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NMSN MAGAZINE

November 5, 2015, Vol. 2, Issue 2

Register NOW for the

5th Annual Military Spouse Summit November 13-14

Springfield, VA

Register online at

MILSPOUSESUMMIT.COM

• COMMON BUSINESS ENTITIES • THE MORE YOU KNOW • A CONVERSATION WITH PAM ALLEN • UTILIZING BLOGGERS


TA B L E

OF

CONTENTS 3

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

4

MEET THE EXPERTS

8

COMMON BUSINESS ENTITIES

12

GETTING IT “WRITE” ON YOUR RESUME

14

THE HOUSE IS MESSIER AND I DON’T CARE

20

FIRST IMPRESSIONS DO MATTER

23

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD

25

THE MORE YOU KNOW

29

TRANSITION

32

USE YOUR B.R.A.I.N.

34

WORKING WITH HEAD HUNTERS

38

UTILIZING BLOGGERS

40

THEN AND NOW: A CONVERSATION WITH PAM ALLEN

Sue Hoppin

Rachel Brenke

Janet Farley, Ed.M.

Carol Fishman Cohen Joyce Neave

Amy Schofield, ACRW Matt Zemon Sue Hoppin

Carol Bowser, JD Julie Waters Greta Perry

Shelley Kimball

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By now everyone’s settled the kids in school and schedules are starting to normalize somewhat. The back to school rituals are well on their way. It’s time to start thinking about YOU and your goals! As parents, we’re quick to prioritize everyone else ahead of ourself. Don’t do this. Your goals and ambitions are just as important as everyone else’s needs.

Sue Hoppin

Spend some time thinking about your personal and professional goals. Write them down and start chipping away at them. Otherwise, you’re going to turn around one day and realize that 5, 10, 20 years have passed and you’re in the position of cobbling together that resumé and trying to figure out how to break into the workforce. If you take little steps along the way, you’re going to put yourself in a much better position to re-launch your career when you’re ready to work outside the home full time. Our experts are prolific writers on this subject, but if I had to boil down their advice and insights into 5 tips, this is where I would start: • Keep your resumé and LinkedIn profile updated at all times. You never know when opportunity will present itself and you want to be ready. • Take advantage of opportunities to fill in your resumé gaps whether it’s through strategic volunteering or part time jobs that develop skills and knowledge that you may need to round out your resumé. • Join organizations to affiliate with like minded people and keep up with trends in your field. • Set goals and write them down. At least once a year, take a look at those goals and adjust them as needed to reflect your long term goals and ambitions. • Never stop learning. Attend networking events and take advantage of professional development opportunities to grow and stay current in your field. To the last point, if you’re in the DC area or close by, I hope you’ll join us at our 5th Annual Military Spouse Career Summit. Whether you’re a volunteers, job seeker, entrepreneur or just a milspouse looking to network with other career minded military spouses, this is the event for you. We always have a great mix of military spouses married to currently serving, veteran AND retired servicemembers, as well as a positive environment, so it’s a fun way to hone your skills, gain some new insights and expand your professional network. This year, we’re thrilled to be joined by Katherine Berman and Sophie LaMontagne, the co-founders of Georgetown Cupcake. They’ll be sharing their business experiences and lessons learned then sticking around for a cupcake reception/meet and greet. It’s sure to be a great time. We hope to see you there! For more information or to register, check out: milspousesummit.com. Hope to see you there! Connect with us on Facebook /NMSNetwork and on Twitter @NMSNetwork Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

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MEET

THE

EXPERTS

SUE HOPPIN Sue Hoppin is the founder and president of the National Military Spouse Network, a consultant on military family issues and the coauthor of, “A Family’s Guide to the Military for Dummies”. Before founding the NMSN, Sue served as the first deputy director for spouse outreach for a military affiliated non-profit with a 375,000+ membership. She is a recognized subject matter expert on military spouse and family issues and has spoken to audiences nationwide ranging from installation career events to leadership training sessions and national conferences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Denver, a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Oklahoma and an executive post graduate certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University.

CAROL BOWSER Carol Bowser is the president of Conflict Management Strategies Inc. and is an expert in workplace conflict --what creates it and how to resolve it. While she HATES arguments, she loves maintaining sanity and increasing production by jumping into conflict to fully resolve it. “…What I really like is listening to people’s stories and working outside the legal system to repair workplace relationships…” She received her law degree from Seattle University School of Law and her Mediation Training through Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution. Carol is a speaker, trainer, and consultant for employers on how to avoid workplace conflict.

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RACHEL BRENKE Rachel Brenke is an author, photographer, lawyer and business consultant for photographers and bloggers. She is currently helping creative industry and blogging professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction. See more: http://www.thelawtog.com/meet-rachel-the-law-tog/ Disclaimer: I am a lawyer but I’m not your lawyer! View my entire disclaimer HERE.

CAROL FISHMAN COHEN Carol Fishman Cohen is a globally recognized expert on careerreentry strategy. She is co-author of Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work and co-founder of iRelaunch (www.iRelaunch.com), the comprehensive resource for everything related to career reentry: tools, strategies, events, products and services. A strong advocate for the unique value that returning professionals bring to the workforce, and for the employers that hire them, iRelaunch has connected with a national network of over 13,000 people through more than 185 return to work programs and presentations. Contact info@irelaunch.com.

JANET FARLEY Janet Farley serves as a NMSN subject matter expert and she is the author of The Military Spouse’s Employment Guide: Smart Job Choices for Mobile Lifestyles (Impact Publications, 2012). For more military spouse employment tips and thoughts, follow her @ Smartjobchoices on Twitter.

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JOYCE NEAVE Joyce Neave is an authority on fashion and style. As founder, Joyce has been empowering clients for over twenty years. As the owner of That Mom Inc, and now JOYCE NEAVE style group, her work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Washingtonian Magazine, and Bethesda Magazine among others. Joyce has been featured on WUSA9 News highlighting her wardrobe consulting practice and providing viewers with valuable insights. Joyce styles both women and men and is a consultant for several media companies, associations, newspapers, and online magazines. Joyce and her team keep clients current with fashion trends while maintaining a classic, timeless look.

GRETA PERRY Greta Perry, owner of Kickify, ”Pumping Up Your Web Presence,” has branded herself both on and off-line with her positive energy, intuitive use of technology, and networking successes. She is available for consulting or speaking for businesses and brands of all sizes. Greta is never far from the internet and can be contacted at Greta@kickify. com, Facebook, Twitter @kissmygumbo @kickify @freetweetadvice, LinkedIn, Google + or www.kickify.com.

