Proud Military Spouse, Proud Career Woman

Proud Military Spouse, Proud Career Woman

Monday, May 12, 2014 - 12:05pm


My AT&T career spans 16 years and six – going on seven! – locations. Why, you ask? Because my husband, Major Dennis Rufolo, is an officer in the U.S. Army. He is transferred every few years, and my daughter and I happily follow. Families in the military move all the time, but normally a spouse who works for a corporation doesn’t have the flexibility to transfer while still remaining with their employer.

Luckily for me, my military transfers are surprisingly stress-free because I’ve been able to move with my family while continuing to work for AT&T. My leadership teams are overwhelmingly supportive. . I know that when I say “the time has again come,” we will work together to figure out the details to make the transition seamless, and that takes a huge weight off my shoulders and allows me to focus on transitioning my family.

Part of the reason for this seamless transition is that I seek out roles that allow me to work in a different location from the team I manage, so there is minimal impact from a physical move. What makes each relocation even easier is AT&T’s technology. With video conferencing, instant messaging and mobile solutions, I really can work anytime, anywhere. I am always able to be connected, available and visible. The wonderful coincidence is that the same technology my company made available to me at work, allows my daughter and me to stay in touch with Dennis when he’s away and connect with family and friends around the world.

I’m not the only AT&T employee to feel the company’s support of military families. AT&T offers a way for military families to find each other, connect and be involved in our communities through our military family resource group called AT&T Veterans. I currently serve as the National President of the non-profit organization, which has 35 chapters across the nation and about 7,000 members. These members are veterans, reservists, National Guard, spouses, parents, siblings and children of those who have served as well as people within the company who support military families. Whenever I move, I can rely on connecting with the AT&T Veterans local chapter members who know the town, know the lifestyle I’m living and understand my challenges and opportunities.

On this Military Spouse Appreciation Day, I offer this advice to people in a situation similar to my own: look for a company where you can be PROUD of being a military spouse and not worried that it means you’ll need to ask for favors or special privileges. As working parents and military spouses, we sacrifice a lot to keep life going and to help our families feel stable, filled with love and supported. It’s not easy being plucked away from family and re-establishing relationships continually, but if you find employers that are understanding, you will feel free to share your personal story and be recognized for it, instead of feeling like it’s a differentiator that will hold you down.

Yesterday, the 100,000 Jobs Mission announced that it is expanding its mission to include assisting military spouses in their job search.  As a member of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, AT&T is leading the launch of the new Military Spouse Talent Exchange, or MTX. The MTX is an online portal that will help connect military spouse job seekers with companies participating in the 100,000 Jobs Mission. This new resource can help you find an employer that understands and values all that you have to offer.

As my family and I start the familiar tradition of packing up and moving to our next community – move  number seven, coming up next month – I am so thankful to work for a company that supports and understands what it’s like to be a military spouse. It’s helped me create a career in which I – and my entire family – take pride.