Military life challenges create career obstacles for many military spouses. Traditional careers requiring the employee to work from a specific location make it hard to maintain a job with frequent military moves. Pursuing a career where you can work from home may be ideal for you as a military spouse.
In actuality many military spouses are unemployed, or underemployed, due to the circumstances that come with frequent moves, deployments and other aspects of military life.
A recent Department of Defense survey shows that unemployment is a problem for nearly a quarter of military spouses. This number is more than six times the national average of four percent in 2017 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The need for a job that can move with you so you don’t have to start over each time you PCS is essential.
Do work from home jobs exist?
As a military spouse, you have probably spent some time on Google searching jobs available for transfer or even careers jobs under a “remote” classification.
If you have ever posted in a military spouse Facebook group asking for potential jobs that allow you to work from home, you likely have been bombarded with multi-level marketing companies. While these opportunities may be a great fit for some military spouses, the vast majority will likely not see the monetary outcomes of the top sellers because the market is oversaturated in the military spouse community.
So yes, careers where you work from home do exist and you can find one without having to sell anything to your personal network! Before we get to the jobs, we should probably make sure we understand the type of work you will be doing.
What types of jobs are you doing when you work from home?
Most remote positions consist of data entry and telecommunications. You will likely be speaking with people on the phone, working in computer systems and utilizing video conferencing.
Customer Service Representative
Many companies have outsourced customer service positions to home-based jobs. A customer service representative is the person you reach on the phone when you have a problem or need and want to speak with someone at a company. It could be working with a guest to book a hotel reservation or it might be dealing with an unsatisfied customer to create a solution to their problem.
Many small businesses, home-based businesses, authors and entrepreneurs like to hire Virtual Assistants because they can provide customer service without needing an office space. This remote career provides customer services such as bookkeeping, marketing, project management, or being an executive assistant. It is a great way to utilize skills you have previous gained in an office setting in a work from home career.
What a work from home job is not
Don’t believe the lies on social media. Working from home is not a way to spend time with your child while you should be working. While it would be wonderful to be paid for the valuable time you spend teaching and caring for your own child, I have yet to find someone who is writing checks for this. (If you find one, please email me immediately!)
The truth is many people who have home-based jobs still have to utilize daycare or arrange other childcare services for their children.
When you work from home, your employer will have firm expectations of you. These expectations include things like a quiet work environment, quotas being met, or working on a set schedule. Some jobs where you work from a home office require all of these and more!
Where can I find a work from home job?
Below is a list of 9 websites that not only allow you to work from home and offer growth within the positions, but many of which seek employees with military affiliation because they value the dedication that military spouses bring to the workforce.
1. Work from home with Hilton
Hilton tops this list as a company that intentionally seeks to hire veterans and military spouses. They have a goal to reach an additional 20,000 military hires by 2020, which is great news for you!
Hilton has corporate and hotel positions all over the world, but they also offer positions as a Work From Home Reservation Specialist that can move with you almost anywhere you go.
2. Worldwide 101
Worldwide 101 is an impressive company that provides high quality virtual assistants for clients in a variety of fields.
Working for Worldwide 101 is a great way to utilize skills that you’ve gained in previous local positions in areas such as book-keeping, marketing, project management, being an executive assistant, or providing customer service without having to go into an office.
Providing competitive pay, a flexible schedule and recruiting dedicated military spouses makes Worldwide 101 a definite winner in our book!
Visit the Worldwide 101 website for more information about Worldwide 101 and the positions they are actively hiring.
3. Amazon Virtual Jobs
Amazon continues to be a booming company and is always in search of great employees. Whether you want to work part-time, full-time, locally or virtually Amazon has options for positions. Additionally, if you have not earned a degree, Amazon is a company that may be a great option for you.
If you are bilingual, that is a huge benefit for the virtual customer service associate positions so make certain you include that on your application.
Visit the Amazon jobs website to discover current opportunities available for military spouses with Amazon.
There are numerous companies that hire virtual teachers to educate students in foreign countries in English. My favorite is VIPKID.
