The answer to why military spouses should work from home seems obvious, so I’m not sure I even have to write a blog post about this!
The phrase alone sounds enticing – “work from home.” Who wouldn’t want to skip out on the office and make money without leaving the house everyday?
The advantages of working from home can apply to pretty much anyone, I’m sure. Unless you’re someone in a career where you physically have to be present at your job (like nursing). Or, if you thrive on face-to-face interaction, the perks of a traditional job with physical interaction can outweigh the benefits of working from home.
But for the rest of us, a job that allows us to work at home can be a pretty nice deal.
And if you’re a military spouse, those advantages are two-fold, because of the demands that come with military lifestyle.
When I first started working from home as a milso, I was like, “This is amazing. EVERY military spouse needs to be able to have this option.”
1. Freedom of location
No matter where you get stationed in the world, you’ll most likely be able to take your job with you.
This is one of the biggest reasons I pursued remote work. I worked hard to get my degrees, and the thought of finding a job I really loved and was qualified for, only to have to leave after a few years, was so discouraging.
I started feeling like my career would always be on the back-burner, like I would always have to give up my job and become a “newbie” at yet another company. It was frustrating, and I didn’t want to become resentful towards the military or my husband’s career, so l looked for a solution. And thankfully, I found the solution in working from home.
The biggest perk for me in working from home is having the freedom of location – not just because of PCSing, but also because of the heavy traveling we do as a family. As long as I have my laptop and an internet connection, I can still work – no matter where I am in the world.
2. Less stressful PCS
PCSing means uprooting your family and starting fresh in a new area. It means saying goodbye to the life you’ve built in one state or country, and moving it all to the next duty station. Sometimes, this can be a good thing (if you’re ready to leave that area).
But most of the time, it’s hard to say goodbye to the people you’ve met, the schools your kids have adjusted to, the home you just started making your own, and the company or business you’ve worked for.
Regardless, PCSing and moving, in general, is stressful.
Now, imagine the military said you had to pack up your things and move your family next month. Stressful, right?
But, here’s the caveat – you can keep your job, and keep working. Once you get settled moving, you can pick up right where you left off making money from your new home.
It’s a world of difference, and totally worth it.
3. Flexible schedule
This depends on the type of remote job you have, but even if you’re working from home on a set schedule (such as 9-5 everyday), you’ll still have more flexibility than you would at an office job.
The reason being? You cut out the daily commute! You don’t have to drive to work.
When I was teaching, I was getting up at 5:30 a.m. to get dressed and commute, so that I could be at work at 7 a.m. Now that I work from home, I literally wake up 20 minutes before work (this gives me enough time to brush my teeth, wash my face, and get my coffee).
Now, I’ve gotten a bit lazy about it. If I wanted to, I could wake up earlier and get a morning walk or work-out in (I definitely should be doing this!).
But because I’m saving the time needed to drive to an actual job, my schedule is much more flexible.
And if your work from home position lets you make your own hours, your schedule is going to be even more flexible.
4. More opportunity for employee growth
Because you’re not having to leave your position with the company once you PCS, you can stay with a company for longer than 3 years. This means you are gaining more experience and building your repertoire with that company.
When you have to leave your position, it means you have to start over with a new company. You’re seen as a “newbie” because even though you may have years of experience, you don’t have experience with that one company.
That isn’t to say that you’re going to be working as an entry level employee if you have the skills and qualifications, it just means the company will see you as a new employee.
Now, there are some articles I’ve read that say that there is less room for promotion and raises for work from home employees. I’m not sure how true that is, because I don’t have any personal experience on that situation. I imagine it has less to do with the fact that employees are working from home, and more to do with how great and reputable your company’s dynamics are.
5. More time for kids (if you have them)
No commute to work means I have more time with my kids. When they leave, I’m here. When they get home, I’m here.
For example, I often do dinner prep, such as crockpot meals, during my work break. Which means, I’m cutting down kitchen time, so I can spend more time with my kids in the evening.
It’s little things like that, the flexibility with small tasks, that help me use my time more efficiently with my remote job.
6. You will feel productive and empowered.
When I got married, I had to leave my copywriting job – it was my first “big girl” job that I earned after graduating with my bachelor’s. I left the company and we moved to our first duty station – where I had no family or friends around.
