Thriving with Colleagues you Trust like Family

Kita McCord
February 9, 2022
Thriving with Colleagues you Trust like Family

Even though it’s been seven years, I still vividly remember first meeting LVL-Up’s co-founder, Laura, just days after I had moved overseas with a 22-month-old daughter and a 7-week-old son. Laura gave me her card and said, “call me anytime. I’m here if you need someone to talk to, to go on a walk with, or to watch your kids.” The mother of two understood better than I yet did what it was like to have two youngsters in a foreign country, far from family, and she wanted to be sure I knew that I wasn’t alone. 

JK Bridge in Brasilia, Brazil. Three white arches spanning a lake.
JK Memorial Bridge in Brasilia, Brazil

Throughout my family’s foreign service journey, whether serving overseas or in the DC area, I’ve never felt alone. All of the people I’ve met in this community are just like LVL-Up’s co-founders Laura and Rona, another dear friend from Brasilia; they are there for me, no matter what I need. As a result, the people that I’ve met while on this crazy ride aren’t just my friends, they have become more like my family. 

So, imagine how good it feels for me to get to work with a team composed entirely of this “surrogate” family. LVL-Up’s staff is made up of Eligible Family Members (EFMs), which is the term the government uses to describe partners and dependents of military and foreign service members. Even though I only knew Laura and Rona when I started at LVL-Up in 2020, the rapport our company has built makes it feel like I’ve known all of my colleagues for many years. I trust them implicitly and am grateful to get to work with them in a collegial and impactful remote work environment.

Three women posing for the camera
Kita, Laura, and Rona in Brasilia, Brazil 2016

Our team thrives in uncertain situations, because in the foreign service and military lifestyles, you never truly know what is around the corner. For instance, many of us have had to move our families with only a few days notice because of unexpected events like foreign military coups, natural disasters, worldwide pandemics, or medical emergencies. Throughout it all, the one thing we know we can rely on is that if you get unexpected news (and subsequently have to adjust your housing, career, or kids’ schooling at the last minute because of it) you do not have to handle the load alone. Laura, Rona, or someone just like them, is there to support you through the transition. 

At LVL-Up, we take that support to our clients, too. Our clients rely on us to build strategies that

  • are fearless in their approach, yet adaptable in their execution; 
  • solve complex problems with creative solutions; and
  • streamline multi-directional logistics into efficient processes. 

We can do these things because the EFMs at LVL-Up haven’t just lived (or survived) at post…they’ve thrived in new countries and unique situations. Our clients come to us wanting more than to survive - they want to thrive, and we are there to support them. 

Being driven is a requirement of both the EFMs and the clients we work with at LVL-Up. When you take our team’s combined educational and professional backgrounds and add our cumulative overseas experiences - you have more than survivors, you have smart, skilled, thrivers. No matter what our clients need, we use our creative thinking and expertise to get clients to the next level. We know how to take care of what needs to be done. That is why our motto is #GetItHandled.

It’s easy to thrive when you work with a team that you can trust and rely on as though they were your family.

Kita McCord
LVL-Up Strategies