The stats are a little shocking – but currently, the military spouse unemployment rate stands at a staggering 16 percent — roughly four times the national average — and the underemployment rate for military spouses is 70 percent. Shocking, but not surprising given the obstacles military spouses face when looking for employment: constant moves, unpredictable schedules, long deployments for their spouse, etc. At Boldly, we’re passionate about doing our part to change the narrative by hiring military spouses in roles that work for them — roles that are 100% remote and flexible.
But the benefit is mutual, as Boldly has found our military spouse team members to be incredible assets due to their cultivated ability to be adaptable, flexible, organized and detail-oriented. One of the military spouses at Boldly who embodies all of these traits and more is Simone Beltz, a mother of two, a German native, and a talented bi-lingual marketer who is a master at connecting with her clients.
Greater DC Area
Length of Time at Boldly:
1 year 1 month
Bachelor of Arts, International Business Management; Master’s Degree, International Marketing Management
Moving, The Military and A Masters
A military spouse of 12 years, Simone has experienced every aforementioned obstacle in establishing a career. After meeting her husband in Germany where he was stationed with the Army, the two soon moved to Georgia — and then Florida, and then back to Germany, until returning to the US to the DC area where they currently reside.
“Moving to the US, I had pretty mixed feelings. I was really unsure what I was going to do because I knew we’d only be in Georgia a little over a year, and I was also waiting for my green card. Despite my level of experience, I settled on a very entry-level marketing job at the MWR (Military Morale, Wellness and Recreation Center) just to have something on my resume.
Then, we got orders to move to Florida, and I was 6 months pregnant with our first — so that also put a hold on things. Shortly after we moved back to Germany, I decided to get an online Master’s Degree so I could cover some of the resume gaps I was accumulating!”
While all those moves would make most people’s heads spin, Simone took it all in strides, continuing to get experience where she could, continuing her education, and applying her talents to various volunteer positions.
In early 2019, she came across Boldly and found the stability she’d been seeking.
“I found Boldly on a career military spouse Facebook group. I knew I needed to work remotely, but I was really missing the social aspect of going into an office and being around people. At Boldly, I’ve found it’s the best of both worlds – everyone works remotely so there’s still a culture there and inclusion, but I get to be location-independent.”
A Perfect Pairing of Professional and Personal Development
It wasn’t only Boldly’s remote and flexible environment that ended up being a great fit for Simone— her clients have proved to be a wonderful match as well, not only in personality and skills but for Simone’s personal and professional development.
“My first client is an executive and team coach, which makes her incredibly easy to work with, as leadership is her expertise! Her work is focused on empowering people to be in service to others and become the best versions of themselves. So for me, having access to all of that information and watching her work is inspirational for my own, and has been great for my professional development,” said Simone. “Plus she is very straight-forward, which is a great match for my German personality!”
Simone’s other client is a content marketing firm focused on — get this — remote work and blended and online learning. Simone, a remote worker who earned her Master’s Degree online, said it’s just a natural fit.
“I love reading the content they come out with on the topics of remote work and online education. I’ve lived them, so I just get it. I get to do a lot of multi-faceted work for them which keeps things interesting, and my client is very approachable and fun to work with, we like to crack jokes about the idiosyncrasies of remote work!”
A Day in the Life
While managing life as a military spouse with two children, two clients and a 12-year-old pup might seem hectic, Simone’s natural ability to stay organized keeps everything moving seamlessly. We asked her to share her secrets and give us an overview of what a typical day looks like in her world. Here’s the normal routine:
5:30 am – I wake up and have coffee. I invested in a fancy coffee machine when I began working from home. I also have breakfast, though that is not anything fancy — usually just cereal!
6 am – I start working for about an hour before my kids get up. I had originally tried getting up and going to the gym at this time of day but that just does not work for me. I’m not that person! So instead, I start working and go workout later in the day!
7 am– Kids get up (I drink another coffee) and we all sit at the breakfast table together
8:15 am – My 10-year old is on patrol, she leaves a little early for her duties, then I leave together with my youngest. We walk to school together with our dog, Benny.
8:30 – 10:00 am – This is now when I workout/shower —and it works so much better for me!
10:00 am – 2 pm – This is my second work block. I always plan ahead for my client work so either I’ll rotate hours for each, or I’ll work heavily for one client one day and heavily for the other the next – it changes from week to week!
2 pm – This is when I catch up on other things like shopping, cleaning or anything else I need to take care of. I do volunteer marketing work for my local community pool. I really love it and I feel I add a lot of value.
3:15 pm – I leave to go get the kids from school.
3:30 – 4 pm – During this time we usually stay and hang out at the school playground. It gives me time to chat with the other parents and be social.
5 pm – We like to eat an early dinner, so I normally start to cook around 5pm. I love to cook and eat dinner together as a family
5:30-8 pm – Time for afterschool activities, homework and whatever else needs to get done.
8-8:30 pm – Around this time I put the kids in bed and have some time to relax
10-11 pm – Lights out for me!
No Commute, Still Connection
Simone has been able to build great relationships with her clients built on trust, mutual respect and personal connection. We wanted to know how she went about nurturing those relationships so quickly to get to where she is today, so we asked her for her best advice on how to build a strong connection:
“First and foremost, be super responsive to build trust. I always skim my emails coming in, I may not act on something right away, but depending on what it is I like to let my clients know that I am around, I have seen the request and it’s on my radar,” said Simone. “I know both of my clients appreciate my candidness, honesty and ability to be straightforward. I believe in putting things out there and just dealing with whatever comes of that, rather than tip-toeing around anything.”
“I also like to be personable. I think sharing things about myself and my life makes me less anonymous as a remote worker, and it’s easier to connect with someone who is not completely anonymous!”
It’s not only Simone who likes to be personable, her 12-year-old pug, Benny, also likes to join in on her client meetings. A remote work hazard her clients fully support.
“#OnlyatBoldly can you hear your pug snoring all through a meeting and no one even acknowledges it! It’s pretty funny. We all have animals at home so it gives us a good laugh.”
So here’s to Simone, a military spouse who overcame the odds to find a rewarding career that not only worked in her unique situation but offered her a work-life balance coveted by even the most location-stable of civilians. Compromising nothing – that’s what working Boldly is all about.
Updated on January 28th, 2020