Fort Campbell, KY (December 22, 2020) – During this holiday season, I can’t help but reflect upon this year and how my life has been changed because of the Digital Works program. In late January, I read a news article geared toward military spouses. It announced a new program coming to the community that would offer the opportunity to receive the training necessary to work from home. I had no idea that reading that article would be a pivotal point for me.
At that time, my husband had been serving on active duty in the Army for 13 years and I was a stay-at-home mom to our three children. My husband’s job was demanding and often required that he work long hours. He was away from home for months and even years at a time. Having to endure that by yourself will build a strong resilience that you didn’t know you were capable of possessing. Being responsible for the needs of your family is a demanding job; throw in a lack of family and friends and it can seem impossible. I had developed an unhealthy habit of relying solely on myself, and it was debilitating. I had a longing to reach out and allow myself to form relationships. I had really wanted to work and feel a different sense of accomplishment.
When I came across that article, it stood out to me. I thought working from home would be a great way to learn to get back into the demands of working while still being available for my family. At that moment, I was nervous about the unknown but decided to try something new, and I signed up for the program. Shortly after, I found myself in a classroom of other spouses and veterans, and I quickly learned that we all had so much in common. Not only did we learn everything we would need to be successful in a remote position, but we had also built friendships and an understanding of each other.
Our four weeks of training had come to an end and we were about to start applying for jobs. It was at that moment that I realized I would really miss interacting with people and learning new things. More importantly, I realized I was capable of more than I had given myself credit for in the past. As luck would have it, Digital Works had an open position. It was a perfect opportunity for me, and I applied — something I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do before going through the program. When I received a call informing me I had gotten the job, I was overjoyed!
Digital Works has instilled in me a whole new perspective, and now I’m able to share the same lessons that I have learned with other students. I have a better understanding for them, their unique military lifestyle, and the obstacles they might be facing when they join our program. I never could have imagined that the program would have such a profound impact on my life. I will always be eternally grateful and more than proud to be part of the Digital Works Family!
About the Author: Chantel Cooke is a Proctor at the Digital Works Fort Campbell facility. Her signature strengths are outreach, mentoring, and assessment review. She is responsible for guiding, mentoring, and teaching individuals to become skilled and confident in remote job positions that improve the lives and family dynamics within the military community.