Starting over was a very difficult first experience as I threw myself into military lifestyle.
I was jobless for quite a bit – we moved to a small town, and there was virtually no jobs in my field. While it wasn’t a big deal because I started graduate school, and getting a job wasn’t a priority, I felt very unproductive.
Being used to having my own money, my own job – and then not having that, took a damper on my self-esteem.
Now that I work from home I feel productive, and empowered, because I’m contributing to our family’ s income, and I’m not in fear of losing my job once we have to move.
7. Companies are becoming virtual.
Virtual companies are on the rise, which means there are more work from home opportunities.
Having a virtual company has its own advantages to employers – especially with cutting costs. So, more companies are moving to this model and allowing their employees to work from home. The power of innovative technology has made this possible for all types of businesses.
8. The types of jobs are endless.
Because companies are moving to the virtual world, employees of different fields and sectors are needed.
Long gone are the days when work from home meant you were in sales or customer service.
Now, you can get a remote job in the industry you’re qualified for. From education to writing to healthcare to technology to real estate to you name it.
And not just that, there are entry level jobs and mid-level jobs and senior-level jobs, for all types of niches and skill sets, if you’re qualified.
9. Less “out of office” days.
Cut down sick days and travel days when you have a remote job.
I haven’t had to call in sick at all this year since I started working from home. If I don’t feel good, I can work from bed and not have to worry about going into an office feeling like crap.
And when there are days I need to travel, I just request the time off I literally can’t work – like when I’m on the airplane or on the road.
Otherwise, I can work from a hotel, if I needed to.
10. You can work in pajamas.
Need I say more?
Work in soft, comfy pajamas or sweatpants, and watch your productivity soar by 200%.
Okay, I’m not really sure about that, but being comfortable at work in your own home is absolutely wonderful, and I consider it a huge perk to work at home life.
Aren’t work-at-home jobs hard to find?
I will say that work-from-home entry level jobs that are posted on job search engine sites will most likely have quite a bit of applications – so many people want these positions! And, employers nowadays are using what’s called Applicant Tracking Software. This is a special resume screening software – so if your resume doesn’t get past the screening process, it won’t ever be read.
Make sure your resume is optimized for this screening software. You can try to do this yourself if you do a bit of research, but there’s also quick services that do this for you. I recommend AResumeScanner. It’s a service that’ll get your resume past the screening process and into the hands of the employer.
Where do I find remote jobs?
When you’re ready to take the plunge into remote work, you can start browsing for work from home positions on the internet. When I first started looking for a remote position, I used snagajob. It’s an easy to use site, and it’s free.
Once you have your resume good to go, use a job search engine site to find remote positions. You’ll want to make an account, then start a search. The key is to make sure you’re applying the right filters for work from home positions, since snagajob posts about regular jobs and remote jobs.
After you’ve created the account, you’ll want to type in “remote” in the search box. Then, select “remote jobs nationwide” (see the screenshot below.)
This will filter out any traditional office jobs, and will show you only the work from home jobs.
Quick Work From Home Job Ideas:
- LegitOnlineJobs – posting ads for companies on your own time. I haven’t done this personally, but I’ve heard a lot about it. The more time you have to do this, the better money you’ll make. It could make a convenient side hustle!
- If you have a skill for writing, Writing Jobs can be a great freelance job opportunity where you make your own hours and accept your own clients. While you don’t need a degree for this, you should be a pretty good writer!
- Data Entry Work at Home Jobs. This is a popular work-at-home opportunity, and if you have typing skills, it’s a really convenient, stress-free way to make money from home. Plus, you can make your own hours. It’s a good option for a side hustle while you’re in school or raising little ones.
If you’re looking for something long-term that is within your skill set, think about offering your own services as a freelancer! It’ll take some time, effort, and serious thought, but if working for yourself is your ultimate goal, this is the route you want to go.
Remember, it’s all about investing in yourself. And investing in yourself while you have a family and support your soldier, takes effort, because you have to make a CONSCIOUS decision to not always place your own career on the back-burner.
If you’re a milso, start thinking about the aspects of a work from home job, and how you can use it to your advantage. With a remote position, you can stay committed to the military lifestyle and support your soldier – and yourself.