouse, interested in staring her own business?: Don’t be afraid to 1) jump right in and 2) outsource what you need to another entrepreneur who specializes in whatever you need assistance with! I have now built up my business to the point where I have surrounded myself with colleagues (all of whom happen to be military spouses) I can easily outsource tasks to and trust that they will be accomplished on time and with great success!
What is the most challenging thing about being a military spouse and business owner? What is the most rewarding thing?: The most rewarding this is definitely the flexibility! The flexibility to learn new things. The flexibility to move with my husband’s career and still keep my clients. The flexibility to adapt my schedule so that I can work “in real time” with military spouses who may be stationed all over the world. That being said, the most challenging thing about being a military spouse and business owner is the unexpectedness that comes with being married to a service member – for example, we had less than three weeks’ notice for our most recent PCS. Even though I already had client work lined up, the military didn’t care about that when issuing orders, so that was a challenge to plan a very short move while still maintaining my client work.
How did it feel when you made your first sale?: I love living vicariously through my clients; it’s like I get a new job every time they get a new job! So, when I made my first “sale” to work on a resume, it felt great because I knew this person would have success!
What is one obstacle you have faced as a business owner, or on a personal level, as a military spouse, that you would have never expected?: My biggest obstacle was juggling a full-time client load while planning an unexpected PCS in less than three weeks!
What is one business goal you hope to accomplish by the end of this year?: Since hiring practices can be hard to keep up with as recruiting and sourcing technology evolves, I would love to work with as many career-minded military-affiliated organizations as possible to ensure they have the latest resources when it comes to resume development.
As a military spouse, or business owner, I know one thing for certain. It is . . .: You can really accomplish anything you set your mind to. There is a growing number of amazing military spouse entrepreneurs out there now that can serve as your mentor and guide you in the right direction if you really do want to start your own business. It is great to be able to trust another military spouse entrepreneur and be able to bounce ideas around to help both of you succeed!
What strengths do you possess, that you did not know you had, until you became an entrepreneur?: I never had any prior sales experience, so if I had to pick one strength, it would be sales. I have learned a ton just from doing research and talking with people within my industry regarding best practices. It is amazing how much you can learn when you just jump in!
My biggest fear is . . . : Having to PCS with only one week notice!! :) I know I can handle less than three weeks now, but not so sure how I would do with less than that!
My greatest accomplishment is . . .: Launching and establishing this business and establishing my brand! I never thought that within three years, I would be at the place I am in now. I have now been able to pay it forward and hire other military spouses as contractors working for me!
When I grow up I want to be . . . : Doing exactly what I’m doing now!!
In 2050 I hope women are/can/have . . .: I hope that all women can obtain the job of their dreams! I hope that by 2050 career progression for military spouses and career transition for military members leaving the service isn’t as difficult for so many people as it is today. Plenty of military spouses have been out of the workforce or have had to reinvent their career path and by 2050, hopefully the workforce will realize the strengths that these spouses bring to the table make them indispensable!
What is your legacy?: I want military spouses and transitioning veterans to know that they really can achieve their professional career dreams! Plenty of military members have never written a resume or been on an interview and I love helping as many people through their transition and instill their confidence during what may be a nerve wracking time for them. Therefore, I think that my legacy is bringing resume development, skills translation, networking, and interview preparation to the forefront of as many military-affiliated organizations as possible.
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/schofieldstrategies