Accomplished and blessed

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Accomplishment is one of my favorite things in life. There is something about being productive and completing an important goal that feels wonderful. This month has been full of big accomplishments for my husband and me. He graduated as a Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer, we moved to Florida, I finished my Certificate in Marketing, and I finally got a job. Accomplishment is a value that makes me feel amazing.

There are so many times in life where I think, “once I finish (insert accomplishment) I’ll be satisfied.” But there is always another fantastic goal waiting on the horizon to be tackled, which I love, but at the same time tries my patience. If anything has taught me to be patient, it is life in the military. We can plan all we want, but along the way, things never end up exactly how you planned in the perfect world called, “your mind.” I thought that once I was done with college, I would be well on my way to an amazing career immediately. That’s what all of these years of papers, tests, and hard work are for, right? There are so many valuable learning experiences in between my degree and my career that will make that sense of accomplishment on the day I hear “You’re HIRED!” at my dream job that much better.

Transition periods of life cause you to step back and look at the bigger picture. The fact is, we are BLESSED. We have the chance to be successful, to fail, to work harder, and to feel accomplished. When you reach your goal, the pride and joy you will feel is worth the effort.

“For the love of God is why I try so hard. I ain’t tryin’ to win the praise of man, I live for the love of GOD.” –Josh Turner

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Next Chapter

Image My husband graduates from Rescue Swimming school on Friday! This is a great day for us and the start to a new chapter in both of our careers!

 

Military Service and Prevention of Health Problems

A growing field today with a large range of job opportunities is in the health care industry. This is a great portable career choice as a military spouse. It is of utmost importance to keep our men and women in the line of duty safe and healthy. This article written by Emily Walsh, Community Outreach Blogger for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, states the importance of the prevention of health problems in the military community.

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Military Service and Prevention of Health Problems

As we get older, we tend to lose muscle mass over the years. This can lead to weight gain and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of symptoms that can lead to the development of diabetes. So it is important to combine some dietary strategies with resistance training to offset these natural tendencies.

Many people feel they need to go on a diet, but do not want the hassle of counting calories or complicated meal preparations. One very simple dietary plan that is growing in popularity is intermittent fasting. Far from being an extreme option, this type of fasting can be done safely and simply.

A 24-hour fast has quite a few health benefits. For one thing, it increases level of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) in the body six-fold. This helps prevent any muscle wasting that might otherwise be expected. And any hunger felt is purely psychological for such a short fast.

A good way to do this type of fast is to eat lunch on a given day and not eat again until noon of the following day. This way, you do not go a day without eating but still reap the benefits. You can expect to lose around one pound each time you do this. Do it twice a week and you are losing eight pounds per week.

Dietary Fiber
One neglected aspect of many people’s nutrition is the inclusion of fiber. Why is fiber important? Because fiber adds bulk to your meals, speeding along digestion and making you feel full longer. In turn, this prevents rapid spikes in blood sugar that can lead to diseases like diabetes.

Choose whole grain breads over white breads. This type of bread is less processed. It contains the hull of the grain and more vitamins. You can also eat most nuts and apples. Salads are also good choices for fiber. Try to get some fiber with every meal.

Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a lung disease caused by exposure to toxic asbestos fibers. It causes an inflammation of the lining of the lungs and can be fatal. Mesothelioma is a special concern to veterans because it was once widely used in the armed forces. The U.S. Navy used it for fireproofing in vulnerable enclosed naval vessels.

One aspect of mesothelioma is that it often goes undetected until decades following exposure. So even though a veteran may have retired many years ago, he may only now be experiencing obvious health effects. Many lawsuits against the manufacturers have been settled over the years.

If you think you may have been exposed to asbestos during your service, see a doctor. Otherwise, you will need to be careful to avoid asbestos in everyday activities like remodeling. Although toxic asbestos is no longer widely used, it is still sometimes found in older military installations, homes, and businesses.

The main thing to be aware of is that disturbing areas containing asbestos is to be avoided. Once the fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled and lead to mesothelioma.

 

Goals

Goals

Spending my days working toward my ultimate goal of a successful career! What goals are you accomplishing today?

PCSing Your Career

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Pre-, During, and Post-PCS To-Do List For Your Portable Career

 

While I’m making a to-do list to PCS our life in 3 weeks, I am also making a PCS list for my portable career plan at the next station! Here are some tips of what to do pre-PCS, during the PCS, and post-PCS to ensure that you have everything you need for a successful portable career plan.

