Welcome back to MilSpouse Mondays, a weekly interview series dedicated to tackling some of the biggest challenges today’s military spouses are facing. Each week, we welcome a new, inspiring MilSpouse guest to the series to share experiences, tell stories, and reflect on their time as a military spouse. This week, we are excited to introduce Krista Wells, a certified Military Spouse Coach, keynote presenter, podcast co-host, blogger, and mother of four. Krista has dedicated thousands of hours towards working with military families around the world, helping them overcome their challenges and work towards their goals. Check out our interview with Krista below: Krista, can you provide a brief overview your experience as a military spouse? I met my husband, Richard Wells, in San Diego when I was attending graduate school and he was stationed at Camp Pendleton. His military career had an immediate effect on me, and as the relationship progressed I learned more about the career challenges that military families face. He soon transitioned from Active Duty Marines to a career in elementary school teaching yet continued serving with the Marine Reserves in a Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Pendleton during weekends and summers. When we moved back east so he could attend graduate school, he joined an Infantry Regiment in Wooster, Massachusetts. A year after we were married, 9/11 happened, and his reserve unit was the first to be called up. He left his teaching job for a year-long deployment and I found myself living in a new city alone, not knowing anyone and feeling disconnected from the other spouses in his unit, who were very geographically dispersed. I was immediately empathetic regarding the challenges that active duty families endure, and I wanted to help. During this first Reserve deployment, I became pregnant with our first child and launched my coaching business helping other spouses find career paths that allowed multiple moves. When my husband returned from his deployment and resumed teaching, we had three more kids and fortunately only had to deal with reserve traveling. As an entrepreneur with young kids, I could see how hard it was for other military spouses to balance a career and motherhood full-time compared to what we experienced as a family with just his weekends away and annual training. As a reservist, he worked in Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, Orlando/Red Bank NJ, Norfolk Navy Base, and Fort Devens. My husband retired in 2015 and I still feel connected to the military spouse community through my work and personal insight into all that military spouses endure. Since 2003, you’ve been a certified ‘Military Spouse Coach,’ using your PhD in Psychology to help military spouses around the world identify their lifestyle and career goals. What are some of the most common challenges that you help military spouses overcome? Underemployment is one of the biggest issues that my clients face. I have helped many spouses determine their ideal career paths by assessing their values, the skills they are most motivated to use, and their career interests and helping them get creative with employment options that can work with military life. I also work with spouses that are at a career crossroads or find themselves stuck due to credentialing/licensing issues because of a relocation. While I market myself as a career coach, I consider myself a life coach since I help spouses with all facets of their life: organization, skills to support them in their marriages, and long-term goal setting. I often see clients long after they are settled into a new career to offer them ongoing support and performance management. I have also helped spouses coping with infertility, grief, caring for an injured spouse, and even divorce. Regardless of the particular presenting issue, I offer an empathetic ear and ultimately help clients create military lives of which they can be proud. Aside from coaching, you’re also known for delivering keynote addresses at military events, contributing articles to various military publications, and co-hosting a MilSpouse podcast, My Military Spouse Show. What motivates you to continue to find ways to help other military spouses? I find helping military spouses to be extremely rewarding. One day when I was feeling overwhelmed trying to balance working and raising four kids, I received a text from a client thanking me for being there for her. It was just the reminder I needed of the importance of the work that I do. Because I am raising four kids, I’m limited as to the number of one-on-one clients I can see, so I love opportunities to connect with the broader military spouse audience and have a larger impact. I enjoy writing for Military Spouse Magazine, Military Families, and the National Military Spouse Network because my articles not only allow me to share my message with a loving community, but they give me the opportunity to connect with amazing leaders like Janine Boldrin, Bianca Strzalkowski, and Sue Hoppin who support spouses nationwide. Over the years, you’ve gotten the chance to meet and engage with countless military spouses from all walks of life. What do you enjoy most about connecting with others that share the same MilSpouse title as you? Military spouses inspire me by all that they do. I love seeing my colleagues and clients begin to tap into their own resources, talents, and ambitions and get excited to set their own seasonal goals while still supporting their husband and family. I love seeing them discover new aspirations, take more time for themselves, and walk away from a session with a new mindset regarding their military life and experiences. As military spouses improve their confidence, they improve their health, work life, and support community as well. If you understand your capabilities and potential, get organized in your personal and work life, and nurture your key relationships, then you can soar. It’s my greatest gift to see other military spouses take flight.
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One of my favorite books is called The Gift of Therapy by Irvin Yalom because it reminds me that a good therapist or life coach is a gift both to the practitioner and to the client. My clients are a blessing in my life, and so often what my clients are going through mirrors what I am also coping with, and healing becomes contagious. When one client decides to study for her nursing boards, I may share her success story (anonymously) at a workshop that I lead on base, and this may motivate another spouse who then encourages someone else. In this way, individual coaching turns into coaching the community, which can have a wonderful domino effect.
[bctt tweet="As military spouses improve their confidence, they improve their health, work life, and support community as well."]
Professional success is one major focus of your military spouse coaching. What career advice would you give to new military spouses that are looking to excel in their careers while also juggling the everyday challenges of being a MilSpouse? There are many organizations and networking groups, jobs, and entrepreneurial resources available to support military spouse success, and that’s one of the reasons why I love being a part of this community. My main message for military spouses is to be authentic and take baby steps towards success. I love encouraging spouses to just embrace the adventure and see where it leads you. I only offer a free complimentary 30-minute call to potential military spouses; the reason for this call is to help this spouse capitalize on all the resources they can get access to such as their military base, university career services office, or suggest books and initial steps to take. If the spouse and I decide to continue to pursue a coaching relationship then we set up appointments and agree on what investment makes sense for that military spouse based on my sliding scale and the amount of coaching the military spouse is interested in and this could be everything from one on one weekly coaching calls to once a month email support to provide support and accountability to reach the spouses goals. I have a lot of military spouses that I have worked with that are comfortable providing references to new spouses that are just diving into the coaching process. If you want to get started coaching yourself to success, a great place to start out is my site, Military Spouse Coach. If you have specific questions, just reach out to the military spouse coach ® at [email protected]. We at Meditec want to thank Krista for taking part in MilSpouse Mondays. You can stay up to date with Krista on Twitter, Facebook, and her website. Also, be sure to check back next week for another installment of MilSpouse Mondays, presented by Meditec. Missed last week’s interview with Nichelle Medina? You can check that out by clicking here. About Meditec Meditec is a career training site specifically designed to help America’s military spouses succeed professionally, regardless of where life takes them. Our accredited, affordable, MyCAA-approved courses are centered around career opportunities that allow individuals to work from home or on the road. Not only that, but we also guide military spouses throughout the MyCAA process, helping them earn scholarships to put towards career advancement programs.