AMY SCHOFIELD Amy Schofield, founder of Schofield Strategies [http:// schofieldstrategies.com/], works one-on-one with individuals around the country who are interested in personal branding and resume writing services. Schofield Strategies’ most popular services include editing and tailoring resumes to certain fields/specific positions, writing resumes from scratch, military-to-civilian transition resumes, creating cover letters and thank you letters, and developing/ optimizing LinkedIn profiles. Amy is the author of two e-books, “Resume Writing: 101 Tips and Techniques” and “Optimizing LinkedIn for Your Job Search”. [http://schofieldstrategies.com/e-booksresources/]

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JULIE WATERS Julie was born and raised in Washington State. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English and earned an MS in Human Resources Management from Troy University. She is also a certified Professional in Human Resources. Over the last 13 years, Julie has held various Human Resource positions starting her career at FHC Health Systems in Norfolk, Virginia, then moving to Landrum Professional Services in Pensacola, Florida, Cambridge Health Alliance Physicians Organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Military Officers Association of America in Alexandria, Virginia where she served as the Director of Human Resources. Julie currently resides in Spokane, Washington where she is the Human Resources and Operations Manager for a law firm.

MATT ZEMON As President and CEO, Matt Zemon brings more than 20 years of operations, billing and customer service experience to American Support. American Support was created to help video, voice and data companies succeed by operating efficiently, consistently and with excellent customer service, making life better for our clients, employees and families while supporting our country. Matt has been named one of the Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 winners and one of Business Leader magazine’s Top 50 Catalyst Entrepreneurs.

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COMMON

Business Entities by Rachel Brenke

When running a business, it is important (and cost effective) to spend time establishing a solid infrastructure for your business. This means understanding applicable laws, identifying risks, and setting policies and procedures. A qualified business attorney can advise you on best practices for your business. There are several types of business entities, which are commonly used for business formation.

will set your business up for success!

SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP A Sole Proprietorship is a one-owner business, created at a county or city level, that does not have a formation separate from their personal individual. Sole Proprietors are the default structure when formation documents are not filed but business owners are engaged in business. This type of structure is typically filed on a personal income tax return and a Schedule C. This structure has no liability protection shield between personal and business assets but is the easiest and cheapest way to form a business.

The choice of entity depends on your objectives and the tax and legal aspects of the entity -Â set aside some time (and funds) to review your goals with your legal and tax teams before launching and you Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

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PARTNERSHIP

where their tax treatment is defined. The IRS has tax forms for corporations (Form 1120). Individual shareholders receive K-1 forms declaring their share of dividend income (if any) which is reported on 1040 Schedule E. This results in a “double tax.” The income is taxed at the corporate level and then on the individual level. Except for the rare federal charter, all corporations exist under the authority of state law and federal law generally defers to the state statute to determine the power and rights of corporations.

A partnership is two or more people in business together. A partnership can be implied in law so it is often a legally risky form of business entity. It is usually better to form an entity to define the business relationship. A partnership is required to obtain city, county, and/or state licenses. It pays taxes on its income which is attributed to the partners according to the terms of their written or oral partnership agreement. The IRS has tax forms for partnerships (Form 1065). Individual partners receive K-1 forms declaring their share of the income which is reported on 1040 Schedule E. Partnerships can be default created by action as a operation of law but should always be accompanied with partnership agreements to outline all responsibilities, monies, debts and other important details.

Don’t avoid taking the legal bull by the horns simply because you are unaware of the process.

CORPORATION The corporation is considered to be a separate legal person under the law. It is run by a board of directors who appoint officers to run the day to day business affairs. It is owned by shareholders. Shareholders are either common or preferred. Preferred shareholders usually have more rights than common shareholders. Preferred shareholder rights are specified by the corporate charter and director’s resolution. It is the most common entity used by public companies. Standard corporations are often referred to a “C corporations,” a reference to Section C of the Internal Revenue Code Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

S CORPORATION A Subchapter S Corporation is exactly the same entity as a corporation or a “C” corporation. The entity is defined by state law. The “S” and “C” designations are for federal tax law purposes only. The “S” designation comes from the name of the subchapter of the Internal Revenue Code, which defines its tax treatment. An S corporation was the first entity designed to help small business avoid the double tax C corporations must pay (at the corporate

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level and then at the shareholder level if dividends are paid). Because it has been in existence for over 50 years, the rules and regulations enacted by Congress and the IRS are complex.

corporate veil”). If the business will have multiple owners it is best to have a lawyer set up the LLC property and accompany the formation with an operating agreement to manage possibilities such as death, retirement, divorce and conflict. LLC’s also have the benefit of being filed on a personal income tax return (1040 Schedule C) like a Sole Proprietorship but have the option to elect a Corporation taxation through the IRS for additional tax benefits without the corporation administrative duty requirements.

The S corporation election taxes the shareholders for the profits of the corporation even if no dividends are paid. Losses are passed on to the shareholder but can only be deducted to the extent of the amount paid for the stock (called “basis”). Generally S corporations are complicated and have hidden risks. Limited liability companies are a better choice for most small businesses. The IRS has tax forms for S  corporations (Form 1120S). Individual shareholders receive K-1 forms declaring their share of all income which is reported on 1040 Schedule E. If the S corporation had income, the shareholders must pay tax even if they received no distribution from the corporations. This is called “phantom income.”

HOW TO CHOOSE? Choosing a structure for your business may be a difficult decision but is not one to avoid simply because it is overwhelming. The first step is to examine the structures provided above and ask yourself the following questions: What is my financial budget for formation? How important is liability protection to my business and the nature of the business? What is my long-term goal with the business?

Corporation structures are more time and administrative intensive that other types of business but can bring great tax benefits depending on specific business situations.

These questions will help to shape your business formation plan. A small business attorney can help you work through your plan and liability protection desires, while a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can weigh in on the tax benefits for your specific tax situation.

LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY The best, and most popular, form of business entity is usually the limited liability company. It is taxed like a partnership (no double taxation – see above), is very flexible, and has legal advantages that are not available to corporations (e.g. no “piercing of the Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

Business formation may be overwhelming, but legally required and an important process to running a business. Don’t avoid

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taking the legal bull by the horns simply because you are unaware of the process. Professionals are available to assist you in your business decisions but always be sure to communicate fully your intentions and long-term goals to reach the best decision with these professionals as possible.

Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

Rachel Brenke is an author, photographer, lawyer and business consultant for photographers and bloggers. She is currently helping creative industry and blogging professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction. See more: http://www.thelawtog. com/meet-rachel-the-law-tog/ Disclaimer: I am a lawyer but I’m not your lawyer! View my entire disclaimer HERE.

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GETTING IT “WRITE” ON

Your Resume

by Janet Farley, Ed. M.