Pre-PCS:

1. Identify your objectives

            I accomplished this step over the past few months while receiving career counseling from coach Stacy Swearengen http://www.portablecareerplanning.com/

Through coaching, we identified that my ultimate goal is to be a Marketing Manager. Now that I have narrowed my career focus, I will apply to entry-level marketing jobs and eventually work my way to this goal.

2. Identify your “No-Go’s”

            What is it that you want in a job? What is the most important thing to you? If the company you are looking into doesn’t fit with your top priorities, it is a no-go. Ultimately, I want to work for a company I am passionate about and have a job that makes me happy and makes me want to wake up in the morning and do my best.

3. Research companies of interest at the new station

            -What is their mission statement?

-What do current employees say about the company?

-How will you fit into the company?

-Does it fit in with your “no-go’s?”

-Who should you contact?

4. Revamp your resume

            You will need to update your resume to reflect what you have done at your current station. Even though I was technically “unemployed” at our last two units, I was self-employed with Hero On My Arm as a marketing specialist, marketed myself as a dog caretaker, volunteered for American Military Family online through social media marketing, and am almost finished with my Certificate in Marketing. All of these accomplishments are valuable and show that I have initiative to take charge, even when the environment I am in does not come right out an offer me the opportunity.

During PCS:

1. Stay Organized

            There are so many things to keep track of during a PCS. Your career materials are one of them. I have a folder dedicated to my career coaching work for my job search, all of the necessary writing samples I may want to present to a potential employer, and my up-to-date resume.

2. Network, fill out applications, schedule interviews

            Search for the places you would like to work and fill out every application you can! Join Facebook groups of military spouses for your next unit and ask around about potential job opportunities. Today, it is all about “who you know” that will lead you in the right direction to achieving your dream job. Once your application is accepted, schedule your interview based on when you will arrive at your new unit.

Post-PCS:

1. Educate yourself about companies

-Once you have an interview, educate yourself and learn everything you can about the company. The more you know, the more desirable of a candidate you will be to hire.

-Have a list of questions to ask them. Interviews are not a one-way street. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Accepting a job is like being in a relationship. It only works if both parties are interested in each other.

2. Look classy and dress the part!
            Find those clothes your movers packed away! Better yet, pack some professional-looking clothes with you so they are readily available to you when you get to your unit. Who knows when a job interview may pop up!

3. Be confident

            As a military wife, you obviously know how to be resilient and adapt easily to ever-changing situations. Apply this same confidence you had during your PCS for your job interview! You got this! Go get ‘em, you amazing milspouse, and make us proud!

Taking Steps to Career Success: Writing Sample

          As I learned from Stacy Swearengen, many companies want to know that their potential new employee has exceptional writing skills and can formulate their thoughts in a meaningful way. One step to take is to create writing samples to show to your future employer. I contacted the VP of Sales for Magic Cabin toys and wrote this article marketing their company mission statement and products.

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Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” The imagination of children is unlimited. This is the foundation of Magic Cabin. They create their toys with this fundamental value in mind. The designs of Magic Cabin toys are simple, yet innovative, and allow the child to create a non-restrictive, mystical world of creative thought.

Too often today, toys are made to play for the child and do not allow the child to think for themselves or use the toy in unintended ways. Magic Cabin toys get back to basics by producing toys that are environmentally friendly and cognitively challenging, making it possible for children to learn and develop in their own creative ways. The early years of a child’s life are critical to developing valuable cognitive skills. A child sees the world as endless possibilities, and Magic Cabin gives children the opportunity to bring their imaginations to life. Playtime for children is a time for fun, but can be utilized as a great opportunity for education and learning as well. When children are creating lasting memories with Magic Cabin toys, they are developing their imagination and abstract thinking skills at the same time.

Not only does Magic Cabin have a unique selection of specialty toys, they also offer books, crafts, décor, and even products that encourage children to learn cooking and gardening skills. Young minds can explore new interests through a range of specialty products that also provide an avenue for families to spend quality time together. Introducing children to new ideas in tangible ways gives them confidence and an advantage once they enter their school years. Magic Cabin meets the needs of children’s desire to discover, learn, and play. With Magic Cabin, the possibilities are limitless.

