Active duty service members get guaranteed jobs, and their life is essentially under the military’s control.
But what do the military spouses do?
You may have heard that many/most are stay at home spouses.
I was under the impression that military spouses didn’t work most of the time, not because they didn’t want to, but because military families move around so often, it’s hard to keep up with different jobs, or even find them sometimes. Which is why you would often see stay at home spouses in the military. And because service members could be deployed at any moment, it can be hard to have a job and manage a family with one missing parent.
But in reality, there is A LOT going on for military spouses.
I figured this would be my case, but my time as a military spouse myself has taught me otherwise. Talking to other military spouses has been very inspirational actually.
So what do military spouses do while a part of the military family?
1. They’re entrepreneurs
I’ve been a part of many local community pages for military spouses, and a lot of them are entrepreneurs actively growing their businesses. Life coaches, bloggers, web designers, crafters, event planners, photographers, you name it. You’ll find plenty of business running spouses who make a living, while avoiding the nuisance that could come from having to move from place to place. They’ve embraced the uncertainty that comes with being a military spouse, and made it their own.
2. They side hustle
I had my fair share of side hustling when I had just moved to our new station, and was jobless for about a month. I sold clothes, home items, and my textbooks and made almost a few hundred dollars.
Some spouses I’ve gotten to know sell their DIY creativity, and do it in their free time. Others I know might be Uber drivers, sell products at home for companies like LuLaRoe, Avon, and many more. They work small or part-time jobs, but spend most of their time at home. They do it for the extra money, and to also be productive, because NO, spouses do not just stay at home and spend their spouses money (I honestly hate that stereotype that surrounds military spouses).
3. They are students
The military offers a financial aid program to help spouses get certification and education in careers that can be very portable, and can be completed online. From teaching ESL, to bookkeeping, to IT support. The list is long. But some spouses are working towards the next step in their career. And they have also embraced the uncertainty, but have adapted their careers to be prepared for it.
4. They’re working in the military
Many military spouses work civilian jobs with the military. The military contracts quite a bit of civilians for many positions on base. From retail to professional. Who better understands the uncertainty than the military itself? I know a few spouses who worked as bartenders, store managers, or other professional careers. It’s one of the first places you’re recommended to visit when you’re a new military spouse to a station, and you want to find a job.
5. They work the same jobs everyone else does.
I may not know when I’ll be moved somewhere else, but the community around a military station understand this very well. Employers are very well aware that they are surrounded by a military community, and that this means potentially temporary military spouse employers.
But they make it work for you.
So yeah, we still work normal jobs. We may have to leave them sometimes, but from the beginning, that is something both the employee and the employer are aware of, and have both embraced.
So there, mystery solved.
Military spouses are revolutionizing how they make-do with the circumstances. If we get sent overseas, we’ll make it work, and if we really want to work, we can make it happen.
There’s plenty of options.