This blog is the first in a series of spotlight stories about iRelaunch team members. In honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, our Communications Specialist April Keating shares her story. She is a military spouse currently living on Fort Benning, Georgia.
Hi! My name is April Keating and I manage all the email communications for iRelaunch. I’m also a military spouse, a mom of two young boys and an entrepreneur.
Less than a year after marrying my Soldier husband in 2006 and immediately moving halfway across the country, I came to realize what many who are married to a military member already knew: it is very difficult to live the transient military lifestyle and keep a career. According to the 2016 Blue Star Families Military Lifestyle Survey, 52% of military spouses are not employed and of those, 21% are actively seeking work. The reasons that military spouses cited for not working were family commitment, the demands of their service member’s job and lack of and/or high cost of childcare.
Because of the demands of the military lifestyle, I decided to stop job hunting and start working virtually as a consultant. It affords me the flexibility and portability I need as a military spouse who is parenting young children and relocating, on average, every 28 months.
When I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey in 2010, I leaned on my administrative background and started out as a Virtual Assistant. Since then, I’ve narrowed my focus to become an email marketing consultant and trainer, specializing in Constant Contact products. It was that specialty that led me to work with iRelaunch. I was drawn to the company’s mission of helping men and women get back to work after a career break.
Because I also have a passion to help fellow military spouses, I co-founded a virtual community for military spouse entrepreneurs. The Milimompreneer Meetup and Facebook group connects like-minded women who want to start and grow business under the unique circumstances of the military lifestyle. Through my own experiences as an entrepreneur, and in building Milimompreneer, I’ve come to believe that working virtually is a perfect solution to many of the financial and employment hardships that military spouses face.
I am excited about being a part of the iRelaunch team, and I’m optimistic about employment and entrepreneurial possibilities for military spouses. The 2016 Blue Star Families survey also revealed that 51% of military families identified spouse under- and/or unemployment as their top obstacle to financial security. I’m happy to be contributing to work that can relieve those concerns for military families everywhere.