Name: Kayla M. Kling
Occupation: Senior Editor for a publishing company; Personal Trainer in training.
When did you know you wanted to be a career woman and why?: I've always wanted to be one, because my mother has been such a fantastic role model as a career woman. She had to drop out of college back in the day because of lack of money, but that has never stopped her. She is a life-learner (and the smartest woman I know), you can trust her at her word and she helps anyone she can, which has garnered her the respect and support she needs to successfully run her own business. She is the proud owner of a playground construction company that actually does a lot of work with domestic and international military bases (http://customplaygroundsinc.com/). Without her, I wouldn't be where I am today.
What advice would you give a woman, in particular a military spouse, who wants to climb the corporate ladder?: Companies are more willing to work with solid employees to keep them around, especially in this day and age of telecommuting. Even though the company I work for is based in northern Illinois, they allow me to continue working for them while I'm in Georgia. My company has what's called a "Results-Only Work Environment" (ROWE). Check out http://gorowe.com/pages/rowe-certified-organizations to see the companies that are willing to work with your location. As I'm pursuing a side business as a personal trainer, that is also something that will not have to come to an end simply because my husband PCS'ed. So to any military spouses out there looking for advice, choose your career field wisely so that it can ebb and flow with your location(s).
What is the most challenging thing about being a military spouse and a career-driven woman? What is the most rewarding thing?: When I initially moved to Georgia, I had a hard time connecting with other military spouses who have the same goals and priorities as I do. However, the most rewarding thing is the support system among military spouses -- once you find like-minded people, you're golden.
How did it feel when you landed your first professional job?: I graduated from Northern Illinois University in May 2010, which was the tail-end of the recession, so I was very thankful to be hired during such a tumultuous time.
What is one obstacle you have faced on a personal level, as a military spouse, that you would have never expected?: I've thought of myself as a social butterfly in Illinois, but it wasn't until I was uprooted from everything I knew in my hometown that I found out that wasn't exactly the case! It's easy to be outgoing when you're familiar with your surroundings, but once in a new and unfamiliar state, I was left feeling vulnerable. My husband is a gamer and a homebody, so the opportunity of making connections through him was limited. It took longer than I expected before I met several military spouses whose lives and goals reflected my own. I'm excited and energized to meet more through The Milspo Project!
What is one career goal you hope to accomplish by the end of 2015?: For my editing career, I'd like to get my Google Analytics certification through the Analytics Academy. I keep planning on doing so, and then work happens, so I've blocked off the second week of March to finally accomplish this. I'd like to get my personal training certification before the end of this year and maybe even a client or two. I should have my First Aid/AED/CPR certification by the end of this week (a requirement before applying for personal training certification), so I'm excited to get this ball rolling!
How has being a military spouse helped you grow on a personal level?: It has made me bolder in pursuing other interests. I don't think I would have ever looked into starting a side business of my own if I didn't have the support of my husband.
As a military spouse, I know one thing for certain, it is . . .: As soon as I get a solid routine going with spending time with my spouse, his schedule changes, he's TDY'ed or he's deployed.
What strengths do you possess, that you did not know you had, until you became a career woman?: I speak my mind. Normally, that is not considered a good thing, especially coming into an almost 100-year-old publishing company as a 22-year-old who shot from the hip. However, as I've matured and realized that as long as I have a solid explanation of why I'm for or against something and put forth my opinion in a respectful manner, my feedback is generally appreciated.
My biggest fear is . . . : Not balancing work life and home life properly. When my work computer is in front of me 24/7, it is very easy to be tempted to answer "just one" email or post "just one" article while spending time with my spouse.
My greatest accomplishment is . . . : My freshmen year of college, I ran 2 miles in just under 14 minutes. That may not seem impressive, but 1. I hate running and 2. I'm 5'2," so my short little legs had to really pump to run that!
When I grow up, I want to be . . . : A minimalist. I would be perfectly happy living on a plot of land with a garden in the mountains in a tiny house, enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Right now, I'm in the process of weeding out the things that aren't so important in my life ... and trying to get my husband PCS'ed to Colorado.
In 2050, I hope women are/can/have . . . : See hastags like #AskHerMore and others as archaic, because women are seen in 2050 as complex human beings instead of either exclusively as "smart" or "beautiful."
What is your legacy?: I want to leave the world in a better condition than what I inherited. My resolution this year has been to get serious about recycling and be more conscientious of the waste I produce. I made the switch to cloth towels for everything last year. As a germaphobe, this was huge for me!