Portable careers for mil spouses

by Jessica Evans
Stripes Europe

The last of the boxes have been taped and your household goods are on their way to a new installation. If you’re like a lot of mil spouses, that means you’re realizing that you have to start your job search all over, once again. It can be daunting to repeat the process over and over and stay positive about it. After all, your service member has their career path pretty much laid out, and the moves are part of that process. If you’re trying to find a way to ensure that your career can become as mobile and fluid as your life, rest assured there are plenty of options that don’t involve relying on the PX or BX for a part-time cashier job.

A practical solution for this is for mil spouses to consider working toward portable career options that can be flexible and move with the Service Member as the transition becomes permanent and complete.  

Consider these portable career options:



creative services

customer service/ support


grant writing

graphic design

editorial and content writing




public relations


social media

technical service


virtual assistants/admin

web design

Keep an open mind

Research careers with high growth or high demand. Figure out a career path that is going to grow with you, not hold you back. Find out the average salary for the career and make sure it is something you are comfortable with. Network with those already in the career field and ask them any questions you may have. Speak with a career or college counselor for more guidance. Speaking of college…

An excellent career starts with a good education

If military spouses aren’t set on their career path just yet, a proper consideration would be to start or continue their education.

Use your network

Go through your list and see who you could reach out to for opportunities. Connect with alumni. Join groups on social media or a mailing list to help get contact information and make that initial introduction. Growing your network will only improve your chances of employment or at least help you get a little bit farther in your job search.

Research the Rules

If any licenses or certificates are necessary to maintain your career, look into the ease of transfer. Some states will allow either temporary licensure or an expedited process into obtaining a new license. Also, there are specific rules you must abide by when you conduct business if you’re in military housing or on a military installation. Be sure to read up and follow their guidance.

Consider being your own boss

The formal word for this is “independent contractor.” An independent contractor allows military spouses to have the freedom and flexibility to adapt to military life. Being self-employed allows you to set your own hours and work for yourself. This may be a path to consider for military spouses with the entrepreneurial spirit.

Subscribe to our Stripes Europe newsletter and receive travel tips, fun event info, food and drink articles and more in your inbox from us!

Follow us on social media!
Facebook: European Stars and Stripes
Instagram: Stripes Europe
Pinterest: Stripes Europe

Recommended Content