Becoming a Life Coach as a Military Spouse

Written by TeLeah Thurston

Going from a part-time soldier and full-time employee to a mom and military spouse presented unexpected challenges. Despite my belief that being the oldest of six children and a war veteran would make motherhood and employment easy, I was wrong. I battled postpartum depression, felt isolated without a strong community, and constantly struggled to balance childcare and employment. While it’s been a tough journey, I hope my story inspires you to seek out a life coach or consider becoming one to improve military spouse support.

Make Personal Development a Non-Negotiable

Being a military spouse comes with its challenges, like uncertain career prospects, frequent moves, and adapting to new locations. Despite having a solid education, many military spouses face a high 22% unemployment rate due to the constant duty station changes, as reported by Hiring Heroes.

In my early years of motherhood, I struggled with motivation and sought to support fellow moms by sharing my transparent and vulnerable experiences. Military spouse unemployment was eating away at me, as I had been used to contributing financially. However, during my fourth pregnancy, I finally found stability and decided to join a 12-month mentorship program focusing on personal development, finance, business, and more. My husband and I also took part in Financial Peace University when it was offered on our base. These programs shaped my journey to reinvent myself and my career as a military spouse.

Regardless of where you are in your military life, prioritize personal development. With continuous growth and education, you’ll be better prepared for any job opportunities for military spouses that come your way.

Find or Establish an Authentic Community

After blogging on and off for approximately four years, I built a strong community both online and offline with mothers who were going through similar life seasons as me, including those navigating military spouse jobs. The reason I initiated this community was my frustration at feeling pressured to choose between being a working mom or a stay-at-home mom. I could relate to both paths, having personally experienced the challenging aspects of postpartum depression. I disliked seeing other moms being unfairly judged and criticized. My goal was to provide a safe and supportive space for all mothers to connect and share their experiences.

As I continued my involvement in the community, more moms began asking me for advice, sharing their concerns, and seeking my guidance. It became increasingly clear that there was not enough help for military spouses.

One day, out of the blue, a mom reached out to me and inquired if I was a life coach. She was searching for strategies to balance motherhood and her t-shirt business, seeking guidance. While I initially told her I wasn’t a life coach and tried to recommend someone else, she insisted that I should be one because I had made such a positive impact on her life, especially in the context of military spouse employment. She felt that my assistance was so valuable that she thought I deserved to be compensated for it. It was at that moment that I fully realized the extent of my impact. Not only had I provided her with practical strategies for personal and professional growth, but I had also created a safe space where she, as a fellow military spouse, could feel heard and understood.

Looking back, I realize that simply referring her to another coach wouldn’t have been as effective, as they may not have understood the unique challenges of military life, particularly when it comes to job opportunities for military spouses. My firsthand experiences as a military spouse, including dealing with military spouse unemployment, the absence of soldiers, and chaotic schedules, gave her a sense of comfort and resonance. My own experiences as a military spouse unexpectedly led to a job opportunity. Remember, your own experiences can also open up job opportunities you may not have anticipated.

Be a Giver

I believe that your passion is what ultimately paves the way for you in life. A single phone call redirected my path. Originally, I had no plans to become a coach; my goal was to pursue a career as a social worker, and I had never envisioned building a business. I’m a veteran and military spouse who realized that I couldn’t stand by and watch my spouse shoulder the financial burden of our family alone. Military families, like mine, often rely on dual incomes, yet 21% of military spouses face unemployment.

I’m the neighborly person who decided to lend a listening ear and assist anyone in need of a plan to avoid unnecessary struggles in life. I chose not to hoard information and even shared resources that might not have applied to me or that I didn’t qualify for because not everyone openly asks for help. My desire to be of service opened a door in my life that I hadn’t noticed before. It brings me immense joy to support a struggling mom in her journey through motherhood and military spouse employment simply by sharing information she might not have otherwise come across.

Special Thanks to ASYMCA

Because I consistently emphasized personal development even during challenging times, I was thrilled to become a part of the Military Spouse Writing Program, an initiative by the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) that provided job opportunities for military spouses like me. This program not only expanded my network but also added to my professional skills and knowledge. Being able to share the realities of our military spouse journeys and provide insights into valuable resources, like the Armed Services YMCA’s Little Heroes program, is an honor.

Learn more about ASYMCA’s additional supportive programs and services for military families, including military spouse support groups and activities to foster meaningful connections.


Learn More