More Than A Spouse: A Career Journey Rooted in Confidence and Support

Wykita Burns: More Than A Spouse

The makings of a strong career path should start with confidence and finding your tribe. That’s according to Wykita Burns, an Army spouse of 15 years, who found her calling as a healthcare administrator and advocate for military families.

Trusting her skill set and honest communication with potential employers was her recipe to secure work life balance. She wants all military spouses to know they can do it too!

Embrace Your Military Life Experience

During her early years of job searching, Wykita often withheld that she was a military spouse for a valid reason.

“I never wanted to hinder my chances of employment by being viewed as a temporary or job-hopping employee,” she shared. “I wanted to instill confidence and hope in my skill set.”

These sentiments are as old as time for military spouses seeking meaningful employment. Fear of being passed over because of military-mandated moves every 2-3 years or getting stuck in entry-level roles with no upward trajectory are just some of the statements we hear from military spouses repeatedly.

But there’s a silver lining in honesty, Wykita believes.

“Had I identified during the interview process that I am a military spouse, many military-life related challenges, such as deployments and childcare, could have been navigated and supported differently by my employer.”

She doesn’t shy away from identifying as a military family and spouse now.

“I will absolutely shout from the rooftop that I am a military spouse and proud of it during an interview! I am honest about my estimated timeline and am willing to clarify any questions or apprehensions an employer may have.”

Having these conversations with a potential employer can set a career on the right track, and Wykita wants other spouses to embrace what they can bring to the table, too.

Connect With Your Community

It is important to remember that confidence and resilience don’t grow overnight and that you’re not alone in the ups and downs of job hunting.

As a military spouse, it can be isolating at times, and I wish I would have known early on the importance of finding my people.”

Wykita believes in the power of community and that gathering a group of military spouses with similar career ambitions and motivations can positively influence the beginning of anyone’s career journey.

“Our lifestyle is unique and not without challenges. Having a supportive group of other career-minded military spouses to discuss ideas, share resources, and most importantly, create a safe space can make a world of difference.”

NMFA knows all about creating a safe space for military spouses as we currently host career-focused Facebook networking groups for military spouses in teaching professions, mental health, and nursing careers. We provide these spaces and resources to engage and amplify the voices of all military spouses because together, we’re stronger.

Share your ‘More Than A Spouse’ story with us. We want to hear it! You could be our next spouse feature to share wisdom, personal triumph, and all that makes you more than a spouse!

By: Angela Sablan Tenorio, Content Manager