For this position you will need to have a Bachelor’s degree. You must have availability of 7.5 hours per week during which tend to be early morning or late at night as the students in China book classes on VIPKID Monday-Friday 6-10pm Beijing time or Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 10pm Beijing time.
If hired, you will earn between $17-$22 per hour and commit to a 6 month contract that can be renewed. This may be the perfect fit for you if you need a job outside of the typical daytime hours.
Additionally, you can live anywhere in the world and retain this position as long as you have quality internet connection.
5. Western Governors University
Western Governors University is an accredited online university offering online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
Being an online university, they offer a variety of virtual positions in higher education. Additionally, WGU has a great population of military students working on degrees.
On their website you can sort the open positions listing by location and quickly see how many work from home positions are available.
Visit the WGU website for open positions at Western Governors University.
Humana is a member of the Military Souse Employment Partnership and seeks military spouses for positions. They hire for a wide variety of positions within the healthcare and insurance fields.
In their job listings you can search by virtual or work from home positions as well as see what is available in your local area. Humana is a very military minded company and sees your position as a military spouse as an asset.
Visit the Humana website for career opportunities and information about Humana’s military hiring initiatives.
7. Xerox home-based employees
Xerox is a company hiring all for positions in locations over the globe. Great news for military spouses is that Xerox is a member of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership and seeks military spouses for positions.
Home-based employees at Xerox work in customer care, tech support, data enter/verification, image tagging, quality control, systems development, software programming and administrative support.
As you browse available positions at Xerox, be sure to select “Yes” under the virtual office filter before running your job search.
Kaplan is a vast educational company with jobs in higher education, test preparation, international education, and corporate positions.
There are many jobs throughout the United States with availability that are part-time or full-time. Some jobs are as simple as proctoring test exams for students practicing taking the SAT or ACT and others that are far more advanced.
For the virtual positions available at Kaplan, be sure to select the “remote/nationwide” box in the filter list on your job search.
Visit the Kaplan website for a listing of current jobs available with Kaplan.
ETS is the company that is responsible for exams such as the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program, TOEIC, TOEFL, GRE and state specific programs.
Scoring opportunities are available online and onsite for exams. Some require specific certifications, but exam hiring is done throughout the year.
Work scheduled are varied and for specific months of the year based on the student testing dates/requirements. This is a good supplemental online opportunity for someone who cannot work during typical business hours.
Visit the ETS website for a list of current online scoring opportunities available.
Other work from home job resources for military spouses
This blog post highlights employers who are actively seeking military spouses for remote employment, but it is not all inclusive. There are many career resources available to military spouses that might be a great fit for you.
Here are some other excellent job resources available to you as a military spouse!
Military Spouse Employment Partnership
The Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership program provides targeted recruitment and employment solution for spouses.
To search employers that may have work from home jobs, visit the Military Spouse Employment Partnership program website and check “offers telework opportunities” to search for work from home opportunities, or check for companies hiring at a location near you!
Military One Source Career Coaches
Perhaps you are unsure of which direction you would like your career to take you. A great resource for you may be a Military OneSource career coach.
You can speak with a career coach who can help prepare you for a job search. You can call 800-342-9647 and speak with a career coach from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., EDT, Monday through Friday or from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT on Saturday.
Hiring Our Heroes
Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative recognizes the problem of unemployment and underemployment in our community. Their mission is to help veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses find meaningful opportunities.
Hiring Our Heroes believes there is value to employers in hiring military spouses. Through hosted hiring and networking events, Hiring Our Heroes provides an opportunity for employers to meet spouses face-to-face.
Additionally, the Hiring our Heroes Military Spouse Professional Network provides military spouses with career development and networking opportunities in military communities around the world.
The digital resources of Hiring Our Heroes include a vast array of assets for spouses to use. Military spouses can build a skills-based resume that highlights their work and volunteer experience with Career Spark, network with other military spouses through our regional LinkedIn groups, get career advice from a mentor or expert through eMentor, and more.
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