1. Working from home is NOT too good to be true
The season leading up to a military move is bittersweet, and usually sprinkled with anticipation and stress.
As military spouses, we spend hours worrying about and managing so many aspects related to the PCS — the timing and logistics of movers, finding a place to live, concern over whether you and your family will enjoy the new area, apprehension about making new friends (again), anxiety about your spouse’s new role, and the list goes on and on.
And of course, let’s not forget that for many military spouses, one of the biggest stressors on that never-ending list includes finding careers for military spouses.
But what if that last one was a non-issue, and you didn’t actually have to find a new job when you moved?
2. You will have a less stressful PCS.
I’ll take it!
My husband and I recently PCSed for the fifth time in six years. I am naturally prone to anxiety, so the uncertainty leading up our relocations has typically been a challenge for me.
However, during our most recent move from New Jersey to South Florida, one of my military sisters observed that I was unusually calm about our upcoming move. (Me? Calm? My name and calm are rarely found together in the same sentence.)
So I began to reflect – why was I less troubled? – and I quickly realized that it was because unlike past moves, I didn’t have the added stress of restarting my career as a military spouse in the Sunshine State. No, I didn’t retire (much to my dismay), but I now work from home, so it doesn’t matter where and when we move.
I had a fruitful and promising career before my husband joined the Navy, and I definitely had no intention of giving that up. However, with every move, I found myself having to start over, sometimes in a completely new industry and for less pay than my previous role.
When my husband and I decided that we were going to try to stick his Naval career out for the long-haul, I made it my mission to find a remote job so that I could continue to grow my military spouse career professionally and financially despite frequent geographical relocations.
3. There ARE work from home jobs out there for you
At first I thought finding a remote job was too good to be true, but with incredible advances in technology and innumerable studies demonstrating the positive impact remote working has on employee engagement and productivity, more and more organizations are changing their culture and policies to adopt teleworking.
Additionally, telecommuting saves money for both companies and employees in overhead and transportation, and helps the environment by reducing commuting emissions. According to a 2016 study by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, the population that works at home has grown by 103% since 2005.
That means every day there are more and more jobs added to the market that allow employees to work remotely, and military spouses are the perfect candidates to fill those roles.
I am proud to report that not only do I work remotely as a business consultant, but five of my closest military sisters also have successful, high-paying telecommuting jobs – across totally different industries!
4. There are different ways to find work from home jobs – here are 3!
a. Online Searches
So, we’ve established that the jobs are out there in the universe and yours for the taking…but where do you find them? If you’ve looked for a remote job before, I am sure you have seen a lot of listings that are clearly scams.
You know, those “work from home” jobs that promise that you will make $100K in the first month? While I am no expert, but I think those may indeed be too good to be true.
When I search for remote jobs, I look for positions that sound like they could be done in an office, but just happen to lend themselves to at-home work as well. A lot of people see the value in hiring military spouses, opening doors for careers for military spouses.
I have personally been most successful searching on sites like Indeed.com, Flexjobs.com, SimplyHired.com, and WeWorkRemotely.com. I also recommend searching combinations of the words “remote” and “telecommuting,” and I try to stay away from searching for “work from home.”
For example, my area of expertise is in customer service management, so in looking for my current role, I searched for “remote customer service management” or “remote leadership.”
Keep in mind, the more lotto tickets you buy, the more your odds of winning increase. Thus, I recommend casting a wide net and applying for as many remote positions that fit your skill-set as possible.
Don’t get discouraged – for every 20 applications for remote positions I have posted, I have gotten bites on probably 1-2 bites from recruiters, but one of those bites could be your long-term future dream job.
So get your resume ready, put on your favorite Netflix show, and hunker down with your laptop when you can to fill out those applications!
As previously mentioned, I now have quite a number of military spouse friends in my network that work remotely, and I am confident that many other military community networks do too.
The best organizational recruiting tool is word of mouth and employee referrals, so network with people you know that work remotely. Do they like what they do? Are there any open opportunities at their company?
Can they pass your resume along to their company’s recruiter? Military spouses are some of the highest performing and hardest working folks out there.
Organizations are hungry for strong talent like that, and I am confident they would love to add another military spouse to the payroll – especially if your networking contact has paved the way!
c. You might already be in a remote role…
Often times, an individual’s first remote position doesn’t start out as remote. Rather, they start out in a physical office, prove to have unshakable work ethic, and then transition to telecommuting.
When based at Naval Based Ventura County, I worked in the office of a local organization as the Customer Service Manager, but transitioned into a Project Manager role with that same organization and began working remotely when we PCSed to New Jersey two years later.
Thus, I challenge you to engage your employer about remote working and perhaps your opportunity for continuity during your next PCS is right under your nose!
Common remote working positions
Some positions naturally lend themselves better to remote working than others. You are obviously not going to style hair or perform open-heart surgery from the comfort of your own home. However, there are LOTS of industries that find remote positions to be the best fit. Some include:
- Customer Service and Customer Service Managers
- Project Management
- Most positions in the Tech Industry – Tech companies tend to be the most progressive as it related to remote working.
- Account Management and Customer Success Partners
- Business Consulting
- Inside Sales
- Online Teaching
- Travel coordinators
While remote working might not be the best fit for everyone, it has definitely been the solution to the challenge of supporting my spouse’s career and building a career of my own.
I hope that regardless of your desires, you can also find peace, and find a way to foster your own goals and dreams!