Okay, we know the frequent moves and assignments in the middle of nowhere aren’t easy on your resume. (That’s why, here at Instant Teams, we don’t look at your career in a linear way.)
We’re here to change your perspective and highlight four (of many!) soft skills military spouses bring to the table. We hope you’ll use this as inspiration to tell your professional story and stand out from the crowd of job applicants.
Learn how these in-demand soft skills (which you probably already have) can translate into a viable, fulfilling career.
Part of being a military spouse is remaining flexible amidst constant changes thrown your way. From the steady PCS-ing to unexpected deployments, trainings, and more, you’ve learned to adapt to new situations and circumstances quickly. Being unfazed by change (for the most part) makes you a tremendous asset to any company. What team doesn’t want someone willing to bend and adapt to changing circumstances and expectations at the drop of a hat?
You’ve spent a lot of your time becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. You’ve mastered the art of thriving in unfamiliar territory. Basically, you can take on any unknown and do so with confidence. Not only does this mean you can handle stress well, but you’re also a critical thinker, both of which are super beneficial in a work environment.
Learning new skills quickly
There’s no doubt you’re a continuous learner. Even though your world might seem like it’s always changing with new challenges and to-dos around every corner, you take on each mission eager to learn. This constant desire to learn proves you have a can-do attitude, which, to some employers, is a more significant reason to hire than the hard skills you’ve acquired!
Thinking outside the box
Given that you’re on the move every 2-3 years, you’ve learned to think outside the box when it comes to how you’ll make a rented house a home, how to keep the kids entertained on a cross-country PCS road trip, and even how you’ll wear all the hats for months at a time while your spouse is away.
Whether you consider yourself creative or not, juggling military life should prove that this soft skill lives in every military spouse! This allows you to offer innovative ideas and solutions to make the sometimes impossible possible.
If you’re looking to put your skill set to work and join a remote team, we’ve got you covered. Check out these military spouse-owned remote companies.
VirtForce: Join the free job board to explore virtual and location-flexible career options offered by military-friendly employers. VirtForce also offers virtual masterclasses and 1:1 career coaching.
Freedom Learning Group: Are you a military spouse educator, curriculum specialist, or instructional designer? Freedom Learning Group has remote work opportunities available exclusively to you.
WISE Advise + Assist Team: This company has been doing incredible things since 2016, developing teams and onboarding business projects for its clients. The growing team of military and veteran spouses is highly skilled in project management and virtual assistance.
Powerhouse Planning: Powerhouse is comprised of freelance team members, mostly military spouses, who are remote-based and serve clients worldwide.
Organized Q: Organized Q is a Virtual Executive Assistant Agency passionate about helping clients streamline their day-to-day tasks and goals so they can grow their businesses. The team is talented, professional, diverse, experienced, and thrives in the virtual space.
Squared Away: This company works with some of the best companies, teams, and venture capital firms in the world, in addition to top executives and freelancers. Squared Away empowers military spouses to build meaningful careers and work anywhere as highly trusted virtual assistants.
And last but not least, as we continue to work hard to change the landscape of remote work opportunities for military spouses like you, we invite you to create an Instant Teams account. We’re constantly building teams and filling roles that put your unique skills and experience front and center.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published 5/4/2020 and has been updated for content.
Remote interviews – regardless if the job you’re applying for is 100% virtual or not – have become a more common practice for employers looking to add a new team member. Although the setting is different from an in-person interview, it’s important for candidates to remember that many of the same rules apply.
As a remote-first, but not remote-only, company, we’ve experienced our fair share of e-interviews. With that in mind, here’s some advice to help you ace your next remote interview:
Be cautious of virtual interview scams.
Always play it safe when someone reaches out to you via email or social media (such as LinkedIn). If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, research the company and ask around!
Pick out your business attire outfit the night before.
Even though this interview will be done in the comfort of your own home (or favorite coffee shop), it’s essential that you look professional.
Prepare your setup.
Make sure you will be sitting in front of a solid-colored, light, distraction-free background (even if it’s a partition wall) with minimal backlighting. The focus should be on you, not a busy background.
