By Felicia Campbell
As a military spouse, starting over, again and again, whether making friends, setting up home or getting a new job comes with the territory. The challenge of constant reinvention also presents unique opportunities, something military spouse Sarah Lower fully embraced this year.
“With the changes we’ve all had to endure last year, the majority of which were well out of our own control, I felt the need to take some control in my life,” Sarah said. “Being a military wife, there’s plenty that’s out of my control, so I recognize when I can only control my current actions.”
When her husband was assigned to Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, Sarah left her job in law enforcement to become a full-time mom. Though she always intended to go back to work, the unbearable uncertainty of the last year gave her the nudge she needed to pursue her dream job.
“This time, I decided to invest in my education and my future,” she said. “I have always been a grammar nerd, a bookworm, an English lover. I wanted to use the love of the written word I already had and hone it into something I could use professionally.”
She began looking into local and online programs.
“I researched programs, and UCSD Extension kept coming up,” she explained. “The experience of going back to school intimidated me for years, but all the excuses I previously had were void once it came down to it.”
Sarah now feels that returning to school was the best thing she could have done for her career and future.
“I’ve been so happy attending this program. It is well-rounded, delivering lessons on grammar, software, techniques, jargon, and the business aspects,” she said. “Each week, I look forward to the new assignments. I understand this field more and more each day and truly feel supported.”
For adults hoping to change careers, she has three pieces of advice.
“First, start now and stop making excuses. It can seem daunting to enter a program that will take X amount of time, but this time next year, you could be done. The time will pass either way,” she said.
“Second, do a little something every day to work on your goal. No act is too small. Think about it. Talk about it. Research it. Do the work. Anything helps,” Sarah explained. “Last, education will never let you down. When times are uncertain, and you feel your job experience may be lacking, or you can’t seem to break into the field you want to be part of, invest in your education. It could be the bolster you need to finally reach your goals.”
Sarah feels she is well on her way to a new career, and she’s enjoying the journey.
“I hope to begin with some online content copyediting, namely websites, blogs, and helping others fine-tune their social media wording. Then I’d like to move on to bigger projects in the publishing world. It’s uncharted territory for me, so I’m trying to start small and realistic,” she said. “I only wish I did it sooner. I could be in it now. But, seeing as the timing and events of 2020 kind of spurred me into this decision, I can’t be too critical of myself.”
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