Portable Employment for Military Spouses All Over the World

Portable Employment for Military Spouses

Portable Employment for Military Spouses All Over the World

Finding portable employment is a common challenge for all military spouses. I am a 50-something black military spouse with a Political Science degree who moves every 2-3 years. Hence, it’s not unusual for spouses to continually remake themselves and their resumes. Deployments, PCS moves, overseas and domestic, training exercises, and other military-related life stressors explain why maintaining steady employment can be difficult for military spouses. Fortunately for us, modern technologies have enabled an increase in portable, relevant, and well-compensated careers.

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  1. What is Portable Employment?
  2. Start With a Plan
  3. Scholarship and Education
  4. Use your Network
  5. Be Your Boss
  6. Filing for Unemployment
  7. Additional Benefits

Portable Employment for Military Spouses

What is Portable Employment?

A portable job is simply one that you can take with you wherever you go. The best careers for military spouses are portable. While online jobs for military spouses can be mobile, they aren’t the only option. We have moved nine times over the last 25 years, and my husband has done the same thing no matter where we went. I have not.

Over that same time, I’ve worked as a secretary, project manager, IT professional, receptionist, and administrative assistant. And when I couldn’t work on the economy, I’ve freelanced my writing skills or created a holistic wellness business selling essential oils.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could both work on our career at the same time? Portable employment opportunities allow spouses to not only continue working but continue working in their desired fields.

Start With a Plan

Best Careers for Military Spouses

Many years ago, I went to school for electrical engineering. I pursue that degree for more than three years. Unfortunately, we were transferred to a duty station that did not have an engineering program. So I switched to Computer Science. That didn’t fit either. And I eventually received a degree in Political Science with minors in Economics and History.

My point. I didn’t have a plan. Don’t be this girl. Start by researching portable careers that are in high growth or high demand. Then, match them up with your skills or skills you can get.

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A Good Career Starts with a Good Education

Scholarship Programs

I have student loans I am still paying off. But I was also fortunate to receive some scholarship. I am grateful for the $500 award I received every semester from my employer (AFLAC). I also received $1000 per semester from the Society of Daughters of the United States Army. DUSA offers a merit scholarship based on academic achievement, community involvement, and leadership potential. Financial need is not considered, but you must be a daughter, granddaughter, or stepdaughter of career commissioned or warrant officer in the United States Army.

If you aren’t on your career path yet, a sound plan is to continue your education. The MyCAA Scholarship Program offers scholarships to some military spouses. Eligibility is limited to active duty spouses of service members with pay grades of E-1 through E-5, W-1 through W-2, O-1 through O-2.

Spouses and Children of Soldiers in several categories are eligible to apply for an Army Emergency Relief (AER) Scholarship. The Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship Program is a need-based scholarship that assists Army Spouses in obtaining an undergraduate degree or similar professional certification.

Use your Network

Go through your list and see who you could reach out to for opportunities. You can find portable employment by connecting with alumni or membership organizations. Loyal networks like sororities help you widen the net for your job search. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and reach out to people and companies in your desired career field. Join groups on social media or a mailing list to help get contact information and make that initial introduction. Growing your network will only improve your chances of employment or at least help you get a little bit further in your job search.

Consider Working for Yourself

The visa most military spouses receive when we travel with our spouses overseas does not allow us to work on the economy. As a result, most of us look for jobs on the USAJOBS.org website.

I couldn’t find anything I wanted to do. So, I started blogging and freelancing as a writer and photographer. When I discovered the benefits of essential oils, I decided to sell them on my blog and an independent contractor working from home. Being self-employed allows you to set your hours and work for yourself. This may be the portable employment path to consider for military spouses with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Unemployment Benefits

For Military Spouses Affected by a PCS Move

There is a famous saying in the military community. There are two types of military spouses. One that has quit their jobs because of a PCS. And a military spouse who hasn’t quite a job because of a PCS– yet.

Thankfully, as of January 2019, 47 states offer some form of unemployment benefits to military spouses.  North Dakota, Louisiana, and Idaho do not provide military spouse unemployment relief at this time. Each state has its unemployment insurance program and requirements. And filing for benefits can be completed online. Be mindful, don’t resign your position too early before you PCS, or you may not qualify for compensation.

If you’re going abroad, you should still be able to apply for unemployment. This is where searching for a remote job is essential because you’ll have to prove you are actively seeking employment. If you are moving back from overseas, you need to check the laws of the state you are a resident of.

Additional Benefits

Military Preference, License Transfers, and Taxes

Military spouses are given preferential employment placement in vacant Department of Defense (DoD) civilian positions. About half the states offer military spouses some type of license transfer benefit, including permanent or temporary licenses or expedited processing. Also, the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act allows spouses to claim their original state of residence on their taxes, especially if from a state with a lower tax rate when there is a significant saving in taxes. Military dependents are also permitted to file their tax forms at the Tax Center for free.

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9 thoughts on “Portable Employment for Military Spouses All Over the World

  1. Thanks for sharing these tips. I like the idea of asking your current employer to keep working remotely. It takes a lot of pressure off looking for a new job as well as giving you some continuity on your resume.

  2. Military spouses are resilient and just want an equal opportunity to better themselves while serving their spouses and their country. And this post is a good step in the right direction.

  3. I can not imaginate how stresful it is to be a military wife. This will help many who want to work but can not comite to a career.

  4. I do have a few friends who are military spouses. This would be a great resource for them. I am going to send the link to this post to them. I am sure it will be a big help, especially during this time of uncertainty.

  5. Interesting read. I didn’t really know too much about this topic but enjoyed reading about it. Some useful information here.

  6. This is such an important topic especially right now when so many are at home. I love network marketing and I plan to create unit study resources for families. The possibilities are endless.

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