Get comfortable with your technology.
Check to see that the necessary software or application is downloaded to your computer and/or integrated into your desktop. Often, the tool the interviewer will be using is referenced in the digital invitation they send you. And the best part? Many of these tools have a practice mode! So you can log in, send the practice room link to your spouse or best friend, and run through a mock interview.
Schedule child care plans in advance.
Obviously, a big challenge to spouse employment is the lack of available, affordable child care. If you have children and want to prevent them from running around like wild banshees in the background and distracting you, ask a neighbor or friend for help. Even if it’s only for 15-30 minutes, you’ll be glad you did!
Prepare a question or two to ask the interviewer.
Familiarize yourself with the company and jot down something you’re curious about. It could be the organization’s culture or a particular core value. Even if the person interviewing you doesn’t ask if you have any questions, asking a question shows that you are interested in the company and eager to learn more.
Log on and “join” the meeting before the official interview time.
You would likely arrive a few minutes early to an in-person interview with copies of your resume on hand, so you should treat this experience the same way. Allow yourself time to sit down at your remote interview space ten minutes before the scheduled time,just to take a few breaths and get focused. Then, click the login button five minutes early to ensure technology is on your side that day. (Hey, things happen!) You might be placed in a “waiting room” until the host (aka, interviewer) arrives, but at least you’ll be ready.
Accept and address any computer or Internet problems.
If you experience any technical issues, don’t throw in the towel and ghost the interviewer! Instead, send them a quick message (via the same mode you’ve both been using – whether email, phone, or text) to inform them of the situation and any delay you may be experiencing. If you need to run over to Starbucks to use their WiFi or a neighbor’s house for a computer, do it! Life happens, and they’ll be appreciative of your commitment and quick thinking to still carry out the interview.
You’d be surprised at the things we’ve witnessed – harsh expressions, phone usage, the TV turned on, lack of eye contact, and so much more. That said, show up and be your best self. Share a smile, keep your eyes on the screen and your attention on the interviewer, and nod your head slightly throughout the conversation. You’ll convey that you’re engaged and interested in the opportunity!
Send a thank-you note via email within 24 hours.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, writing a short and sweet message of appreciation to the interviewer for their time will help make a lasting impression. Keep it professional while expressing your enthusiasm for the position, a reminder of why you’d be a great fit, and something particular about your conversation that resonated with you. It’s a task that requires very little of your time, but makes a huge impact!
Feeling ready to land a remote interview and join one of our remote teams? Create an account today!
Editor’s note: This article was originally published 6/19/2019 and has been updated for content.
Meet our Business Analyst, Ariane.
Ariane is a military spouse, a working mom, and a key member of our Customer Success team. We’re thrilled to share her story!
Ariane’s Remote Work Journey
As an Army spouse, Ariane juggled frequent moves, deployments, and child care. It made it difficult to find a job in her career field, and despite working with a recruiter, Ariane needed help finding meaningful, full-time employment.
She connected with Instant Teams two years ago through the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network. Ariane participated in a virtual hiring event and accepted a full-time position as a Qualifying Guide.
She quickly progressed within her remote team and was promoted to a Team Lead and, most recently, to a Business Analyst – Customer Experience. In her new role, Ariane provides business insights and creates optimization strategies for Instant Teams’ clients and internal teams. She’s the first Business Analyst on our corporate team.
“She has demonstrated a strong business acumen and a relentless focus on data to form strategies that improve account performance,” says Ariane’s supervisor Amy Price, VP of Customer Experience. “She uses numbers to tell a story, and she’s able to provide critical insights that help us manage our business even better.”
Ariane says she could never have anticipated this kind of role after gaps in employment due to military life. She appreciates the flexibility and the ability to leverage her extensive accounting background.
“The remote work opportunity here at Instant Teams has positively impacted me and my family,” says Ariane. “I can continue to develop and grow my career within the company despite all of the PCS moves. I finally get to have the career progression and longer tenure that I have been searching for within a company.”
Ariane’s advice for fellow military spouses looking for remote work?
“Don’t give up! Give it a chance, and say ‘yes’ to the interview.”