There are things in life we like to do such as spending quality time with our families travelling to new and exciting places and spending hours shopping when everything is on sale and everything fits us.

write on your resume. Pun intended.

IT LIVES Before you launch into edit mode, accept one reality about your resume. It lives. It is not a static document that you review every few years when it suits you.

Then there are those things in life we don’t exactly like to do, like PCS every few years or hear a doctor say, “this won’t hurt a bit”. Somewhere on that list of things we don’t exactly like to do has to be spending countless hours updating our resumes for new jobs.

Your resume is a living, breathing document that you take good care of so it can take good care of you when time is short and opportunities are present. This means you need to give it more than a passing thought on a fairly regular basis.

In the name of enhancing your time management skills and in landing the job you really want, let’s discuss how to get it Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

Best suggestion? Pick a schedule, any

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schedule and stick to it.

see an obvious fit or not? Look critically at your resume as though you were the employer. Would you hire you?

For example, make a pact with yourself to review your resume every year on the day after your birthday. Or plan to review it every six months. Whatever you decide, be consistent and have it on your calendar as a must do item.

Enhance the fit. Assuming you are not already a perfect match for the job on paper, then work to get as close to that point as you can, skill by skill.

You owe it to yourself. Within the scope of one year, your skills have grown. You have new professional experiences that need to be captured on your resume if you intend to remain competitive.

Let’s say you are applying for a budget analyst job but you’ve never been a budget analyst. You have, however, worked in job where you had some significant fiscal responsibilities.

You’ll realize the true benefit of routine maintenance when you want to apply for a job and you don’t need to spend an insane amount of time updating your resume.

Your mission, then, becomes showing how what you have done in those other jobs is akin to what you can do in relationship to the job you want.

TARGETING YOUR RESUME FOR A SPECIFIC JOB

For example, the job vacancy announcement says you have to be able to develop and coordinate budget submissions and justifications. Maybe you didn’t do that every single day in past jobs, but you did do it or something like it annually in one of them. Expand upon that point in the appropriate work narrative.

You have found the perfect job and now all you have to do is convince the employer to give you an interview. A killer resume, targeted specifically to that job, may well be just what you need to make that interview a reality.

To effectively update your resume and target it to the job you want, repeat that process for every skill desired by the employer.

Gather all the information you possibly can about the job you want. What skills are they seeking? Credentials? Experiences? Highlight those keywords you see in the announcement. You may even know someone on the inside who can offer you unpublished details.

You will either be able to directly or indirectly address the skills or not. Whatever you write in an effort to show the fit to an employer, be able to back it up 100%.

Compare the job you want with the content on your existing resume. Do you Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

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Throw the thesaurus away. Don’t reach for fancy words. Use the same ones that are used in the job vacancy announcement or within that industry to show your familiarity with the career field, assuming you have it.

Janet Farley serves as a NMSN subject matter expert and she is the author of The Military Spouse’s Employment Guide: Smart Job Choices for Mobile Lifestyles (Impact Publications, 2012). For more military spouse employment tips and thoughts, follow her @Smartjobchoices on Twitter.

Length matters. Consider the employer before you expand your resume past two pages. If you are targeting a job within the federal government, go into adequate detail and don’t stress over how many pages it takes. Stress over the content. The average federal resume is four to five pages long. If you have a ten or more page resume, then you probably said too much. If you are targeting a job in the private sector, keep it to no more than two pages unless instructed otherwise by the employer. Highlight the skills you have to offer. Don’t get caught up in all the skills, abilities or experiences that you don’t have. Instead, sell what you do have. It’s you. If you’re not happy with what you have to offer, then that is a different situation requiring different action.

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THE HOUSE IS MESSIER AND

I Don’t Care

by Carol Fishman Cohen

Ten years ago when Vivian Steir Rabin and I were doing the research for our career reentry strategy book Back on the Career Track (Hachette, 2007, Amazon 2011), we conducted over one hundred in-depth interviews to understand every detail about transitioning back to work after an extended career break. At the time, we focused primarily on moms returning to work after career breaks for child care reasons. Both Vivian and I returned to work after our own career breaks home with children, but we didn’t want to rely only on our experiences. The discussion of managing day to day logistics upon returning to work brought out excellent and sometimes humorous responses. From Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

household cleanliness, to lack of personal time, to the realities of carpools and childcare, return-to-work moms give us frank and helpful advice.

HOUSEHOLD CLEANLINESS “My house is messier and I don’t care!” “You’ve got to let go of domestic perfection.” “I feel that if I am working, things that are undone at home really don’t bother me as much. Like those pictures that have been leaning against the wall for the last two years that need to be hung.” 15

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The chorus of voices citing the lowering of household cleanliness standards came across loud and clear. When moms returned to work, they decided to be less picky about how clean their houses were and they were much happier for it.

every day, which was the gap between when the kids got home and when I got home. I found two thirteen-and-a-halfyear-old girls in my neighborhood who were best friends to provide this coverage. They guaranteed that one of them would be available to cover this time slot every day. They were there, without fail, every afternoon for two years. I could never have done this without them.”

ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE “Since I went back the household stuff is definitely more out of control. Now we all rush out of the house at the same time, and there is no one to clean up the dishes and food left on the table. Beds are unmade. There’s no one to go around and straighten up and clean. This is especially hard when my mother-in-law is visiting. She tends to judge me by how I keep or do not keep up the house.”

CARPOOLS “We were in lots of carpools, and with six kids, both of us drove them. Our deal with the other parents was O’Briens would do the morning carpools, and other families would do the afternoon. Sometimes I’d be at a corner dropping off three of the kids, and I’d see Tom whizzing by with his car pool!”

MEAL PREPARATION

(Note: This quote is from Ruth Reardon O’Brien, Conan’s mom, who has the most amazing relaunch success story from the 1970s. This quote was from an interview of Reardon O’Brien by Heather Peddie in an account originally for the Stanford Law School Women’s Legal History Biography Project.

“I do a lot of Crock-Pot cooking. One night a week we have sandwiches for dinner. One night a week we have what we call ‘Sonoma Night’; a cold meal of with cheese, fruit, bread, boiled eggs, cold veggies, leftovers. We barbecue a lot. Sometimes the kids make dinner on their own with canned soup, frozen dinners and fresh fruit.”

I also interviewed Ruth Reardon O’Brien.)

“We have a lot of pasta for dinner now, or eggs, or even cereal and fruit when I can’t get around to making anything.”

You’ve got to let go of domestic perfection.

CHILDCARE “I needed coverage from 4:45 to 6:00 pm Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

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were being served, as long as something was planned. At first my seventh grade son balked, but he later became quite possessive of ‘his’ dinner night.”

