Military Spouses – “Working from Home”
The New Job Alternative
By Joseph Molina
What if we desire to earn some extra money to help our family? What if we have the need to move around frequently making it difficult to land a consistent, permanent job?
Active Duty and Veterans ask me all the time, “My spouse is having difficulty landing a permanent job, previous job was lost due to deployment. I want to help my family. Please advise”
Most employers are set to hire permanent employees and have a hiring system in place to accomplish that. It is important for these employers to retain employees for long periods of time since training new employees is expensive.
Employers equipped to hire seasonal employees have a hiring system that accommodates frequent personnel changes and it is and it is set up for frequent training of new employees.
What if there was a type of job that could be flexible enough, that could be transferable and could be implemented anywhere. We now have many options for employment, some may call it Self-employment, working from home, independent contractors, these are all different names used for what we now call the Gig Economy. Under the gig economy, we may work for an employer to perform specific tasks or projects, but we may also choose to create our own company and become an Independent contractor.
What’s a gig? Examples of a gig would be: tutors, quick book consultants, Life coaches, a part time CFO, accountants, graphic designers, loan processing agents. The list can go on forever. We (at the Veterans Chamber of Commerce) completely support the idea that if you can’t find the job you are looking for, create your own!!! ☺ The Opportunities are there and are almost endless.
“How To” Tips:
• Don’t go at it alone – Join groups, get a mentor, join a chamber (Veterans Chamber)
Join a trade organization or group that is involved in your type of industry. Search online for associations that serve home-based businesses and independent contractors. You may also want to connect with a networking group in your area, like Meet Up. These groups are a great way to network with people in similar industries.
• Don’t re-invent the wheel – Creating a concept that only you know about, or that very few people understand is great, but be aware that it will take longer, cost more and be more challenging to get your idea off the ground. You are okay with the extra investment of time and money. It can be a great experience to start something out Just from an Idea. However, if what you are looking for quick cash, then align yourself with a service or product that many people currently know and use. I always tell my clients to “Imitate, then Innovate”. There are plenty of business opportunities out there that are already successful, it might be quicker to try one of those first.
How to Start:
1. Identify what skills you have to offer, and whether those skills are best offered to Individuals or to businesses
2. Answer these simple questions to know if your product/service has potential:
a.Who currently buys my type of product/service?
b.Where are those buyers geographically located?
c.How many buyers are located in that area?
d.Are those byers able to purchase my service/product?
e.How often do they currently buy the product/service?
Answering these questions will let you know the “level of need” for your product/service. The higher the “level of Need” the higher the possibility of success.
3.Even if you are providing a small/simple service, research your county and city for licensing requirements (Let us know if we can help)
Gigs and Where to find them:
Once you are ready to start offering your product/service, there are “platforms” set up already to showcase your service. One platform I often recommend is UpWork. In this platform, you don’t have to sign a contract and charge what you want. There are other platforms out there, but this platform is an inexpensive and easy to set option for someone starting out.
Get the help:
You are not alone! Many good, well intentioned organizations are available to help you in your search for the right work from home venture. The Veterans Chamber of Commerce is a great resource and can guide you in the process.