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Portable Careers for Military Spouses

"Pack your Career and Let’s Go"

How many times have you relocated? How many jobs have you held in the past 10 years? Do these questions sound familiar? I bet they do. Military spouses face unique challenges when it comes to their professional careers. Many have made the decision to forego the careers of their active duty spouse before their own. However technology is opening doors and creating opportunity for military spouses to establish careers that travel with them.

Portable careers are a growing trend among the military spouse community. Frequent relocations once frowned upon, are now being welcomed with open arms thanks to the wonderful world of technology and the Internet. Military spouses can now utilize their talents, skills, and abilities to launch viable virtual companies at home and/or in cyberspace.

Fast dialup connections and high speed Internet access enable spouses to conduct business online in real time on the web from anywhere in the world, literally. From Alaska to Japan, from New York to Florida spouses are able to sell products and services to clients around the globe.

Why is this new way of working so appealing to military spouses? Great question! Spouses look forward to those three little words every three to four years, “Honey, we’re moving. In times past this meant quitting a job and starting all over, portable careers however allow a spouse to take not only their career/business but also his/her clientele, this benefit alone eliminates the reduction in household income.

Portable careers are especially appealing to spouses who are self disciplined, enjoy working alone and are comfortable using technology. The types of careers a spouse can start include: writing, editing, secretarial support, virtual assistance, translations, transcription, information research and retrieval, photography, interviewer and the list goes on and on. Creativity is key when considering a portable career or virtual business.

Important facts to keep in mind when starting any type of business: be sure to check your local laws (business licensing, zoning, etc.), if you are thinking about starting a business from government quarters be sure to check with your base housing and/or JAG office for authorization.

Remember, the next time your spouse announces those three little words “Honey, we’re moving”, simply pack your career and let’s go. Until the next time, happy virtual officing!

To learn more about the Virtual Business Owners Initiative go to: www.vsscyberoffice.com/vbo.

About the Author

Victoria Parham is the president and chief technology officer for VSSCyberOffice.com, a forerunner in the virtual support services industry, an advocate of portable careers for trailing spouses and family members. Its web-based Virtual Business Owners Training Program(tm), the first Virtual Careers program for Department of Defense ID Cardholders, is available and accessible at military bases around the world.

Victoria M. Parham