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Military Spouse Profile: Beth From ServingTalent

There are so many amazing military spouses out there kicking butt on a daily basis that deserve to be recognized and I’m excited to feature one of them each month with my Military Spouse Profile series. If you’re interested in sharing your story (or know someone who might), please send me an email!

Introduce yourself to my readers! Tell us a little bit about who you are.

Hi, I’m Beth! I’m a business woman, Army wife, dog mom, CrossFit Coach, fitness enthusiast, lover of food, wine, travel and good laughs. My life motto is: “Travel. Eat. Talk. Be Kind. Be Fit. Be Open”

What inspired you to start your blog or business?

Moving every few years stateside I was able to re-start my career.  Sure, I was frustrated that every move meant my career was basically starting over but at least I was able to maintain my professional identity.  When we were given orders overseas and I was forced to quit a remote job due to the SOFA, I. Was. Devastated. Before receiving these orders, I had finally found a job with a fortune 500 company that could ‘be done from the moon’ said the hiring manager.  FINALLY! We could PCS all over America and I would not have to start over!! Unfortunately, neither of us took into account the possibility of an OCONUS PCS and what the SOFA might do to that employment status.  After being overseas for just over a year and struggling to find my identity I found ServingTalent, they had just launched and were looking for help getting off the ground. They were a full-service staffing agency for professional military and foreign service spouses.  Their story was identical to mine! Two spouses with advanced degrees and years of experience finding themselves unemployed after an overseas move.

As a founding member we have fought every day to share the tremendous value that military and foreign service spouses bring to the workforce.  More and more employers are coming around and agree with our assessment that military spouses truly are an untapped resource!

What’s the main message you hope your blog shares with your readers?

There are so many ways to answer this. Military spouses looking to get your career back, don’t sell yourself short! Put yourself out there, meet people, and spend time on your resume, ask for help our community is more than willing to help their own.

What is your favorite part of being a military spouse?

The spouse community! Hands down! The most diverse, helpful, accepting, funny, and resourceful group of people you will ever meet!  Other military spouses get you, I promise.  If you haven’t connected with those around you yet give it time, this community is filled with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.

Tell us a little bit about your journey as a military spouse-the ups and downs, lessons learned, etc.

I came into the military life with absolutely zero exposure to the military.  No one in my immediate family was in the military, we had no military bases around my hometown.  My husband is 3rd generation military with his father and grandfather serving in the military.  We dated for several years before marrying and our careers were treated like ‘civilians’ treat their careers.  They were things we spoke to each other about but we were not involved in each other’s daily work life.  Shortly after marrying, quitting my job, and moving I was thrust into an FRG Leader position for his unit that was deploying.  Knowing nothing about the military other than the course I just completed to hold this volunteer position I was lost and so confused as to why me, as a civilian and his spouse, was now part of his work day, in a small way…it was so foreign to me.

This was my first experience with how amazing the spouse community is.  A tenured spouse took me under her wing and helped explain all of the things I didn’t understand.  She was my rock throughout my first few years and first few deployments.  Now, 11 years later I see how coming at this military life as a team in some ways is necessary.  When I say team, I mean taking the time to understand what this life is about, we are faced with constant changes and things that are out of our control.  Once I took time to understand how the process works, or in some cases doesn’t work, we were approaching this life as a team rather than a couple with separate careers.

What’s the number one piece of advice you would give a new military spouse?

Be prepared to be unprepared!  If you can master that line of thinking, you will be unstoppable in this journey!  This lifestyle can throw a lot at you: some of it in your favor, some not, some making total sense and some complete nonsense.  The more that you can prepare yourself to be completely unprepared, the better you will be at tackling all of this uncertainty like a champ!

What or who has been the biggest help or source of support to you in your role as a military spouse?

My husband has been patient beyond measure.  From the early days when I questioned EVERYTHING and didn’t understand anything to now when I still question EVERYTHING out of frustration.

There have been a few ‘senior spouses’ that have set examples in more ways than one.  Not only have they shown me how to successfully navigate this life, they have been amazing friends and demonstrated just how important grace and humility are. The larger spouse community has been outstanding: from that first tenured spouse that helped out the struggling new girl, to the incredible volunteers that have pulled together some pretty amazing feats, to the good-natured friends I have made along the way.

Do you have a favorite place the military has taken you? What is it and why?

Germany! We were stationed in Vilseck for about 3 years.  Even though we went through a 9-month deployment and a few months of trainings in eastern Europe we were able to travel and see so much of Europe.  My eyes were opened to so many new things about culture, food, living, governing, and more.  We could grab the dog and jump on a train or hop in the car and be in a new country with a different language and amazing food in a matter of hours.  We made some amazing friends.

Just for fun:

  • Favorite Netflix binge-worthy watch? Riverdale (I have Korean Netflix which has limited variety.)
  • What’s your favorite hobby? CrossFit, travel, cooking, eating
  • Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla with cinnamon
  • Tell us a random fact about yourself. I auditioned for The Apprentice in 2007 and made it through 2 rounds before falling flat on my face during an on-camera interview.

What a great profile from Beth this month! I think her story of finding a career and a place overseas is very inspiring and timely as so many folks are finding out where they’ll PCS in the spring/summer. I can relate to her story so much, especially as I’m faced with an upcoming PCS and significant career change. You can find her on the ServingTalent websiteTwitter and LinkedIn.

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