When the year is winding down to an end and another is quickly coming into view, we all take a little time to reflect on where we are… particularly in our careers. Finding a flexible and portable career is one of the greatest challenges to Military Spouse employment. Unpredictable servicemember work hours and long deployments place Military Spouses in a single parent role that often makes a traditional 9-to-5 job impossible.
Other hurdles for traditional jobs come from relocating to remote or overseas duty stations where language barriers, legal issues, and geography create local employment challenges. Yet, with all these challenges, there are employment options that enable military spouses to pursue careers that are compatible with the highly unpredictable, unstable, and mobile reality of today’s Military Families.
The answer is a flexible career that allows for a military spouse to work remotely from a home office. These one-time freelance jobs or short-term contract projects allow Military Spouses to work independently on their own time within their unique schedule constraints.
1. You work when you want.
For many military spouses, working nine-to-five simply doesn’t fit into their unpredictable lifestyle. As a freelancer you have the freedom of adjusting your work schedule to accommodate your best, most productive working times. The flexible schedule also lets spouses take care of their family’s needs and personal responsibilities within their own time.
2. You work wherever you want.
With the increasing connectivity of our everyday world, a flexible career gives spouses the option not only of working from home, but also out and about in their home cities or wherever deployment may take you. The idea that flexible careers remove a commute is an idea of the past. A flexible career removes geographical restrictions. You can work on a contract from America while living in Germany. A spouse can now work globally instead of being restricted locally.
3. You are your own boss.
You know what you like to do, and what you do best, but when you’re working for someone else, none of this matters that much to your supervisor or manager. When you have a flexible career, you’re the one in charge of the assignments you accept—you get to build the career that you want. Sure, at times you may end up working on projects you’re not that interested in, in order to have work during the downtimes, but that’s a choice that you get to make with a flexible career. Unlike an employee, you have the freedom of full control over the work you take on, and for whom you work. These careers also build strong résumés that show successful milestones in a short period of time. Advancement in different directions of a preferred field is easier when you choose your course. Having many successful contracts under your belt builds confidence in your abilities and illustrates your marketability with new companies and contracts.
4. You have more income potential.
As a freelancer, you’ll be able to charge what your work is worth, and you get to pocket all the profit after your expenses are paid. Your income isn’t capped by your hourly or salaried rate, either. The more effort you put into finding clients and landing new jobs, the more income you have the potential of making.
5. You can take advantage of more tax deductions.
With a flexible career, you’ll be able to deduct a lot more expenses, deductions that aren’t available to employees. Deductions you can make may include things like the costs associated with your home office, travel expenses, costs related to entertainment and meals, your Internet access, your cellphone package and any other reasonable and legitimate costs which you incur as a result of running your own business. Consult a tax expert and/or financial planner to see how freelancing might affect your taxes.
Flexible careers that are in high demand for employers and fit within a military spouse’s unique schedule constraints include:
- Web Development
- Customer Service
- Networking and Information Systems
- Writing and Translation
- Administrative Support
- Design and Multimedia Services
- Software Development
- Business Services
- Social Media Manager
More Military Spouse Career Moves to Make:
Financial Solutions for Your Military Family:
Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Home Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more. Learn more about AAFMAA.