How returning to work feels “in the moment” (quote from a relauncher one month before she went back): “I’m feeling tremendous uncertainty, a tremendous urgency before I get everything in place before I start work again. Now I’m realizing all the roles I really had. [We had a family meeting.] I told the kids they owed the family 30 minutes of helping-out time every day.”

“…I was nervous about how they would manage without me. Fed up one morning, I decided to take…inaction. I stayed in bed and let the children run through the morning routine themselves. Well, the kids (ages 13 and 10) made their breakfasts and lunches themselves and left on their own. It was a lesson to me. It was as if someone turned the light on. I realized that a 10 year old making her own breakfast and going to the bus by herself can be a good thing. She’s developing competencies she wouldn’t have developed if I were always around. I think about it in terms of competencies developed in the absence or presence of parents.”

(Note: This relauncher has now been back at work for ten years.)

TIME MANAGEMENT “What I sacrifice is personal time. My out-of-work peer relationships are gone. I never see my women friends anymore. Exercise is really reduced or gone. That’s an okay trade-off for me right now. Some of my social needs are met at the office.”

“Donna’s decision to go back to school and then to take a position as an ESL teacher caused drastic changes in the routines of her son and daughter. She worked only four hours a day, Monday through Friday, but she had to leave for work right after her son’s wake up time. (Her 14 year old daughter left for the school bus before her son woke up.) Her 11 year old son had to make his breakfast, set the alarm, lock the house, and get himself to the bus all on his own. He was only in fifth grade. Her friends couldn’t believe she would let him do this, but Donna felt he was mature enough to handle it.”

“It takes a monumentally important event for me to be out on a weeknight. I say no to almost every evening request for my time, whether it be a fund-raising event, dinner with friends, or a college alumni get-together. I will admit I made an exception for the Paul McCartney concert!”

KIDS GAINING INDEPENDENCE “We told the kids they were each responsible for making dinner one night a week. This included coming up with the ingredient list in time for our once a week grocery shopping trip on Sundays. It didn’t matter if boiled pasta and water Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

I hope you find these quotes and anecdotes as inspiring and instructive as

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I do. This wisdom could only come from moms who have lived through a return to work窶馬o sugar-coating here! For more advice and information about returning to work after a career break, consult the resources at iRelaunch.com

Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

Carol Fishman Cohen is a globally recognized expert on career-reentry strategy. She is coauthor of Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work and co-founder of iRelaunch (www.iRelaunch. com), the comprehensive resource for everything related to career reentry: tools, strategies, events, products and services. A strong advocate for the unique value that returning professionals bring to the workforce, and for the employers that hire them, iRelaunch has connected with a national network of over 13,000 people through more than 185 return to work programs and presentations. Contact info@irelaunch.com.

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Do Matter by Joyce Neave

You never know who you are going to meet. Think of yourself as a walking billboard. The way you present yourself is how people connect to you. Do your clothes fit you well? Are they clean and pressed? Studies show that people have confidence in individuals who take pride in the way they dress. This does not mean that you have to break the bank to look good. It means that your clothes are the right size and tailored to fit your body. It means you’re dressed appropriately for the situation. For example, it means that you wear closed toe shoes to a job fair, and save the flip flops for the beach.

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Dressing well and appropriately tells the world that you are a good decision maker; that you have good judgment. This will not only build people’s confidence in you at the work place but in every setting. Most importantly, you will feel good about yourself.

TIPS ON PRESENTING YOURSELF WELL • When shopping for your work attire, it’s best to simplify. Basic suiting in solid colors should be made well and tailored to fit your body. • Take care of your clothing by dry cleaning your suits. In between trips to the cleaners, try steaming your suits with an electric steamer. You can purchase a free standing or hand held steamer. This will take out the wrinkles and keep your clothing smelling fresh.

Businesses want to hire people who will represent their company well. Ask yourself,” Do I reflect their brand?” What you wear to work shows how you feel about the company. Do you show up fresh and ready to do your job? Do your clothes convey that you are part of the team? Everyone wants to express themselves and be heard. In a business setting, this is achieved by your ideas not your clothing. Companies have reputations. Intelligent, well-mannered, well dressed employee make the company look good. Save your creative dressing for the weekend.

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• Shirts/tops should be free of tears, snags, stains and should always smell fresh. Cologne will not take away body odor or food smells and definitely not the smell of smoke. It will only smell worse. • Practice good personal hygiene. Bathe regularly, use deodorant, brush your teeth and visit your dentist for regular cleanings. Be well groomed. Nails should be trimmed and clean. If you wear polish, chipped polish should be repainted or removed. Hair should be groomed and clean when you arrive at work.

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• Shoes should always be clean polished and heels and soles should be repaired when needed.

Joyce Neave is an authority on fashion and style. As founder, Joyce has been empowering clients for over twenty years. As the owner of That Mom Inc, and now JOYCE NEAVE style group, her work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Washingtonian Magazine, and Bethesda Magazine among others. Joyce has been featured on WUSA9 News highlighting her wardrobe consulting practice and providing viewers with valuable insights. Joyce styles both women and men and is a consultant for several media companies, associations, newspapers, and online magazines. Joyce and her team keep clients current with fashion trends while maintaining a classic, timeless look.

• Keep jewelry to a minimum and avoid jewelry that jingles. • If you’re working in a more conservative setting, tattoos and piercings should be covered in the work place until you’re more familiar with the culture of the company and get a better handle on what’s acceptable. This is a topic that is worth revisiting often. Why? Because it can change your life. Though that sounds dramatic, it’s actually true. First impressions DO matter. Following these tips will get you in the door. Once you’re in, your hard work and best efforts will speak for themselves.

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PUT YOUR BEST

Foot Forward by Amy Schofield, ACRW

Military spouses may be faced with numerous employment challenges. Multiple moves typically result in searching for new jobs, possible gaps on resumes, and potential certification issues. Because of this, military spouses often times have a difficult time obtaining employment, making it even more important for military spouses to put their best foot forward on their resume.

2. Make sure you understand what each employer is looking for and that your resume clearly highlights the specific skills and experiences that the employer is seeking.

BELOW ARE TEN RESUME TIPS TO HELP YOU GET IN THE DOOR:

4. Address any gaps. As a military spouse, you may have additional gaps from moving around, so ensure you address these gaps. Volunteering is one great way to address any potential gaps.

3. Review your resume to ensure you are highlighting your strongest accomplishments that set you apart from other job applicants.

1. Adapt your resume to each position you’re applying to.

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5. Choose quality over quantity. It is generally better to send 10 tailored resumes than to apply to 100 jobs using a general resume.

