2 Mental Hacks I Learned In the Military That Give Me An Advantage In My Career Today

Jessica L. Moody

Photo courtesy of Jessica L. Moody

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Veterans and those who love them make no shortage of sacrifices on behalf of this country. But one sacrifice that’s perhaps not as readily acknowledged is the obstacles both veterans and military spouses can face when building out their careers in the civilian realm. This Veteran’s Day, Fairygodboss and Getting Hired asked folks in the veteran and military family community to share the ways this identity has aided and at times impeded them professionally, as well as their No. 1 pieces of advice to fellow military community jobseekers. 

Do you believe veterans and their families should have the right to build civilian careers free of obstacles and biases? Show your support and #Pledge4VetFamilies here.


Who: Jessica L. Moody

What: Curriculum Specialist; jessicalmoody.com

Where: San Diego, CA


How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?  

I am a veteran Marine and have been working as a freelance curriculum specialist (instructional designer) after working in public school education for almost 10 years.  

What factors were most important to you in transitioning from a military to civilian job? Are there any challenges associated with that transition that people may not be aware of? 

The biggest challenges that I continue to face is the lack of endurance and perseverance that I see with many civilians. As a Veteran Marine I have the mental strength to accomplish anything I want and sometimes it's frustrating to see non-veterans give up so easily. I know that they can do it, but they don't. The appreciation that Veterans have for our freedoms and our country and the simple things separates most veterans from many others. 

Do you believe your military background has provided you with any unique perspectives or talents that aid your career today? 

My motivation and the ability to break down complicated and seemingly impossible goals into small achievable tasks are two things that makes me different. While I was in the military, I achieved more than I ever imagined possible. These achievements made me realize that I really was capable of achieving anything I wanted to accomplish.

What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day? 

I spend time evaluating my goals every day. At the beginning of the day, I review my plan for the day, write down three of the most important tasks to complete and at the end of the day I review if I completed the tasks and write my goals for the next day.  

What about outside of work — how do you most enjoy spending your time? 

I have two daughters, so I spend time with them.  

What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of? 

Working for myself has been the most challenging yet fulfilling thing I have ever done.  I have never done anything that is so completely who I was made to be than this. People ask, "What would you do if you never had to work again?" My answer is that I'd do exactly what I'm doing right now, but maybe not work quite as much.  

What’s your #1 piece of advice for women, and especially other women veterans, who are looking for jobs right now? 

Don't be afraid to try something. It is important to do something that is a balance of your skills and passions but also will become a good paying job and know that your passions might evolve.