Stacy Swearengen

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Ask any military spouse if they have sacrificed something while living the military lifestyle, and they are sure to have a story. Constant moves disrupt the ability to make meaningful friendships, settle into a routine, make a house feel like home, or find a career we are as passionate about as our military service member is about theirs. I finished college while keeping a long-distance relationship with my now-husband, Shelby, as he moved around the East Coast to multiple new stations. After graduating and moving to San Francisco to gain experience in the business world at an internship, I got word from Shelby that he was being stationed in Virginia. All of a sudden I found myself in this new life as a military spouse. Then began my challenge of trying to figure out how to find a meaningful career amidst constant PCS moves and a lack of job opportunities. I felt lost and did not have a realistic direction to take. Then I found Stacy Swearengen, owner of Military Spouse Portable Career Planning. She understands the military life and has had many of the same experiences as all of us do, since she herself is also a military spouse.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success.” I truly believe that the key to a successful career is finding your strengths and passions, then, utilizing them to their full potential. Stacy’s Portable Career Planning is based on this fundamental value of passion. Through career coaching, she helped me realize my passion and guided me onto a path to a portable career that I could take with me wherever we may be stationed. The best part is that she gave me the confidence and skills to help me achieve my dream career and work toward my ultimate goal of being a Marketing Manager.
Fresh out of college, I had many career paths from which to choose, but did not know which one to pursue. My goal was to narrow these down to a career path that was both meaningful and portable. Through coaching, we identified the top priorities and values that I wanted to find in a career. Then, we applied practical steps to take to accomplish my goal. Through weekly coaching sessions, we compared my abilities, education, experience, and values to potential careers. Stacy then presented tangible ways to research areas I could improve my skills, apply areas I had mastered, and achieve my desire to have a meaningful career.
What amazed me about Stacy’s skills as a career coach were how she could listen to my answers to her questions, pick out what I sounded most passionate about, and apply it to new possibilities that I had not thought of before! She was talented in guiding me through my thoughts, pinpointing areas of interest, and organizing them into actual solutions!
Now, with our move, I am excited to put them to the test in real life situations! Stay tuned for pre-, during-, and post-PCS Portable Career Plan tips!

Please leave comments below and visit Stacy’s site at PortableCareerPlanning.com :)

Introduction

1242~Kate&Shelby

Welcome! My name is Kate and this is a blog about my job search as a military wife.

Here is a little bit of a background story:
My unemployment dilemma comes from the fact that I have lived in 4 states (going on 5) in the past 2 years. In May, 2011, I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Psychology and Linguistics. I moved to California to start my internship at the W Hotel San Francisco in Human Resources one month later. It was fun, I learned a lot, and was even offered a job after my internship was over. That’s when I got the phone call from my soon-to-be-husband, Shelby, who is in the U.S. Coast Guard- We were moving to Virginia.

I moved out there and began my job search, thinking I would have a great career within the month. Well, a few more months went by and I had no leads. Once I finally had a job opportunity at a sister hotel to the W Hotel, we found out we got orders to move once again, this time to North Carolina.

This town had even less opportunities than the last. The problem with living here was that it was a Coast Guard town, so potential employers automatically knew I was a Coast Guard wife and that I would probably be moving again in a few months (which was true). This left me unemployed once again for the duration of our time here.

To keep myself on track despite the lack of job opportunities, I enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley Extension to obtain my Certificate in Marketing. Later, I began Career Coaching with a military spouse named Stacy Swearengen to create a Portable Career Plan and started marketing for a military spouse owned company called Hero On My Arm. I will be finished with my Certificate in Marketing in April and will begin applying the steps I learned from Stacy Swearengen soon, because guess what… We’re moving again! This time to Clearwater, Florida!

Stay tuned for the next steps in my job search and check out some links of my published writing!

Article written about me by Editor of SpouseBUZZ.com, Jacey Eckhart: http://www.military.com/spouse/career-advancement/military-spouse-jobs/jacey-eckhart-hiring-katies-speaks-volumes.html

Article I wrote for SpouseBUZZ.com: http://spousebuzz.com/blog/2012/08/ydu-military-spouse-programs-miss-the-mark.html

Article I wrote for SpouseBUZZ.com: http://spousebuzz.com/blog/2012/11/ydu-abandon-all-plans.html

My Hero On My Arm Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KateGarrisonMarketingSpecialistHeroOnMyArm