Amy Schofield, founder of Schofield Strategies [http://schofieldstrategies.com/], works oneon-one with individuals around the country who are interested in personal branding and resume writing services. Schofield Strategies’ most popular services include editing and tailoring resumes to certain fields/specific positions, writing resumes from scratch, military-to-civilian transition resumes, creating cover letters and thank you letters, and developing/optimizing LinkedIn profiles. Amy is the author of two e-books, “Resume Writing: 101 Tips and Techniques” and “Optimizing LinkedIn for Your Job Search”. [http://schofieldstrategies. com/e-books-resources/]

6. Know how to get past applicant tracking systems. Use proper key words for the type of job you are applying to. 7. Never use your email address with your current employer on your resume. (And speaking of email addresses, make sure that the one you are using is professional). 8. Do not include your physical street address, city, state, or zip code if you are applying to a job in your new duty location and you do not have an address there yet. (So, ONLY include your address if you are applying to a local position). 9. Before sending your resume, proofread it. And then proofread it again. Be sure your resume is 100% error-free. 10. Honesty is critical! Never, never, never lie on your resume.

Adapt your resume to each position you’re applying to.

Remember, the goal of your resume is to put your best foot forward – let the employer know why they want YOU over another job applicant. Make sure you place more emphasis on your actual job accomplishments, tailor your resume for each position you apply to, use industry lingo, and proofread (and then proofread again!).

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THE MORE

You Know

by Matt Zemon

Every entrepreneur starts his or her business from square one- just like you. Once started, all of their time and energy goes into to growing the business.

This month I am offering some suggested reading for military spouse entrepreneurs. They are written by thought leaders that were introduced to me through EO and cover a variety of topics that can help entrepreneurs of any size.   Getting back to square one, let’s start with the beginning of a business. Sound planning can make or break a new company, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. The three sources I cite on this subject offer great suggestions and tools. Eric Ries is the creator of The Lean Startup and he offers a process to empower entrepreneurs to make better business decisions faster. His scientific

As the entrepreneur-in-residence for the National Military Spouse Network, I am always looking for ways to help military spouses start or grow businesses. An important resource for me has been the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). This organization provides small accountability forums and knowledge sharing for entrepreneurs around the world. (For those of you with $1 million or more of annual revenue check them out!)

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approach to creating and managing startups streamlines the process. The Startup of YOU focuses on the human side of entrepreneurship. Reid Hoffman, Co-founder and Chairman of LinkedIn and Ben Casnocha, an Entrepreneur and Author cover the mindset and skill set that are needed by today’s startups. The Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur takes a colorful and visual approach to strategy and planning. Their Business Model Canvas is a simple, but effective template that allows you to create a customized model of your business, whether it is a startup or a going concern.

for and what is expected of every member. Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, by Chip Conley is a great look at what motivates employees, customers, bosses and investors. He provides ideas on how to use that knowledge to strengthen relationships. Those relationships are at the core of a strong and profitable business. When it comes to generating business, there is a lot of advice out there about promotion. Seth Godin has written a number of great books including Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, which identifies what makes a product/company noticeable in a sea of marketing messages. In Double Double: How To Double your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years Or Less, Cameron Herald addresses the three steps to success: Planning, Building and Leading. As the former COO of 1-800-GOTJUNK, he played a key role in building a great company. One key element for his company was generating free media exposure through an inexpensive public relations strategy, which he describes in detail in Double Double.

Once you are confident about your plan, the management elements needed to execute it should receive your thoughtful attention. Once again, there are many sources of information that can be helpful. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm, by Verne Harnish, gets back to the fundamental best practices you can use to gain focus and align employees and vendors. His one page Checklist and a number of other resources and helpful videos are available online.

A well-known trait common to Hiring great people isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Geoff Smart and Randy Street wrote a fantastic book called Who that can help anyone make better hiring decisions.

Sound planning can make or break a new company.

Once you have hired employees, don’t forget to spend time on your company culture. Define what the company stands Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

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entrepreneurs is a thirst for learning. I hope these reading suggestions will quench your thirst for a little while.

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As President and CEO, Matt Zemon brings more than 20 years of operations, billing and customer service experience to American Support. American Support was created to help video, voice and data companies succeed by operating efficiently, consistently and with excellent customer service, making life better for our clients, employees and families while supporting our country. Matt has been named one of the Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 winners and one of Business Leader magazine’s Top 50 Catalyst Entrepreneurs.

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T RANSITION by Sue Hoppin

Toward the end of August, I had the honor of participating in the #morethanaspouse Facebook party hosted by the National Military Family Association. By the time the party was over, I had answered nearly 300 questions on everything from careers, entrepreneurship to transition. An hour wasn’t quite long enough to share all the tips and thoughts about successful transitioning out of the military lifestyle so I wanted to follow up with a wrap up and throw in some other tips gleaned from our own transition a little over two years ago.

Don’t kid yourself—you’re BOTH transitioning. Your service member spouse is leaving the military and you are leaving the active duty lifestyle. There’s a lot of fear and anxiety that comes with that. The good news is, it’s normal. Take it easy on yourself and understand that this is a very stressful time overall. Do what you can to be proactive. Attend the transition seminar together. Up until now, you’ve been the ultimate intel gatherer/gatekeeper—transition is no different. You’d be amazed at how much information is thrown at you during those seminars. It doesn’t hurt to take the team approach and compare notes at the end of

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION (LEARNED THE HARD WAY) Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

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the day.

Take advantage of all the employment resources on the installation while you can. Many of the resources and programs you’re used to are not available to retirees or veterans and their dependents, so make sure you get those appointments and counseling sessions in while you can.

Understand your benefits. The Survivor Benefit Plan is just the tip of the iceberg. You should review your other benefits such as TriCare and dental to make sure you understand how your new coverage will work once you transition.

Update your resume. Even if you have no interest in working, you never know when an opportunity might arise and you want to be ready. Don’t wait until you need it to get your resume ready. Be proactive!

Make sure your finances are in order. Many people recommend having six months’ living expenses readily available for post transition life. Try to have at least three to four months’ worth of living expenses available to alleviate undue stress. This means, start as early as you can to put away that fund. If you maintained residency in a state that didn’t tax personal income tax while on active status, but are now establishing residency in one that does, it can be jarring. It takes some time post transition to get used to the fees and taxes of settling into your new state of residency. We’re a little over two years into our transition and just now feel like we’ve acclimated to our new financial reality. It takes time. And it’s stressful. The only way to mitigate that stress is to be prepared.

Order networking cards. Companies like Vistaprint are constantly running sales, so you can get hundreds of networking cards for a song. Not sure where you’ll be living post transition? No worries, just leave the address off. You’ll want to have networking cards handy as you start meeting people. Start or update your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with all of your contacts in a professional manner. Start attending career fairs together a couple years before the transition. You

You’re BOTH transitioning. Your service member spouse is leaving the military and you are leaving the active duty lifestyle. There’s a lot of fear and anxiety that comes with that. The good news is, it’s normal.

