How I found my MadSkills as a military spouse: Liza’s Story
I stepped off a plane exhausted and sick with the flu. I had just returned home from Boston for the third time in 6 weeks from a business trip. I practically crawled my way home and made it through the door to find my precious 16 month old son just as sick as I was.
Ever had a volcano of antibiotics thrown up on you?
After an exhausting hour of trying to get 5lbs of antibiotics into an 18lb little body and seeing my efforts explode like a volcano all over me, I gave up. Me and my son lying on the floor together crying and feeling a deep sense of a need for change. That day was a turning point.
I was a successful software developer for a medium size national software firm. I loved my job. Traveling all over the country solving problems, working with clients and developing solutions. My MadSkills were being developed rapidly but I still felt like I was failing. Failing my son, falling short of being the mother I wanted to be.
My moment of truth happened in July of 2004. I went to my employer and worked out a contract position so I could start building my own software consulting company. I wanted my time back.
My first year in I actually made MORE money than I did as an employee. I also was able to spend time with my son when I wanted. I made my own schedule. I was in control of my time. Every sick day we spent together instead of miles apart. Every year since I have made a full time income working from home as a software developer and project manager. I’ve never looked back.
You want to do what? Enter Uncle Sam….
In January of 2012 my husband decided he wanted to go back into the Army. Wait? What? Yes that’s right, the active duty siren was calling his name, only this time it was my name too. He was active duty before we met and was in the reserves when we were dating. I had a small glimmer of Army life but really I was a total newbie. Is this what I wanted too? I wasn’t sure at first but traveling the world seemed exciting. As long as I had an internet connection and a laptop I could continue working, so why not?
We jumped in and managed to move four times in four years. It was baptism by fire. Every new place brought new challenges but one thing remained the same. I was still working full-time and managing my house. Did I also mention by this time I had four kids along for the ride? I was thankful for my business and my ability to move it around with me but my head was spinning from all the changes and new experiences. One particular scenario kept presenting itself…
I began to meet military spouses who were intrigued that I had managed to keep up my career and be married to a service member. It never occurred to me that these two worlds of mine would collide. Suddenly, I had a new purpose and I could see how I could make a difference.
Wait, you work from home AND make a full time income?
I started hosting coffee dates with spouses to help them devise a work from home plan with their skills. We talked about their goals, how much income they wanted to make, and how much time they wanted to spend making it. These meetings fueled the fire beneath me.
I’ve met countless spouses with amazing MadSkills: Marketing, Legal, Development, Design, Virtual Assistants, Accountants, there are MadSkills all over the place!
Military spouse employment, is it really an issue?
When Erica came to me with the idea of MadSkills, offering remote opportunities just for military spouses, it was an easy YES! YES!, YES!, YES!! I want to help. I want to be part of the shift. I want to see other spouses not feel so lost in this big military world. I want to shed light on new opportunities and help pave new paths.
Now I’m using the MadSkills I’ve developed over the last 13+ years to create our online platform to offer military spouses remote jobs. My passion is aligning with my purpose and what a journey it’s been so far.
I want to be part of the shift…to see real solutions to real problems.
MadSkills is my passion. Helping women is my calling and purpose. Being a proud Military Spouse? It’s part of me but it’s not all of me. I love my husband and I love our country. I also love myself and to be true to myself I need my own outlet.
Follow our journey and start creating yours. Cheer us on as we cheer you on. Together, we’ve got this! Let’s join forces as spouses and be the solution to the military spouse employment problem!
Tech CoFounder & CTO , MadSkills