Kelly Wales has been a military spouse since 2009. She’s had seven house moves across five counties and several changes in career – from an account manager for an online property company to an assistant headteacher. Here she talks about how being on the Social Media Spouses course, run by BFBS, re-ignited her career…

“Just over a year ago I decided that I wanted a career change. Whilst teaching works for many alongside military life, moving house every 18 months and trying to find new employment was in all honesty too difficult, contrary to my initial expectations. Where I was lucky enough to find a job, I could only commit for 12 months before having to make my apologies and start the process all over again.

“I started pursuing ideas but where to start, who could I speak to? Surely there were others out there who had lived a similar experience and were ready for change but in need of an initial helping hand.

“I looked on military bases and online for communities of like-minded military wives, but I couldn’t find any, so I decided to start my own! I called the community ‘Military Mums in Business’, a support group for military wives who are juggling self-employment and raising a family.

“At the time #SMSpouses launched I was studying various online courses to improve my social media skills, but they were not interactive or assessed in any way. So, when I came across a tweet by BFBS introducing the #SMSpouses course I sat down the following evening and wrote my application.

Joining the first squad

“When I was told that I had a space on #alpha course I was over the moon! As both of my children are school age, I was able to work through the course during the day and in the evening if needed, which worked well for me.

“We had a Facebook group for our ‘squad’ which was great, because if we had a question someone would be on hand to help.

“The course eases you in gently, the assignments are broken down into easy-to-follow steps and the course mentors are always on hand. The assignments cover all aspects of the different social media platforms, focusing on purpose, functionality and usability.

“Some assignments take longer than others, generally I had a week to complete each one, however, some took far longer.

“One of my favourites was designing and running Facebook ads. The aim of each assignment is to give you the necessary resources, graphics, copy and plan needed to run a successful social media campaign.

“If it weren’t for the #SMSpouses course I wouldn’t be where I am today; as Community Engagement Manager for the Military Coworking Network. I have also been able to grow the Military Mums in Business support network in my spare time.

“The #SMSpouses Facebook group always has content to keep you up-to-date with the latest social media trends and information. I still call upon the advice of the course mentors. Join the #squad – you won’t regret it!”

#SMSpouses is a free social media marketing training programme, exclusively for the spouses and partners of British military personnel. For more information, visit sms.bfbs.com

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