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want to get that dress rehearsal in before it counts. Consider it a reconnaissance mission—it’s good to get the lay of the land and figure out how to interact effectively with recruiters before it counts. It’s also a great way to gauge what kind of opportunities are out there and what employers are actively seeking to hire veterans and military spouses.

Sue Hoppin is the founder and president of the National Military Spouse Network, a consultant on military family issues and the co-author of, “A Family’s Guide to the Military for Dummies”. Before founding the NMSN, Sue served as the first deputy director for spouse outreach for a military affiliated non-profit with a 375,000+ membership. She is a recognized subject matter expert on military spouse and family issues and has spoken to audiences nationwide ranging from installation career events to leadership training sessions and national conferences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Denver, a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Oklahoma and an executive post graduate certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University.

Network, network, network. Network not just for that next career opportunity, but also to find your “tribe”. Find those people who have recently transitioned who can offer some fresh insights because they have just gone through it. They’re going to become your new lifeline because they have successfully navigated the transition. They’ll be a great reminder for you – there IS life after the military. You’re going to be stressed, scared and anxious, but it will pass. These are just tips to get you started. If you have any to add, drop them in the comments of the blog post. If you’re going through transition soon, think about joining us for the our summit [link to www. milspousesummit.com] in November, particularly the Networking event on the 13th that will be focused on a Successful Transition. Service member spouses are more than welcome. It’s a great, low threat environment where you can relax and speak to military friendly employers and others who are either going through the transition themselves or have recently successful transitioned. Hope to see you there!

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USE YOUR

B.R.A.I.N. by Carol Bowser, JD

R = RISKS

The B.R.A.I.N. technique takes the best negotiation, collaboration, and problem solving techniques and literally puts them at your fingertips. 5 fingers. 5 points. Here we go:

Think of all the risks associated with that same course of action. Again, these are all types of risks: time, emotional risks, financial risks, risks to the family, risk to an employer or to a team.

B = BENEFITS

A = ALTERNATIVES

TThink of all of the benefits to you in taking a specific course of action. I mean all of the benefits: emotional, spiritual, professional, and financial. If the idea impacts your work, what are the potential benefits to the employer? What are the potential benefits to society as a whole? Quickly write all of the benefits down. Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

What are alternative courses of action that could achieve the same or nearly the same results? This is the time to write down even the wildest, least feasible ideas. If you can’t think of alternatives, describe the situation to someone who is not involved and write down their ideas. You

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aren’t at the place to make a decision, yet so don’t worry about committing to any alternatives. You are merely brainstorming.

B.R.A.I.N. allows everyone to be heard, have their say, and come to a decision. Carol Bowser is the president of Conflict Management Strategies Inc. and is an expert in workplace conflict—what creates it and how to resolve it. While she HATES arguments, she loves maintaining sanity and increasing production by jumping into conflict to fully resolve it. “… What I really like is listening to people’s stories and working outside the legal system to repair workplace relationships…” She received her law degree from Seattle University School of Law and her Mediation Training through Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution. Carol is a speaker, trainer, and consultant for employers on how to avoid workplace conflict.

I = INTUITION Now it is time to check in with your gut. What does your gut tell you? Do you like the idea? Are you having a bad or uneasy feeling about it? Your intuition is a valuable tool. Don’t discount it.

N = NOTHING Yes, nothing. What would happen if you did nothing? What would happen if you delayed a little? Nothing is an option. It may not be a viable option or it may be the best option. Sometimes maintaining the status quo is perfectly fine. After running thought the B.R.A.I.N. analysis you are ready to present your ideas. You can confidently say, “I have thought of the Benefits, Risks, and Alternatives in the situation. Did a gut check and here is where I land.” Now, if someone comes to you with an idea, you can help yourself come to a wellreasoned decision by having that person walk you through the B.R.A.I.N. analysis. For example: “Ok, so you want to do (fill in the blank), can you walk me through the benefits of that? What do you see as the Risks? What alternatives did you think of? What does your gut say? What might happen if we put off the decision for a little while?”

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WORKING WITH

Head Hunters by Julie Waters

JW:

Headhunters can be a valuable tool in your employment search. Since I personally have never had the opportunity to work with a headhunter, when prepping for this article, I sat down with Corinda BehlerHowe, Branch Manager for Office Team, a division of Robert Half International. From their own website, Robert Half International, “specialized staffing divisions place professionals in the finance and accounting, information technology, legal, administrative, and marketing and creative industries.” Office Team specializes in placing highly skilled office and administrative support professionals.

Let’s start with the basics. What is a headhunter?

CBH: On a very basic level a headhunter is a person who can help you find a job. On a deeper level, a headhunter or recruiter is one more resource to help you in your employment search. As recruiters have connections with organizations looking for the right applicant, working with them helps expand your pool of opportunities.

JW: What types of professions typically run through a headhunting firm or placement

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CBH:

agency?

It is a recruiter’s job to build relationships on both sides of the process. On the job seeker side it would begin with interviewing perspective candidates to find the right fit for an organization’s needs. Keeping in mind that each communication with the candidate is part of the interview: all phone calls, e-mail exchanges, even your interaction with the receptionist is part of the big picture process. Getting to know the candidates and building that relationship will make for a better placement. I’ve found that cultural fit is just as important as specific experience.

CBH: Agencies specialize in finding the right fit, like those hard to find candidates with specific requirements as communicated by the company, so you’ll find that they are looking to fill jobs in all types of professions. Headhunters were traditionally used for direct placement positions, hiring employed people away from their current companies, but now they are more associated with temp to hire or contract positions. Though agencies do not typically handle entry level placements, there are plenty of those positions available at a professional level to include C-level positions.

As far as the timeline, I don’t think there is a “normal” process anymore. It depends on the flexibility of both the applicant and the company; it depends on how deep into the process the company wants the headhunter to go. Some just want an initial screening and interview and then the company decides to do multiple rounds of interviews. Others want the recruiter to narrow the pool down to the final few candidates. Using a headhunter firm or agency puts that old school feeling back in the mix, that face to face personal touch of the process being about the person, not the resume.

JW: Where would I find a headhunter or recruiter?

CBH: The same places you would look for jobs: the internet, phone book, your local chamber, even the base placement office. Your best bet however is a networking event that correlates with the types of positions in which you would be interested. For example, the ASWA (American Society of Woman Accountants) if that is your specialty.

JW: What does the fee structure look like?

JW:

CBH:

How does a headhunter do the job? And what about the timeline?

