Military spouses are resilient, problem solving, independent individuals who often have post-secondary degrees and work experience. Military spouses also suffer from unusually high levels of unemployment and underemployment compared to their civilian counterparts. Finding a military friendly career is essential to contributing income to your household and to continuing your career.
What is a military friendly career?
A military friendly career is, first and foremost, flexible and forgiving when it is time to PCS. That might mean they’re willing to let you work remotely or that they have lots of transfer opportunities at least nation-wide, if not globally.
Some workplaces even have support systems in place for military members, like offering special newsletters and going out of their way to contribute to charities and volunteer work that benefits military families.
Why do you need a military friendly career?
Having a military friendly career is the difference between unemployment and employment. It is the difference between going three months without a job and having to dip into that emergency fund, and being able to afford to replace or fix items damaged in your move across the country or across the world. A military friendly career is what is going to keep your career trajectory traveling upward instead of trying to fight just to get your foot in the door at the same level you were employed at before.
Okay, so how do I get one?
If you’re already employed and you haven’t PCS’ed with your employer yet, the best thing you can do is take the time to talk to them about it. Let your manager know you really value your role in the company, and assure them you aren’t going anywhere yet, but you want to be prepared when orders come.
Ask what your options will be when you have to move. Does your company exist all over like Starbucks or will you need to work remotely? If that position doesn’t already exist remotely, will they let you develop a pitch for starting it? Will they write you a glowing review if you do have to leave the company? It might be easier to get that positive review now than when your boss is stressed about hiring and training someone to replace you.
If you’re in the job search, you’re going to look for similar traits in your future employer. Do they pride themselves on supporting the military and veteran community? Does your base include them in hiring fairs? Yes, you’re gonna want to talk to your Military & Family Readiness Support on base about hiring fairs and prospective jobs! Pinterest is also filled with information on remote jobs, many of which are customer service based but not all.
Become a Military Spouse Entrepreneur
This is also going to be a great time to seriously consider starting your own business. Perks of running your own business include setting your own hours and choosing work that can move with you where-ever you go.
For many, this is the ultimate military friendly career because you’re in complete control. Military spouses already have their significant others’ health benefits, which is often a big concern when civilians consider starting a business. While not all businesses survive, there are tons of resources especially for military families on starting your own business.
Start Blogging for Money
Have you been dreaming about starting a blog for years? Or maybe you’ve tried it on-and-off with no success, like I had. I definitely recommend starting with this no-frills Free 12-Day Blogging Bootcamp course. It’s created by an individual who runs multiple blogs in multiple niches for a living, unlike most courses that are based off of an individual with limited experience having only one successful blog in one niche. I loved BBC so much I invested in the actual club with courses and a community specifically for bloggers looking to make an income, which opens for registration several times a year.
Network Marketing or MLM Companies
There are lots of options for selling other companies’ products, called Multi-Level Marketing, where you’re essentially making connections online in hopes of meeting people who will fall in love with the same product you did. While it wasn’t my cup of tea, making genuine connections by helping people find products they love, all while creating a real income, is absolutely possible with MLM companies. Popular examples include Beachbody products and LipSense, but make sure you do your homework – not all MLM companies are created equal even when they’re legal.
More Online Ideas for Entrepreneurs
- Etsy store
- Virtual assistant
- Social media manager
- Content creator / freelance writer
I’ve even heard of spouses who use their skills to upcycle furniture they find at the thrift store and they resell it locally or online!