portable careers for military spouses

A Portable Career Is Possible as a Military Spouse

A portable career is a must for most military spouses. Unless you get lucky and your soldier stays at one duty station for a long time, you are going to need a career that can travel with you.

It seems that a lot (not all) spouses are under the impression that they can’t make great pay and have a portable career. They seem to believe that those two things just don’t go together.

I hear them talking about working online for less than minimum wage because it allows them to stay home with their children.

It is great that you can stay home with them (don’t get me wrong) and if you only want a little spending money, more power to you. But you can have a career that pays well and be a military spouse.


You don’t have to accept a low-paying “job” or become a member of sites online that literally pay you pennies per task. Yes, I realize it adds up over time.

But wouldn’t it be better if dollars or tens of dollars were adding up over time instead of pennies? You can make more. You can do more. You just have to get out there and try.

Excuse #1: No One Hires Military Spouses

Yes, I know it’s tough. Your resume screams military spouse, no matter how hard you may try to hide it. It’s not that being a military spouse is a problem, it’s the idea that they could invest in your training and you could leave in a short amount of time due to a PCS.

But I do believe times are changing. Many companies are now making it their mission to employ both veterans and military spouses.

And it’s not how it used to be where someone would stay with an employer for 30 years for the gold watch at their retirement ceremony.

I know plenty without any military connection who have stayed at their jobs less than 2 years (multiple times in some cases) and still always managed to find employment.

Will it be true across the board that everyone will overlook the possibility you may have to move? No. But military-friendly employers exist.

Excuse #2: I Don’t Have the Skills to Be an Entrepreneur

I bet you would surprise yourself if you really dig down deep. You are using the internet right now, correct? There’s one skill.

You do know how to manage a household, take on the role of both mom and dad, manage finances, throw together an FRG function, etc, etc, etc, right? You have a lot of skills.

Think about when people ask you for advice. What types of questions do they ask? What do they consider you to be an expert about?

Are you the go-to person for developing a budget? Saving money with coupons? Proofreading school papers?

Those are all marketable skills.

I can’t tell you how many military spouses I have seen who can do amazing things with Photoshop and then tell me they don’t have any skills. Businesses pay BIG money for graphic design.

In other cases, I have visited the blog of a spouse to see that she can really write. She draws you right into her life. Three hours later, I’m still browsing old posts.

That spouse has skills and doesn’t even realize it. Do you know how many businesses need writers that can create engaging content for their site?

Excuse #3: Being an Entrepreneur is Too Expensive

Really? What is expensive about it? You work from home so there goes the need for a closet full of business suits.

Your kitchen is right there so there’s no need to go out for that business lunch every day. Your commute consists of walking from your bedroom to your family room or home office.

Many times, it is cheaper to work from home than to work outside the home. If you already own a computer with an internet connection, you have most of the initial expenses covered.

No, it’s not totally free to start a business. But I can show you how to do it with a very small investment. Your biggest obstacle is convincing yourself that you can do it.

Excuse #4: Being an Entrepreneur is Too Risky

Let me tell you about my entrepreneur professor in the MBA program as this is his favorite myth to debunk.

He wasn’t your typical professor. He has quite a few start-ups under his belt and has actually done the things he is teaching about in the classroom.

When you work for “the man”, that is risky. After all, you are relying on one person or one business to provide your income. You could easily go in tomorrow and find out they don’t need you any longer. THAT is a risk.

Contrast that to being an entrepreneur. He always liked to use the example of having a lawn service. Every time you see grass, you should see the potential. Your client base is unlimited. Every person and business with a lawn is a potential source of income.

As an entrepreneur, you have multiple streams of income. If one client leaves, you have others that are still providing income.

You are spreading your risk over many instead of depending on one. Being an entrepreneur is actually less risky than working for someone else.

Excuse #5: I Have No Idea How to Start

That’s where I would love to be able to help you. I have started multiple businesses and been successful in doing it. There are so many resources out there and people who are willing to help.

I’m lucky that I had/have amazing mentors in my life and I would love to get you started in the right direction as well. Reach out to me via the MTTA Facebook page. What are you waiting for?

portable career as a military spouse

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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