Predominantly the candidate does not pay a fee. The recruiter gets compensated by the company. If it is a temp to hire

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or a contract position there is an hourly billing rate and a placement fee. For direct placement a fee is negotiated between the agency and the company.

headhunter as a tool for their job search?

MC: Yes - as long as they don’t have any monetary obligation to the headhunter. The headhunters are paid by the companies to place you and you shouldn’t be paying them. It also shouldn’t be their only avenue to get a job. They should be networking and seeking out opportunities independently.

As a follow up to talking with Corinda, I had a discussion with a friend of mine who has been “hunted.” Michele Chapman is Director, Sales Operations for Philips Healthcare North America. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Penn State. Michele is a military brat whose father was career Air Force. It was an interesting experience for her because in her case, it was a call from a headhunter that came out of the blue.

Michele just confirmed my perspective, that using a headhunter, recruiter or placement agency should only be part of your job search. You can’t just drop off a resume and expect them to call you with your dream job. You need to be proactive with them and continue your other methods of searching.

JW: How did the headhunter find you?

MC: She found me on LinkedIn. The recruiter cold-called me after I had listed my experience and skills.

Another important thing to take away from meeting with a recruiter is that he or she is a person in your new city who has an extensive network. Even if you don’t end up using their services, that person could still serve a valuable resource. If there are long-term contract positions available in your area you will be more likely to find them through a placement agency; access to those positions may only open up through contact with the recruiter.

JW: What did you like best about the process? And what did you like the least?

MC: I liked that they had a specific job that fit my skills instead of me trying to find jobs that would interest me. What I liked least— my recruiter had poor follow up about the interview and after the interview.

I would also recommend using an agency or recruiter that has been around for a few years. If a person does a poor job of finding that elusive “fit” they won’t last long in the business. The people that have been there for a little while are probably

JW: Given your experience, if you can put yourself in the shoes of a military spouse, would you recommend seeking out a Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

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pretty good at it. Julie was born and raised in Washington State. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English and earned an MS in Human Resources Management from Troy University. She is also a certified Professional in Human Resources. Over the last 13 years, Julie has held various Human Resource positions starting her career at FHC Health Systems in Norfolk, Virginia, then moving to Landrum Professional Services in Pensacola, Florida, Cambridge Health Alliance Physicians Organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Military Officers Association of America in Alexandria, Virginia where she served as the Director of Human Resources. Julie currently resides in Spokane, Washington where she is the Human Resources and Operations Manager for a law firm. Julie was lucky enough to choose a career that easily transfers between employers as her husband’s assignments moved them from city to city. She holds a special interest in career building for military spouses as she feels it is important to have something personal outside of our military lifestyle.

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UTILIZING

Bloggers by Greta Perry

This post was originally written in 2011 for NMSN and it still is extremely relevant in 2015. Just this past week, my personal online presence (blog and social media) has opened a gateway to do some work with Travelocity—I even have my own Travelling Gnome. At the same time, I am also contacting bloggers on behalf of an author/client. While this post has been mildly tweaked since the first draft, the importance of bloggers and marketing has only increased over time.

on 20 February 2014, there were around 172 million Tumblr[5] and 75.8 million WordPress blogs. Large companies such as Sears  and USAA have realized the value bloggers can bring to their companies and actively engage them. Mike Kelly, Executive Director USAA Stakeholder Management & Mobilization, stated in 2011, when this article was originally published, that “Over the last several years we’ve seen bloggers grow in influence and impact within the military community, playing a significant role helping educate and inform USAA’s military members and their families about valuable benefits and how they can make healthy financial decisions.” Augie Ray,

Blogs are an often overlooked entity for marketing and advertising a brand or product. According to Wikipedia (one of the only sources with current blog info), Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

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Executive Director USAA Communities & Collaboration said at the same time, “Our members trust bloggers to be objective sources of information, and so do we!”

Have several graphic sidebar ads of varying sizes ready, or just start by using a sidebar text ad. Carefully read over the blog to make sure you want your business affiliated with it. Note how long they have been blogging and how consistent they are. Take note if the blog currently offers individual advertisements—not just Google, Amazon, etc. ads on their site. Check to see if they have an existing ad or promotion policy.

If companies who can afford high dollar traditional media ads place a significant amount of energy into the blogging community, then others should certainly follow suit. Whether someone runs a blog for fun or to supplement their income (few actually use it for their primary source of income), blogs are out there for you to use to your advantage, if approached properly. Taking out an ad or offering them a free product, service for review or event tickets, is the best way to establish a business relationship with a blogger. Below are steps that will help you to achieve this successfully.

Check out the blog’s related social media presence, as this may be of added value to your purchase. You can often work social media promotions into your agreement. There is a chance at some point, that if the blogger likes your product or service, he or she may write about it or promote it on other social media platforms—an unexpected benefit. Good luck and remember, first impressions with bloggers are of the utmost importance.

Determine if you will offer something of value to the blogger and/or if an ad is the preferred method of contacting them. Approach with caution, as it only takes a second for a blogger to delete your request and time to answer it. You must stand out from the moment of contact. Decide what your advertising budget is ahead of time. Most blogs will want 6 months of an ad purchased at a time. If they do not have any ads, you could offer them shorter periods of time. Most would love some money closer to the holidays, so now is a great time to make offers.

Greta Perry, owner of Kickify, ”Pumping Up Your Web Presence,” has branded herself both on and off-line with her positive energy, intuitive use of technology, and networking successes. She is available for consulting or speaking for businesses and brands of all sizes. Greta is never far from the internet and can be contacted at Greta@kickify. com, Facebook, Twitter @kissmygumbo @kickify @freetweetadvice, LinkedIn, Google + or www. kickify.com.

Identify a blog whose audience reaches your targeted demographics: age, gender, area of interest, location.

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A CONVERSATION WITH

Pam Allen by Shelley Kimball

Two Coast Guard spouses from different generations shared their experiences trying to maintain careers while moving regularly: one who kept her career intact while her husband served for nearly 40 years and the other still working to keep her career afloat.

struggling for employment. Throughout those years, she took part-time positions that turned into full-time positions, as an advisor for university students to directing academic advising and career counseling centers. Shelley Kimball has been a Coast Guard spouse for 15 years and is trying to maintain her career while moving regularly. She has worked as a university professor of media law, both part time and full time, as well as a researcher for nonprofits that serve military families.

Pam Allen, whose husband, Thad Allen, retired as the 23rd commandant of the Coast Guard, maintained a career first as a math teacher, then as an academic advising at the university level. She decided to switch careers and go to graduate school to study college counseling and student development because she saw so many military spouses Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

At the time of the conversation, Allen was considering coming out of retirement to

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take a new position with George Mason University in Northern Virginia developing a program that helps students get the most out of their university experiences by encouraging them to supplement their progression through school with work and classes that will give them better career opportunities. As she was considering taking the job, she said she was still experiencing many of the feelings she did when facing a new job as a military spouse.

going to laugh this off? Am I the right fit? So I just pressed send, and the path started. I ended up getting a job teaching at George Washington University from that email, but it was scary.

