Navigating Through Uncertain Times with Lauren Vizza Rich

Accepting Unpredictability

The pandemic has created a sense of chaos for so many of us who aren’t used to all this change and uncertainty. But for Lauren Vizza Rich, life has been unpredictable for quite a while.

Lauren is a former television news reporter and Miss Louisiana USA 2018. Both of those positions are pretty thrilling and the outcomes are unknown. But when she got the title of wife, that’s when she truly learned to navigate uncertainty. 

That’s because her husband Matt is an Army JAG officer. The couple never knows where they’ll be assigned to live next. And that has caused Lauren to be an incredibly resourceful Military spouse who has learned to take things in stride. 

“I feel like I always have to explain that part of my life because it’s such a huge facet,” she says. “I didn’t just get married and then it’s like, okay…and then we did this. It’s like, I’m getting married and we’re active duty military. So we’re moving a lot. We’re going to actually be moving again this summer. We don’t know where, so that adds a really fun element of the unknown into my life.”

All the No’s
Lauren says that living a life filled with unknowns can be tough at times. “I’m not even going to pretend like this is a walk in the park. It’s a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I did not know what I was getting myself into. I’m really lucky because he is an officer. And so, there are different things in place like pay scale, what jobs we get, and postings and things like that which I think kind of make it a little bit easier.”
But one thing that Lauren says she and others in her shoes face is the “severe” underemployment of military spouses.  
“I’m always looking for sort of passion projects, or I guess in the pageant world it’s a platform – you’re always looking for that,” she acknowledges.
That’s because every time she applies for a job, she faces the same thing. “I like to think my resume is really cool and immediately, people are like, ‘Oh, you’re not going to be here long enough.’ Or, ‘Oh, sorry, we’re looking for someone that’s going to be here for years and to invest long term.’ And I get that to an extent, but you’ve got to be able to have some flexibility. Two to three years is a really good investment, but some companies want you even longer.”
Letting Go 
“It’s teaching me, a control freak, a lot about letting go,” Lauren explains. “I’m doing this for Matt and this isn’t forever and it’s the right person. It’s the right thing for our lives and it’ll set us up long term. This is all temporary, and so that’s kind of a way to rationalize it.”
How does she let go? “No. 1, remembering that everybody else is getting told no too,” she says. “And then sort of reshaping your searches and talking to experts to figure out a better idea.”
“Someone’s going to say yes,” Lauren notes. “And they did. And it worked, and now here we are, I’ve been employed with them for a year now, which is exciting.” 
Interviewing Best Practices
Lauren now has a thriving consulting business that works with her schedule. “I’m lucky to have had a really diverse life…a life that’s been full of all kinds of different experiences. And so, taking what I I’ve learned and sharing with others, hopefully it makes them more confident.  
Here are her top tips for successful interviewing:
1.You need to know why you’re there. 
“Why are you talking to these people? If it’s an interview for a pageant, why would they take you? You’ll be able to answer any questions they ask if you know, without a shadow of a doubt, why you’re supposed to be there. If you’re uncertain, they will know you’re uncertain. Your answers will always have a question mark at the end of them. And it will fill them with more questions as to why they should even take you.” 
“If you’re in a job interview, you need to know what specific skills you’ll bring to the job. And even if it’s something simple, type it up and bring them something. If you’re coming in for an interview on a communications team or social media, make sure they know you’ve looked at it.”
2. It matters how you look. 
“I know it shouldn’t, but that’s your whole job resume. That’s telling them everything about you. And if you care about yourself, you’ll care about them. They want to know that you are going to invest the time and the energy. No matter what the job is, they say dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Show them this is the kind of level of professionalism that I can bring. A job interview is not the time to experiment with makeup that you’ve never done before!”
Living in the Now
To keep her mindset on track on a daily basis, Lauren has gotten into a routine.  
“One of the things that’s like routine for me is planning out meals. I love cooking. It’s relaxing, and it’s therapeutic. And I’ve recently started workouts at home and things like that, that can really make all the difference. It’s really helped my mental state a lot to make sure that is such a regular part of my routine.”
“Getting up and changing your clothes is such a big thing,” she continues. “And not just staying in sweatpants all day. Even if it is putting on yoga pants and a different sweatshirt, do that for yourself.”
When there are too many unknowns, she says she leaves it “for future Lauren to deal with.” Above all, Lauren advises, concentrate on the present. “I’m really learning to operate and not just looking for the next thing, but really enjoying life and [being] in the moment and celebrating that.”
Be Unstoppable!
– Tori