Having a husband or wife in the military requires a lot of you. Aside from the emotional support you certainly provide, you have to be prepared to pick up and move whenever the call of duty is sounded. And you do it without hesitation, of course, because that’s just what you do when you love someone.
Of course, your life doesn’t revolve entirely around your spouse and the military, but it can be difficult to find a path of your own when you barely put down roots long enough to start climbing the career ladder. Fortunately, we live in a digital world. That means your career doesn’t have to be confined to the four walls of a physical office. You can work from home, wherever that may be this year and beyond.
The following are 10 of the best jobs for military spouses who want a career that combines flexibility with fulfillment. Find the one that best suits your interests and skill set and voila: You’re on your way to a new career, no matter where life — or the military — takes you next.
1. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants prove that the business world is going digital. Rather than hire an in-person assistant to work in a brick-and-mortar establishment, more and more business owners are seeking virtual assistants to keep their online companies in order.
The role requires much of what you’d imagine a traditional assistant to do: Replying to e-mails, fielding concerns and inquiries, writing memos, and distributing information across the company. A virtual assistantship would suit you if you’re organized and a clear communicator.
Looking for VA gigs? Check out this post for companies that hire virtual assistants.
2. Blogger or Writer
Do you remember your first few months as a military spouse? How many questions did you have about your future? Who were you able to ask?
This is just one angle that you could take when you start your personal blog — you lead an exciting life, after all, and others can certainly relate to it. Professional bloggers are often successful once they find this type of niche and build an audience. That’s what it takes to make money off of a personal blog: Site visits and clicks on ads, typically, although you might be able to whip up sponsorships, product placements, etc., depending on your site’s focus.
If you’re not quite ready to create your own platform, you can still put a penchant for writing to good use. Freelance writing and editing jobs exist and are plentiful, as many companies won’t have an in-house editorial expert to carry out little projects as they crop up. Surprisingly, sites like Craigslist often have plenty of telecommuting gigs like these on offer.
Looking for paid writing gigs? This post has over 75 paid writing opportunities.
Transcription is the process of turning audio clips into clear, concise documents for companies, individuals, and other businesses. So if you can type quickly, and write clearly, you might be able to make it into an interesting full-time or part-time career on the go. If this sounds like it's up your alley, but you've never done transcription work before, check out Janet's free 7-part mini transcription course to see if this a viable career option for you.
4. Telephone Triage Nurse
Here’s another medically focused position (which also requires prior training). Telephone triage nurses are the first step in deciding what type of care a patient needs. They take note of symptoms and advise callers as to whether they should head to the emergency room, wait to see a primary care physician or treat themselves simply at home.
This position is a huge service to doctors who would otherwise be overloaded or spending time with patients who they don’t necessarily need — or have the ability — to treat. If you have a degree in nursing, you obviously have a strong desire to help others. This at-home role allows you to do so while supporting an on-the-move spouse.
5. Travel Agent
As a military spouse, you clearly know what it’s like to move around. You can put your travel expertise to good use by becoming a travel agent. Travel agents provide their clients with ideas as to where to spend their next holiday. Once a location is chosen, they make all of the necessary arrangements for travel, hotel, activities, etc.
Travel agents can also work with companies to arrange executive travel, so you’ll have plenty of sources for income. If you become known for being good at what you do, you’ll build a bigger and bigger client base that will work with you no matter where you move next.
6. Teacher or Tutor
A student who seeks online classes or tutoring wants the same things as you: A flexible schedule and lessons that don’t take place between the four walls of a traditional classroom. You’ll find a wealth of grown-ups and children who want to take advantage of online educational opportunities, and, if you have a background in teaching, you can build a well-paid career from online classes.
If you're interested in tutoring or teaching – check out this post for hiring companies.
7. Social Media Manager
Now, here’s a job that makes a bit more sense on an online platform. Social media specialists envision and execute plans for companies looking to connect with both current and potential customers. They write posts for Facebook, compose quick tweets, and maybe even snap pics for Instagram. You clearly don’t have to do any of this in the office, either.
If you can’t find a bona fide position that allows you to manage one company’s social media full-time, you can do this job freelance. There are plenty of companies that need social media help but can’t afford a full salary to have someone do it. Build up a client list with just a handful of such businesses, and you’ll be making that full salary anyway.
Time to put all of those foreign language classes to good use — especially if you’re fluent in another language. Online translation services are plentiful, especially in today’s interconnected world where people are conversing and completing business transactions across borders.
The role of an online translator is a bit different than that of an in-person translator. Rather than work face-to-face with clients in a conversational situation, online translators work with texts and audio clips, translating and transcribing them for clients.
Looking for remote translation gigs? Check out this list from Real Ways to Earn.
9. Data Entry
Similar to a virtual assistantship, a position in data entry will have you performing those routine office tasks that pile up without a dedicated person on-staff to finish them. So many businesses need this type of help, whether they track inventory, log expenses, watch shipments, draw up business plans or input data from a consumer test. This is the type of role that will have you spending lots of quality time with your computer, but if you prefer to work independently and quietly, then data entry could be the perfect fit.
10. Customer Service Representative
Chances are, you’ve had to call a customer service line to fix your internet or your iPhone or something somewhere in between. There are so many things that require customer service; it’s no surprise that the number of jobs in the field is seemingly endless.
Many companies, including the aforementioned Apple, are sending their customer service reps home — to work, that is. They want people who can pick up the phone at all hours and who are experts in their services. They, like other companies, will provide training, of course, but it’s a great segue to a career spent helping others, whether you are a manager or in retail sales.
Looking for more customer service jobs? Check out this list of ways to get paid to talk on the phone.
These aren’t the only 10 jobs for you to choose from, but it’s a great place to begin your search for a new career. For all you put into the betterment of your spouse, your family, and your life together, you deserve to do something you love. Now, go forth and (digitally) conquer the job market — you’ve got this!
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Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on finding happiness and success in life and at work. You can find her dishing out advice with a side of wit on Twitter and her career advice blog, Punched Clocks.
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