Nathan Huret • May 17, 2020
Military Spouses Can Explore Freelance Jobs That Move With Them
Building a career when ‘staying put’ in one location for any lengthy period of time is not always an option. It has an impact on the kind of career experience you can acquire. And the duration of your employment history, as a military spouse. With little notice, it can be time to pack up and ship out to another military base, state, and city. And that makes job search much harder. But freelance opportunities may be the answer.
In the past, military spouses have been limited to the kind of employment they could pursue, because of the frequent relocation requirements. That typically meant retail service jobs for employers like Walmart (who do allow employee transfers), temporary contract employment, providing in-home daycare services, or other minimum wage jobs that did not require a lot of experience. Or tenure in previous positions.
Resources On Our Website for Military Families
At HKY4Vets, our work encouraging support programs for military veterans (both locally and nationally) has always considered that military spouses need resources too. That the choice of being a military family and serving and sacrificing for our Country, should not lead to a life of poverty by design and circumstance for veterans and spouses.
If there is one single good thing that has happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is the rapid transformation of many jobs to ‘work from home’ or remote roles. The preventative restrictions and protocols for social distancing forced many businesses who never allowed remote work before, to rapidly transition to allowing employees to work from home.
Today, there are many easy ways that military spouses can use their skills and earn a living as a professional freelancer. Or train into the skills that are marketable right now, in the freelance sector. Let us take a look at what is involved in building an independent, self-employed freelance income. A job that can travel anywhere you need to, as a military spouse.
Do a Skills Inventory to Discover Marketable Strengths and Talent
Before you consider working in a freelance capacity, you have to figure out what kind of job or service you would be providing to an online client. Are those skills currently in demand, and are contract employers looking for talent or ability that you can contribute from home, that is not telemarketing?
Here are some freelance job opportunities that have consistent demand.
1. Virtual Assistants
There are many opportunities for virtual assistants. For example, if you can type letters (in proper format), post on social media, scan or record receipts and do basic bookkeeping or schedule and organize meetings, you may find contract work as a virtual assistant to be rewarding. And you can have more than one contract client and build a steady income that is portable. Where you go, your job goes.
2. Graphic Designer
Do you have a flair for graphic design? If you are one of those people who have been teaching themselves how to use software like Photoshop for years, you could turn your hobby into a lucrative business as a professional graphic designer. Unlike other professional fields, businesses do not care whether you have a degree in art and computer-generated design; what they care about is talent. And if you can demonstrate fresh ideas and concepts, and design into the vision of a business client, you could become a successful freelance graphic designer.
For more advanced techniques, consider doing some continual learning with a few courses on Udemy about graphic design principles and methods for creating better commercial artwork.
3. Voice Over Talent
How many times has someone told you that you have a “voice for radio” and that you should apply for a television or radio broadcasting role? Getting to be the local weather girl is harder than it is to turn a golden broadcast-quality voice into a monthly income and business.
Have you heard of Fiverr.com? It is a website that allows freelancers to set up an exclusive profile of skills and services. The website is global, and that means you will be competing against other international providers, but uploading some samples of your American voiceover, a profile picture, and competitive service fees, and you could be making a part-time or full-time income from the comfort of your own home.
4. Professional Photographer
Photography freelance gigs are not usually advertised online, but if you have a talent for photography and a great eye for contrast and composition, you could build a photography business that travels wherever you live or relocate to.
Some of the most successful amateur photographers create packages or themes. You may want to have a graduate theme and invite parents to get professional outdoor portraits with their children. Get creative with other theme ideas such as Halloween, sports (baseball, football, hockey), fairy and medieval themes, or any other idea you may have.
To get started as a professional photographer, you can build yourself a website on easy and affordable platforms like Wix or Weebly. In under four hours, you could design and publish an amazing website, and start setting appointments for creative photography sessions. You will build a fan following and income no matter where you live, as a photographer.
5. Online Tutor
Do you have a college or university degree in the arts, or science? You do not have to have experience as a conventional classroom teacher to be an online tutor. In many cases, you simply need a degree, pass a certification exam (to demonstrate knowledge in the teachable subject), and a clear criminal record (no incidents for working with children).
Freelancers can advertise their tutoring services online as a private provider. It is free to advertise in places like Facebook or Craigslist. Since you can tutor online using a teleconference application like Zoom, you can work anywhere. And independent tutors can also schedule the time that they wish to work. The flexibility that military spouses appreciate. Particularly if they have young children.
And it is rewarding. If your children are grown or if you never had kids, it can be a very fulfilling job to help a child embrace new educational skills.
Have we provided some inspiration to you, that may help you build a portable freelance career as a military spouse? Are you currently a freelancer or e-commerce business owner, successfully earning a full-time income from home? We would love to hear your comments.
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