Today there are many options for working for yourself. You can work as a business consultant, work on freelance projects or open and operate your own home-based business. The Internet has opened up whole new fields of employment with almost limitless options. However, to create a viable job working for yourself requires you to be hardworking, self-disciplined, focused and entrepreneurial. Moreover, you will have to be your own manager, team leader, office staff and custodian.
As a military spouse you are already adept at creative scheduling and moving. Whether you like it or not you have become good at creating new friends and exploring new environments. All this experience will help you if you decide to work for yourself.
If you had a prior career where you learned valuable skills such as corporate accounting or productivity management, consulting work may be ideal for you. You must become adept at creating vibrant business proposals to get consulting jobs, and you must be focused and organized enough to be looking and acquiring work while you are on a current assignment.
The advantage of consulting work is that it is often highly paid. The disadvantages are you are sometimes the option of last resort and are being called in to put out a major fire. Consulting work can be very demanding and difficult. You will be expected to work nearly 24/7 and must be very agile and efficient in understanding the needs of your clients.
Consultants are usually required to travel as well. If you have children, be sure to inquire about this before taking on any new clients or assignments. If youre without children, this may be the perfect career for you – giving you something to do while your spouse is gone and allowing you the flexibility of not working while he/she is on leave.
Working on freelance projects is also an option. Freelance workers are also consultants but they tend to inhabit the artistic careers of writing, graphic design, computers and photography. Freelance means literally that you do not work for one company but instead manage all your own contracts and work for a variety of clients. Freelance generally pays less than consulting but the work is often more enjoyable and flexible.
Moreover, freelance workers seldom are required to work on location. Freelance jobs that you might be interested in include: editing, writing, graphic design, website design, advertising, photography and programming. In todays computer driven society, freelance can be done anywhere with a computer and a smart phone. For a military spouse with children, this kind of freedom is often an ideal solution.
Home-based businesses are your third option. Consultants and freelance workers can also have home-based businesses. Home-based businesses refer to any business where your home is also your office.
Home-based businesses can require permits and fees just like any office-based business. As with any business you will want to set your home-based business up to take advantage of the tax benefits. There are also specific rules and regulations regarding home-based businesses if live in military housing.
Common home-based businesses include: mail-order businesses, child day care, alteration and sewing services, pet services, clerical and tax help, job resume services, event planning, interior decorating services, craft services and craft shows, gardening services, consignment selling, gift baskets, catering, car detailing, house repair, tutoring and direct selling.
Deciding to work for yourself should also be a family decision. Your children and spouse will have to support your work. Even if they agree to you working for yourself in principle, they might find it difficult to leave you alone during your work hours or stay out of your work area. Having your own business will take a lot of your time and can make you feel like you can never leave your work “at work.” These are all things to consider when you are looking into working for yourself.