Creative Careers for Military Spouses
You move three times more than the average civilian, often to cities not of your own choosing. Your spouse is typically busy at training or even deployed, sometimes for months at a time, leaving you with all responsibilities of house and home. And while you knew what you were signing up for when you married into the military, you may be looking for a way to not only bring in a little extra income, but exercise your own creative and professional muscles.
While many military spouses report feeling underemployed, the opportunity to work from home and the motivation to really seek out a job you enjoy my actually push you into a line of work you never imagined but that is actually a perfect fit. Below are some of the top creative career choices for military spouses available today.
With today’s technology, working remotely is easier than ever, and many professionals see the value (and savings) of hiring freelancers, regardless of location. Additionally, some companies look to show their support to U.S. troops by participating in non-profit organizations like Hire the Homefront, a job posting/hiring site that connects military spouses with freelance projects. Employers list project details and budget, and interested freelancers submit a proposal. The site includes tips and FAQs to help you get started, and projects range from virtual assistants, to digital marketing, data entry, article writers, and more.
Multi-level Marketing (MLM)
Once referred to as “pyramid businesses,” today’s numerous multi-level marketing opportunities have outlived the negative connotations and are thriving, helping many stay-at-home spouses bringing in significant additional income. From health and wellness products, to skin care, to jewelry and makeup, to essential oils and cooking tools, there are more than 100 solid home-based marketing opportunities available these days. Of course, it’s best to get behind a product that has benefitted you personally or that you’re particularly interested in, so be sure to check out the benefits of becoming a distributor, how the company pays you, and other customer care-abouts like return policies, since you’ll most likely be selling to friends and people you know. Additionally, social media makes sharing your products easier than ever, and support from other team members is just a click away.
Professional Careers that Travel
If you are already a professional or pursuing that path, there are several careers that travel well, meaning that the opportunity for work is present in almost every city in the U.S. and many offer part-time or temporary opportunities, further increasing flexibility. For example, home health care is a growing industry, and allows you to help your clients in a very real way, especially the homebound and elderly. Skills like graphic design can be put to work from home or as a contract worker for a wide range of clients, and you can often win jobs without formal training, as long as your portfolio and skills set is strong enough. For a full list of portable military spouse jobs, check out a recent Top 9 list from military.com.
Online Art Boutique
If you are crafty, artistic, or have an eye for vintage treasures, an online boutique might be the path for you. Hundreds of vendors use sites like Etsy and Artfire to showcase their very unique goods and services to potential customers looking for special, handmade items. Shops on these sites sell everything from birthday party invitation templates, handmade leather goods, customized jewelry and artwork, knitted children’s toys, scrapbooking services, and amazing items spotted and rescued from antique fairs. Perfect some of your favorite projects and launch your store today.
Put Your Hobbies to Work
The perfect part-time job for you might be right in front of you, in the form of your own favorite activities and hobbies. For example, if you’re a pro at exercising, in great shape, and enjoy helping others, you could consider becoming a personal trainer at your local gym; they often have openings due to high turnover, and you might discover a passion that leads to professional certification. Perhaps you love putting together the perfect gift baskets for friends and family; harness that skill and know-how into a “menu” of gift baskets that customers can order, custom-made, for their next upcoming event. If you’re an excellent baker, consider how others might love having a beautiful birthday cake that they did not have to make, or even a few dozen cookies, fresh from the oven, delivered to their office. Simply think about any task that you excel in, that others might not, and start sharing your services and examples of work on your social media channels.
If your dreams and aspirations are leading you to a more formal education or certification, be sure to check out the DOD’s MyCAA Scholarships that award up to $4,000 in tuition assistance to military spouses.