Some studies show a shocking 90% of military spouses are underemployed. With many having at least a 4 year degree, one can see that the military life is a difficult one for a spouse to find consistent work.
Between frequent moves and an unpredictable schedule, military spouses are often overlooked for work, with companies choosing a more “stable” candidate.
Spouses might also not be able to find a job in their field in the location the military sends their family, leaving them with degrees that aren’t being utilized and the burden of debt that goes along with them.
Today we’re going to talk about some REAL remote jobs.
I’m not talking about MLM businesses or starting a blog. Some spouses do make money from those but 1. they’re not for everybody, and 2. it could be months or even years before you see any steady income. I’m not trying to get you in over your head.
Instead, I’m going to give you advice on how to find REAL jobs that you can do from your home, and actually start making money in a few weeks even if you have a bit of a gap in your resume.
For even more info, check out the MilHousing Nation Podcast for advice on PCS-proof careers.
What is Remote Work?
Remote workers—sometimes freelancers—work with companies on various tasks, but ultimately work for themselves. Depending on the job, you will have the freedom to work when, where, and how you want. With creative jobs like writing or managing social media (as opposed to customer service, personal assistant, etc.), you don’t need to be glued to the computer or phone during work hours. You can work for a while, take a break to go to the gym, go on a walk, or to that oddly-timed last minute military function you are invited to.
With those more structured jobs, like customer service, you are still able to work from home, in the comfort of your PJs, probably on your couch, without the annoyance of a commute or stress of finding a new job every time you PCS.
With remote jobs military spouses are able to take control of their careers and work on projects that are meaningful to them, while also maintaining the flexibility needed to be available to their families and work from many locations.
Common Remote Jobs (that actually pay, like today):
- -Travel Specialist
- -SEO Analyst
- -Research Event Coordinator
- -Social Media Manager
- -Online Tutor
- -Interactive Marketing Specialist
- -Customer Service Representative
- -Proofreader/ Editor
Watch Out For: Because so many companies know military spouses are looking for jobs, they can sometimes go out of their way to create what looks like a lucrative job that you can do. But be aware. Either these jobs don’t exist at all, or their promises are vague and unattainable. A good rule of thumb is if they’re promising a large number of money for very little work they’re exaggerating. Most jobs will post per hour or per project. When all else fails check LinkedIn, GlassDoor, Facebook, and or ask around on Facebook groups. If something is fishy, it’ll pop up here.
Where to start
Figure out what kind of work you want to do
This depends on what skills you already have, what your interests are, and what your schedule allows. You don’t want to take a job that requires you to be online, present from 9-5 if you’re at home with your kids or have other obligations during the day. You also don’t want to take on a writing job or project when you absolutely hate writing and it will be dreadful every time you sit down to work.
You don’t always need a fancy degree to do remote work (look at how many writers out there don’t have writing degrees) but it helps to have some credits to prove that you didn’t just start on a whim yesterday. MyCAA is open for some military spouses (depending on service member rank) and can help you get certifications that can help set you apart.
Besides the obvious university degree route, there are FREE online certification resources that look good to many employers. Check out Hubspot for marketing and content creation certifications. But, PLEASE, don’t pay anyone for certifications unless they are backed by a real accreditation. No one cares that you paid Sally Somebody to learn how to use Instagram.
Create clips and/or a portfolio
Because most of these remote jobs are content or project based you should have a portfolio of your work that will easily show your craft and prove what you can provide their company. Having a website is a great way to do this.
Search Job boards
Obviously you can’t get a job if you aren’t actively searching for a job. Here are some boards or companies that need your skills.
- Flexjobs (paid job board, but well worth it)
- Madskills (job board specifically for military spouses)
- Freelance Writing Gigs (regular job board updates)
- Worldwide 101 (Apply to be one of their virtual assistants to work with other companies)
- Wise Advise and Assist (VA matching)
Consistently and regularly send out resumes or apply for jobs
It can be tiring and demotivating to constantly send out resumes or spend your days filling out applications but no one is going to hire you if they don’t know about you. The more people you communicate with, the more likely you are to get interviews, and then job offers. Even if the job is a little out of your reach, try. I know of a few people, myself included, who applied for a position at a company, be rejected, only to hear back a few months later about a position that better fit my skills.
But Know: Remember to check with your local installation laws if you are overseas and/or living in government housing. Even as freelancers, you will have to go through the necessary steps within the military and your local community prior to signing a contract to get things approved. Check in with your family readiness center or the employment office for more information and resources.