Build Yourself A Truly Flexible Career

As military spouses, we all know how challenging building a career can be. It’s been established that we are one of the largest groups of under-employed people in the U.S. (with a 28% unemployment rate in 2011). When you think about your friends, you know it’s not a fault of our own – you know military spouses are smart, witty, often times college educated, and ambitious. We’re great at adapting to change, overcoming massive challenges, and building relationships with new people. So what gives? Is there answer for a true flexible career?

The common advice is to pursue one of the two “holy grails” of military spouse career choices: health care or teaching. For those of us who aren’t interested, or that isn’t working for us, what can we do?
To fit into the military lifestyle, the best military spouse careers should be:

  • Location Independent (work from home) or Highly Portable
  • Provide a Good Income
  • Low Startup cost
  • Flexibility in day-to-day responsibilities

A fabulous answer? Online entrepreneurship.

Building Your Business Online

It is easier than ever to start online businesses. You don’t need to know how to write code, invest thousands of dollars, or have any special skills to get started (seriously). All you need to do is recognize a specific need/problem that people have that they will pay money to fix. To brainstorm ideas for an online business, consider:

  • What do your friends ask you for help with (how to crochet, plan parties, style outfits)?
  • What skills could you offer that would be of value to businesses (writing, design, legal services, customer service, etc.)
  • What could you teach other people?

There are thousands of answers to what kind of business you can start. Business is not complicated. You simply have to find a way to help people, find people who need the help, and sell to them.

Offering a product/service online has awesome benefits for military life:

  • The next time you have to PCS, you can continue operating your business at your new duty station without interruption.
  • If you need to scale back your day-to-day activities to deal with a deployment, sick child, field exercise, etc you can do what you need to do. You’re the boss.

Here are a few more business ideas to spark your imagination:

  • Social Media Manager for Businesses
  • Write an Ebook to Sell Online
  • Sell Handmade Goods
  • Business/Life/Finance Coaching
  • Resell Vintage Clothing

Are You Ready To Launch Your Own Portable Career?

kaye putnam

Being an entrepreneur and owning your own business isn’t easy but you are completely capable if you are willing to put some time, effort, and ACTION into it. It takes time to build your business, and the income isn’t guaranteed. That said, the rewards are SO worth it.

Kaye Putnam (@marketingkaye) is the founder of the Successful Military Wife. Her goal is to educate & empower military spouses to create their own massive success by starting businesses & building a personal brand. You can connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest as well!

Working lunch image by By Rob Pearce via CC by 2.0

Are you a milspouse entrepreneur or are you thinking of becoming one?  Tell us who you are!  What are the biggest challenges you face when it comes to keeping your career on track?


  1. Just wanted to say Kayeis performing an amazing and truly valuable service by encouraging and helping fellow military spouses. I am a lawyer and a military spouse and most days those identities feel mutually exclusive. I have recently decided to try to become a freelance attorney and build an online business. I am just at the beginning of my journey, but and trying to be hopeful that I can be successful in my career field while living the realities of Army wife life!

    Feel free to visit my website! I just launched it and plan on making additions!

  2. THANK YOU for this article! I am a 10 year Navy spouse and I am trying to run two businesses while we are in our current duty station of Pearl Harbor! I have my Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems and Web Development and am a profession freelance web developer. I am also a rep for a direct sales company called “Damsel in Defense.” Having a relocation-friendly career is a MUST!

  3. Wanda, Christine, & Megan, THANK YOU for commenting! I hope to be able to help a lot of military spouses. Because we deserve to be what we want “when we grow up”, too. 🙂


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