PA: And for people that don’t have that confidence, and I think everybody does to some extent, but for some for whom this is really immobilizing you, go and search for help to get that one step that you need in order to go to the next level.

PA: I’ll tell you the same thing happens right now in this decision that happens each time we had to move and find a new job, and that’s insecurities. It’s something I believe that a lot of military spouses have to conquer every single time. They get better, hopefully every time they get further on in their careers, but it’s something that stops many people from going any further.

Back at the very beginning, finding that next step wasn’t necessarily easy. The Green Sheet [a hardcopy list of Coast

Sometimes you don’t feel like you have a choice, but you’ve always had a choice to take what you were given and do what you can with it.

SK: I can completely relate. Sometimes I feel like I’m pretending, or I’m a fraud, or is this really the job I’m supposed to have? Or even applying to every job, feeling like I’m not sure.

Guard information that was mailed out] was something we could get information from, but trying to figure out how or who could give you that information was basically you stumbling along.

For the current job I have, I was drafting an email, just cold calling, saying my husband had orders, we would likely be in the area, and asking if there were any job openings. When I was about to send that email, I literally sat there telling myself, “You just have to press send. Just press send. Be brave, press send.” Because I thought, am I good enough? Are they Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

SK: Maybe that’s the difference now between us. In your time of doing this, you were going to paper and trying to find human

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beings, where I am Googling. I’m using LinkedIn, I’m emailing. And so for me, it’s really probably 20 minutes at a computer to find my pathway. But for you, I don’t even know how long it would have taken you to track down even the person to send the letter to.

Send letters from people who can tell you that as an advisor, I work just as effectively as director.

SK: I’m having the same career experience. I was director of the print program of the journalism department at a university, then I couldn’t find a job at the next duty station.

PA: You’d go through papers, and you’d look through the want ads. Does anybody use the want ads now? It was highly frustrating and unproductive.

So I really had to change my perspective. I feel like I broke apart my skill set. I thought, what do I enjoy? If I’m sitting in my office all day, what are the things I’m wishing I were doing instead of sitting at a desk? Research and working more with military families were two of the priorities. I guess I was gifted with unemployment because I started doing research for military family nonprofits, and it filled that void for me.

Becoming a career counselor, I discovered all these resources that are out there that I didn’t know existed. I bet you if you go and work with some of the spouses, they don’t know it’s there. They don’t know where to look. Or they looked once and it wasn’t good for them so they never went back to look at it. You just have to keep checking back. Or you have to ask if you don’t find it because it probably is there, and somebody’s going to help you find the right place to look.

When we were getting ready to transfer again, I really felt awful about starting over. I was tired. That’s when I sent that email—just be brave and press send. And what came back was a part-time opening teaching directly in my field. And so, though it’s lower in stature to my old position, I’m still so happy and satisfied. I’m with the students teaching what I love.

Throughout both of their careers, they have taken jobs at higher ends of their careers, and then when a move came, they would start back at the bottom.

PA: And when you do that, you sit there and say, “How do I tell people I used to be an associate director. Why would they want to hire me in a lower position?” And so with our military moving situation, I’d have people send references of individuals that showed that I work with everybody else. Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

Maybe this will be the seed to the larger thing, like your part-time jobs were. And instead of saying no to the smaller position, maybe something else will come.

PA: You should always do that. And what you

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SK:

bring each time. There’s a life after all the moves.

I’m totally of the same mind. My career has become such a patchwork I feet like I need to explain why I am always someplace different. It’s not a work issue, it’s a life issue.

Both have tackled the question, “Do I reveal that I am a military spouse?”

SK: When you were applying for jobs and interviewing, did you always say you were a spouse?

PA:

PA:

SK:

That is a very interesting question. Yes. And not only that, I made it an issue.

I feel that, too. I feel dishonest if I don’t say.

What you get with a military spouse is consistency. We don’t tend to flip from job to job because we are only here fore a few years.

PA:

You don’t appear to be hiding anything if you do that.

They are looking for dishonesty. When you don’t put your times of work experience, dates, why aren’t you doing that? You are trying to hide something. It’s better to put them down there. And I help people write their resumes, and I say if you change a lot, if you don’t put the dates down there, they say, “What is she trying to hide?” It’s an honesty issue that I think is to your benefit.

I would say in my cover letter quite often, I am a trailing spouse, and my husband is being transferred to this particular area, and I am very interested in your position. I would say this up in front because the worst thing is that they could get you in there, and then they find out. I’ve always been up front.

SK: And what do you think are the most valuable parts of all of this? What do you think are the strongest things to have when looking for a position as a spouse? Experience, honesty, enthusiasm, work ethic, education? Are there any that weigh more?

In some cases it’s beneficial. One of the things I think everyone should say is what I bring to every new organization is the ability to look at it with new eyes. I could bring in change. I come with a wealth of information about all of the possibilities that are out there and hopefully we can work with what is there and make it a better organization. That’s a pretty big selling point.

Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

PA: Adaptability is probably what we have more than others. We must be go-getters. We’re out there getting a new job every

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two to three years. We must be able to adapt and do well. Adaptability. Change. I think those are the things that you need to show, say, in a cover letter for those who are asking for cover letters. And have somebody look at your cover letter. Know how to say it and what to say and how to say it, and not in 10 pages.

do what you can with it. I think I learned this from my husband. I asked him, “How do you get to be an admiral? And he says, ‘Take whatever job you have, and make the best out of that job, even though it may not be the one you want at that particular time. Because the next step could be that opportunity.”

Is there a silver lining? And it happens. It does happen. Even with military spouses.

SK: Are there positive aspects to moving?

PA: I think it’s positive because you move. It isn’t a negative. It feels negative. It feels really negative. Believe me, I’ve cried when I didn’t get a response just like everybody else. I went through the whole thing, but moving actually is a positive. If you don’t like where you are working, you know you are eventually going on to the next, possibly better, job. If you do like where you are working, you still could be going on to the next better job with experiences the new organization wants. Is it easy? No. There’s a lot of work involved in it. And I’ll admit, sometimes I was lazy. I was just tired of working and putting myself out there. But you have to work on sharing your passion and excitement to make the best impression. I am who I am because of what has happened. In reality, everyone is. So you’ve always had a choice, all along the way. Sometimes you don’t feel like you have a choice, but you’ve always had a choice to take what you were given and Visit us online at http://nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

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NMSN Fall 2015 eMag  
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