3 vital ways to keep your career moving forward
(Photo: Courtesy of Lakesha Cole)

Ivanka Trump, daughter of and advisor to President Donald Trump, along with Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, and Jennifer Korn, Marine spouse and special assistant to the president and deputy director for the office of public liaison visited Camp Lejeune last Tuesday as part of the Keeping a Career on the Move military spouse symposium. This event is a personal and professional development conference hosted in partnership with Hiring Our Heroes and Military Officers Association of America for military spouses who are planning to enter or re-enter the workforce or take the next step in their professional careers. 

Trump administration officials, Bonnie Amos, wife of the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, and others addressed some of the many challenges and setbacks military spouses face when trying to keep a career on the move. Dialogue ensued regarding rigid demands, frequent relocations, resume gaps, long wait times for childcare at high-density installations, licensure issues, and entrepreneurship. 

Breakout sessions were also held throughout the day focusing on topics like resume writing, networking, success tips for LinkedIn, personal branding and more. Here are the top three takeaways on how to keep a career on the move: 

1. Always keep your resume ready

You never know when an opportunity will present itself.  I know it sounds cliché, but it’s the truth. Speed during a job search matters. Even if you are not actively looking for work, having the ability to respond quickly when the right opportunity presents itself can make a world of difference. 

2. Build your network before you need it

Networking is an essential aspect of the job search. Don’t wait until the last minute to network or only when you need something.  Studies show up to 80 percent of jobs are never advertised and are filled by word-of-mouth. Find ways to network every single day to develop relationships and connections within your network to have more opportunities to advance your career.  

3. Your personal brand matters

It’s important to be mindful of how you present yourself to the world and the social footprint you leave behind. Don’t let others dictate how you are perceived.  If you’re not branding yourself, surely others will try and do it for you. When you proactively build and authentically develop a personal brand, you will attract the right opportunities. Leverage who you are and inject your personality and skill set into as many aspects of your social profiles as possible. 

By Lakesha Cole