Have you ever tried to narrow down which careers are really portable?
One of the biggest challenges military spouses face is the battle to sustain their careers. It can be difficult to hold a steady job while being a supportive milspouse. Seeing our successful friends and family "back home" certainly doesn't make it easier.
So how do we do it? How can any of us maintain a successful career while being a military spouse? This is the question I repeatedly ask myself.
I turned to fellow military spouses and found some common solutions.
I've come across numerous spouses who've maintained a career in marketing. None of them started out working remotely, but each of them transitioned into working from home after a few years (or one duty station) of face-to-face work. Some of them transitioned into remote work for the same company they started with, while several others used the experience they gained to create full-time contract work with multiple clients.
Another large percentage of military spouses have pursued careers in education. Some teach in the traditional sense: They find a teaching position at each duty station and perform their job in the classroom. Others, however, find ways to educate remotely. Some teach college courses online. One spouse I know took her extensive teaching experience and started private tutoring. Now, she is building an education consulting business in order to continue her work from wherever they PCS.
3. Direct Sales.
It's obvious why direct sales are appealing. Companies such as Plexus, Rodan & Fields, Juice Plus, LipSense and others offer individuals the opportunity to be in control and earn an income, with the added bonus of not losing any clients when moving. Instead, you may have the opportunity to actually expand your business as your community grows. Think about it: How many of your friends make a living in direct sales? And you can't blame them. In fact, you might feel tempted to try it out yourself.
4. Home Business.
Home businesses can spring from areas such as freelance writing, graphic design, or bookkeeping. If you have the knack, photography is a great business you can manage from home. Anne, my friend and military spouse, started to make a name for herself by doing photography for friends. Soon the demand grew, and she was offered the installation's photographer position. Her only problem now is too much business.
Notice the trend? Most of these military spouses didn't start their careers working from home. The majority put in the face-to-face time, gained experience and transitioned into remote work later.
How did they find these remote positions?
These military spouses advertised themselves on Craigslist, Bookoo and social media. They maintained former connections and found work by networking with peers. They volunteered and worked for nonprofit organizations, and they accepted little to no pay when necessary. Why? Because they are passionate about their work, as it takes sheer passion to work for free and maintain motivation.
If you're looking for a portable career path, follow in these military spouses' footsteps and identify your passion, self promote and build relationships.
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