Military Spouses: How to Work Remotely

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Finding a career that works well for you as a military spouse can be tricky to say the least. Chances are you have many things to juggle between moves, children, supporting your spouse, and taking on tasks your spouse may have otherwise done. Just like your spouse, you have made many sacrifices for our country. This may have included a career you enjoyed but was too much of a strain to maintain while being a military family.

A great employment option for military spouses is working remotely.

Remote work offers you great flexibility in location and hours. You may think that such a position sounds like a fairy tale but remote workers are actually high demand.

Since so many people have had to transition to some degree of online or remote work in the past year, many companies are more comfortable with the idea of hiring fully remote workers. This shift makes such positions even more highly in demand.

Recent research

The McKinsey Global Institute conducted a remote-work study involving more than 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries. Their “analysis finds that the potential for remote work is highly concentrated among highly skilled, highly educated workers in a handful of industries, occupations, and geographies. More than 20 percent of the workforce could work remotely three to five days a week as effectively as they could if working from an office.”

They found that remote work opportunities are more numerous in countries with advanced economies, such as the US or Japan. In addition, remote work potential is often more determined by the tasks you are responsible for rather than being tied to specific occupations. This creates an opening for you to leverage your past work experience in a remote setting.

Types of remote work

Remote workers are diverse in their focus and skills. Some of the most common types of remote workers include virtual assistants, social media managers, bookkeepers, accountants, copywriters, web designers, and blog managers.

Positions may be part-time or full-time. You may work as an employee of a company or form your own business and do contact work for several different entrepreneurs.

Remote workers are skilled at communication and time-management. They’re self-motivated, resourceful, and able to teach themselves to tackle new tasks.

Choosing a type

When choosing what type of remote work to pursue, it is best to consider what you already have to offer. What experience do you have from previous jobs that could translate to remote work? What skills do you possess?

For example, consider working as a virtual assistant in a field you’ve been a part of in a more traditional role. A virtual assistant who has prior expert knowledge is a valuable asset to any company. Not only will you be able to accomplish your remote tasks effectively, but you will also know the ins and outs to offer help suggestions or increase the efficiency of your employer.

If you have never worked in any remote capacity you may be surprised by what applicable skills you already possess. Managing others shows you are probably able to manage yourself well too. Taking initiative may display a responsible, creative problem-solving ability. Many marketing strategies can be adapted and applied to social media.

Once you’ve thought about what you have to offer, consider who you’d like to offer it to. Who is your target audience? How will you reach them? What services can you provide to them from any location?

Real life example

All this might sound intimidating, but it is actually not as hard as it seems to get started. Schuyler Crowder, Director of Programs at American Dream U, is a military spouse, remote worker, and valuable member of our team. Below, she’ll share snippet of her story about how she got in to remote working.

Schuyler’s Story

My name is Schuyler Crowder and I have over 12 years of experience in the Major Events field, ranging from working for the USGA, Corporate Sales at Pinehurst Resort, Special Events Coordinator for Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan and most recently the Director of Programs for American Dream U. As a military spouse I have been lucky to always find a job related to my career field but I understand the challenges we all face when moving to a new base and having to re-invent ourselves. 

2020 was a year of transition and while we all learn how to navigate this uncertain world one positive thing that has come out of it is the ability to remote work. 2021 is the year of the Military Spouse; with the ability to remote work we are now equally competing with our peers for the jobs we really want. 

Like many of us, it can be overwhelming re-entering or applying to new positions. That is why I am excited to be a part of American Dream U. We focus supporting veterans and spouses transition into the civilian workforce through live monthly classes. The classes help you create a strong LinkedIn account, negotiate salaries and boost your self-confidence during a transition. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of our team as you create your bigger future!

bethany@americandreamu.org

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