Military Spouse Magazine

OCT 2018

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SO T H E R E I WAS, AT T E N DING ON E OF M Y FI RST M E ETINGS DE SIGN E D FOR M ILITA RY MOT H E RS W IT H LIT TL E ON E S. We gathered, socialized and supported each other and navigated through various challenges uniquely facing the military community, and eagerly listened to the guest speaker giving "resume advice." The entire engagement was centered around how to fill the enormous gaps on military spouse resumes. Suggestions were thrown out from every table in the little chapel room we occupied: "Volunteer work is a gap filler," or, "Get a job as barista on base," or "Just be honest G O O D A D V I C E Your Next Job I built a company to help solve the milspouse employment problem. Come join us. We'll build your resume, not just "fill it." By Stacey Ecelbarger, Marine Corps Spouse, Co-Founder and President, Freedom Learning Group, LLC THE BACKSTORY I was new to this life. My husband was a police officer in Florida and a Marine Corps reservist. But in the summer of 2015, we mobilized to Germany on active duty orders, and our world changed. This meant that for just a few years, I got to live in your world and experi- ence your same challenges. I was an accomplished real estate broker turned "nothing- to-do-around-here professional" in Stuttgart, Germany. I made friends, listened to their chal- lenges, and learned one universal truth about military spouse career opportunities: They were virtually non-existent. and tell them you're a military spouse and your career was on hold." I sat there, as- tonished and bewildered. Say what? All of these incredibly intelligent, highly educated individuals were all trying to find a way to justify their career sacrifice; a reality that shouldn't exist. I found this infuriating, and was determined at that mo- ment to make a substantial impact on the military spouse underemployment issue. And, well, I did. I've hired nearly 100 military spouses in less than two years as subject matter experts for the education and publishing industry, and there are more gaps to fill. Help me, help you. Keep reading. I WANTED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE My husband and I both have professional experi- ence in criminal justice and have worked as subject- matter-experts (SMEs) for the educational publishing industry. What is a SME? You know those tests you took in your online class to earn your college degree? Those weren't developed by your professor, or even the textbook author that wrote the book. Nope, the odds are those were written by SMEs that developed a huge test bank to correspond with your textbook. The same as the discussion board prompts, classroom activities, homework assign- ments, and animated videos. All developed by SMEs with similar qualifications as you. Photos provided by Stacey Ecelbarger 32 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / OCTOBER 2018

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