This post was originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse in 2015. Unfortunately, many of the employment challenges discussed have yet to be effectively alleviated within the military community. It’s my hope that through continued advocacy and awareness, military spouses and caregivers will be economically valued and no longer discriminated against in the competitive job market.
Did you know that a sector of the military community is 90% jobless or underemployed?
Did you know this sector earns 38% less than their civilian counterparts?
Did you know that even those with doctorate experience unemployment of 15.56%?
Meet the Military Spouse: a dedicated individual that pledges loyalty and devotion to the brave men and women in uniform. The military spouse commits to frequent relocation, spouse absence for months to years at a time, foregoing professional opportunities that conflict with service demands, and is often left to pick up the pieces where subpar government programs leave off.
Working from the comforts of a home office may sounds like a dream come true to most commute-weary professionals – virtual conference calls snuggled up to your pup, no more office-sponsored political coups, and enjoying all that extra time that doesn’t get eaten up by burning rubber back and forth, back, and forth, back and forth.
Transitioning to the ever-growing status of a work from home (WFH) professional can be incredibly liberating; however, like most work transitions, it can require a unique strategy to maximize productivity and keep you from feeling like you live in the office.
Here are three tips to help turn your WFH situation into am empowering career move:
During a workplace seminar I recently attended, a member of the audience asked the speaker, “Why do millennials want the flexible work environments?”
The speaker replied, “Because they don’t want to work! Millennials don’t want to work.”
As one of the only millennials in the crowded event space, my interest was piqued by the speaker’s response and the subsequent non-millennial audience reception. The speaker and audience conversation continued dogging millennial employees, citing Generation Y’s preference for remote working opportunities and their engagement in the gig economy as sufficient evidence for the unfounded argument that millennials are inherently “lazy”, “have immature values”, and “lack sufficient work ethic”.
As a career-minded millennial that’s built her entire career through virtual work out of necessity (I am also a full-time caregiver to my spouse who was injured serving our country in Afghanistan), I was quite troubled to hear this discourse among industry leaders regarding generational misconceptions and ill-informed consensus regarding flexible work opportunities that can lead to mass discrimination within our caregiving community.
Remember Raymond Tusk from House of Cards?
The Koch-inspired billionaire who headquartered his company in Missouri (of all places), lived in a modest house with his wife, and spent his free time roaming the Ozarks bird watching? Despite living thousands of miles away from politic power houses and industry hubs, Tusk’s enterprises extended their reach into international markets from the Show Me State, all the way to China.
While I’m not much like Gerald McCraney’s House of Cards character (we exist in totally different tax brackets), we do have one similarity – running a business from the middle of nowhere.
Throughout business school, I carefully researched up and coming metro areas and startup communities, trying to identify the “perfect” place to headquarter my consulting firm. Continue Reading…
Fervently jotting down the dictated list of prioritized task and deadlines on a yellow legal pad, I proceeded to summarize the hour long skype session with one of my most valued clients.
Just another relaxing afternoon in the day of sweat pant exec, or so I thought.
Midway through my “week 3 strategy” rotation, my 100+ lb. German Shepherd barreled through my half closed “office” doors and charged the mesmerizing laptop screen with the unbridled aggression of his carnivorous predecessors.
There went the web cam…
There went the café latte…
There went the meeting…