“I moved up while moving around.”
I AM A MILITARY SPOUSE WHO HAS MOVED (A LOT) WITH MY JOB!
As a Coast Guard family, we have been stationed all over the country, mostly through the Northeast, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York/ New Jersey and now South Carolina. I have worked for Verizon for 15 years and held various positions, all of which focused on the experience of the customers throughout the organization. I started as a customer service representative, then a customer service supervisor. Since then, I’ve held lots of positions as a program manager and senior analyst. For the last five years, I have been an IT project manager implementing Verizon products and Verizon transformative initiatives.
MOVING MY CAREER HAS MEANT STAYING FLEXIBLE
Positions can’t be everywhere. Before each move, I had to start reaching out to my peers and leaders in the business to understand the company’s current needs and how I can fill the space and find a new position. Being a military spouse isn’t a forever thing, neither is one particular job at a company. Change will always come. It has been important to understand that I can pick up skills along the way to finding the perfect job for me.
“I love to help lift roadblocks and help people do their job as well as solving problems to implement something amazing. The power of technology teamed with some great minds can really create wonderful things.”
AT VERIZON, I CONNECT WITH OTHER MILITARY SPOUSES AND VETERANS
When I was awarded the 2016 Armed Forces Insurance Coast Guard Spouse of the Year®, the amount of support and outreach from my Verizon community was amazing. People wanted to know more about our life and how they can help. I was able to connect with more veterans and spouses. When you start talking to someone about the places you have been, you start to hear their experiences as well.
JENNIFER’S 3 BIG TIPS FOR OTHER MILITARY SPOUSES
1) Learn to be flexible! I wasn’t able to have every job I wanted over the last 15 years because of the needs of the business and where we moved. Instead of getting frustrated, I focused on what skills I could learn and how I might be able to apply them to the next job.
2) Think ahead. If you develop different skills along the way, you may be able to use those in another position that pops up. There were times where I couldn’t take the job I had with me when we transferred. I went to another job as a compromise, so I would have a job and stay with the company, but I learned skills that would help me land a position I wanted even more in the next move.
3) Network by giving back! I have worked with thousands of people in my career. The people I am the closest with, and have made the biggest impact on my life, are from times when I have gone outside of my comfort zone and provided something for them with no expectations for something in return. Then, when I was looking for a new position, people helped me with my search and would often start it for me!
BONUS tip: Use your benefits! I took advantage of Verizon’s tuition assistance programs to ensure I was furthering my education while working. So when a perfect job did come along, I would have everything I needed to achieve it. If you have something that is provided to you, use it! I was able to get certified and earn my bachelor’s and master’s degrees while working for Verizon. I tried to find degrees and certificates that could be used in many fields so I could be a positive job candidate long term.