Want to learn more about Ariane’s story? Check out Working Nation’s spotlight on Instant Teams, featuring Ariane!
Meet Instant Teams’ FIRST employee, Anne! She has been at Instant Teams since September 2017. Anne is an Army veteran and working parent.
Anne first met Instant Teams Founder and CEO Liza Rodewald at a veteran hiring event at Fort Drum in New York. She had recently finished her four-year Army contract, where she played the French horn, sang, and worked in Human Resources. Like Liza, Anne was passionate about remote work for military spouses.
Anne’s Remote Work Journey
Several months after their initial meeting, the two reconnected, and Anne was hired as Instant Teams’ first employee as the Director of People Operations.
“Anne helped to build the People Operations department from the ground up at Instant Teams. She is able to organize systems that help to drive efficiency across the organization,” says Liza Rodewald, Instant Teams Founder and CEO.
She eventually transitioned into her current role as Lead Data and Solutions Analyst. She’s been with Instant Teams through a rebrand, early pitch competitions, and a successful Series A funding. Anne is a natural problem solver and passionate about finding solutions and narratives within data. She’s a lifelong learner and recently earned a Master of Education degree.
“She possesses an innate ability to see gaps, automate systems, and works daily with an adaptability to allow refinement and improvement in business development and procedures,” says Erica McMannes, Instant Teams Founder and Chief People & Community Officer.
As a veteran, remote work has been extremely important to Anne.
“During my time as a transitioning veteran, I really appreciated that, with access to remote work, the location of my workplace was one less new thing to manage,” says Anne. “Even now, I love the flexibility to manage my health and wellness when it fits into my day.”
Though she’s been working remotely for more than 5 years, Anne regularly adapts her remote routine to find what works best for her.
“It’s been a learning process, and I don’t know that I could say that I’m done modifying how I work,” says Anne. She stresses the importance of setting strong work-life boundaries and places an emphasis on evolving her work routine as needed.
We’re so thankful for Anne and her determination. Instant Teams wouldn’t be the same without her!
We are still on cloud nine after the incredible relaunch of the Military Influencer Conference! (In this case, what happened in Vegas is NOT staying in Vegas!)
Each year, We Are The Mighty honors 25 outstanding individuals who have demonstrated exemplary work within the extended military community.
The MIGHTY 25 Gala took place on Friday, October 28, at the Military Influencer Conference. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, MIC returned to Las Vegas and once again served as the largest gathering of influential leaders in the military space.
Our Founders, Liza Rodewald and Erica McMannes, had the distinct honor of making the annual “MIGHTY 25” list. Other winners include John Perez, Head of Military & Veteran Affairs at Johnson & Johnson; Remi Adeleki, bestselling author, actor, filmmaker, speaker, and activist; Tony Wells, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Verizon; Lindsey Streeter, Senior Vice President of Global Military Affairs at Bank of America; and Lt. Amanda Lee, United States Navy Blue Angel Fighter Pilot.
Along with the MIGHTY 25 presentation, the gala also highlighted the winners of multiple pitch contests for veterans, service members, and military spouse founders. The Veteran Fund, an investor of Instant Teams, demonstrated their support of the military spouse and veteran community through their $100K check for 1st place winner, Pixly, led by Founder & CEO, Lee Mills, and a special investment in Spouse-ly, led by Founder & CEO Monica Fullerton.
The gala celebration was a huge win for our entire military community and raised awareness of military spouse employment and entrepreneurship. Special guests included Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Travis Wilson of the Green Beret Foundation.
“Erica and I are so passionate about the military community and are humbled to be honored alongside our peers,” says Liza. “We know how vital military spouse employment is to military families, and we’re determined to improve the financial stability of the military community with meaningful remote careers and legitimate employment advocacy.”
There’s something so energizing about connecting in person with the military community. To all the employees, customers, partners, and community members who stopped by to say hello at MIC, thank you! We left Vegas recharged, energized, and ready to get back to work!
Congratulations to the MIGHTY 25 Class of 2022 – being surrounded by all of you was inspiring. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the next year!