In March, a good portion of the nation transitioned to remote work, aka working from home. There have been more than a few growing pains, what with all the people trying to access your home’s internet at the same time. Plus, we’re all grappling with the facts that those “essential” meetings could have, in fact, been emails instead.
In the middle of this sea change in the working world, one group is poised to claim dominance in the WFH sector. Military spouses are uniquely perfect for remote work – and many of us have been killing it from our home offices for years!
Military Spouses are Uniquely, Perfectly Positioned for Remote Work
Moving every one to three years isn’t exactly conducive to a traditional career. Mostly because many career tracks require you to be in one place for more than a few years at a time. You need time to grow, to get promoted and to demonstrate your skills.
Military Spouse Workforce is a great resource to help leverage your education and experience into a remote or virtual position that works for your military lifestyle!
With the unique demands of a transient lifestyle, military spouses have gotten creative with career paths out of necessity.
Military Spouses Get Creative with Careers
Moving so often means that we can’t stick around in one place long enough to see meaningful promotions. Teachers need 3-5 years in one school to be considered for tenure, for example. That’s not always, or typically, possible as a military spouse.
So we’ve had to get creative with our careers, often turning to virtual jobs or self-employment for continuity and stability.
According to a 2015 Blue Star Families survey, 23% of military spouses have been self-employed or run their own business. Another 28% reported that they were interested in owning their own business. That’s a huge percentage of our population!
Over my 11 years as a military spouse, I’ve worked from home or remote for probably 9 of them. I’ve:
- run my own tutoring business
- worked as a copy editor
- been a freelance writer
- worked as a content manager
- owned my own education advocacy business
My friends have worked remotely in fields like accounting, office management, virtual assistant and education – both K-12 and higher education.
In each case, we have leveraged our education and experience to secure these remote positions. The same 2015 BSF survey found that 84% of military spouses polled have some college education or higher, with 58% holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Military Spouses are Early Tech Adopters
Know who was on video chats in the early 2000s? Military spouses. We are often on the cutting edge of connectively technology and collaborative work platforms.
It’s not because we have some innate, communal skill or talent that allows us to understand technology faster or better. We adopt and use tech because we have to in order to stay connected with our loved ones. Video chats were needed to talk to our families back home or our deployed service members. We needed to learn about Google apps or online learning platforms because distance learning is often the only option for our own education.
We know how to use tech. And in a world that’s likely to be crawling with remote work, this skill is essential.
Military spouses know tech and how to connect across distances great or small. In this way, we’ve got a leg up on others who rely on being able to connect in person.
Military Spouses are Epic Multi-Taskers
One of the biggest hurdles to remote work, at least right now, is the ability to juggle multiple tasks at once while also being, well, at home.
Military spouses have got multi-tasking down cold. In fact, juggling all the things is basically what we do every day.
It’s not just watching TV and typing either. Military spouses can handle multiple, highly involved jobs always. Jobs like the logistics of a cross-country move, while looking for a home and schools, plus keeping all of the normal things going at home. All while they are solo-parenting.
And everything gets done.
Having multiple work projects with deadlines? That’s easy.
Military Spouses Network & Support Each Other
My spouse jokingly calls my network the milspouse mafia. We know things before our spouses because our grapevine passes verified info quickly.
When we move, I connect with the local military spouse groups to get the gouge on everything from the best schools to awesome CSAs or coffee shops with ethically sourced Ethiopian coffee. Yes, we go big picture while also having incredibly specific details, too.
This incredible network means that I already know a bunch of people who can fill various roles at your company. You get access to all of that knowledge when you hire me.
Plus, when a company or business gains a reputation for hiring military spouses, you’re going to have more exceptional job candidates applying. Because military spouses want to work for people who value our unique skills while supporting our military life.