Hey y’all! It’s been a minute and I am so very sorry for the delay, life has been crazy around here! I am not sure that if I mentioned it in my last post, but I returned to work the end of July and adjusting the family to a new schedule and routine has required a lot of patience, grace and….FLEXIBILITY! J I didn’t want to leave y’all hanging with this last post, so let’s jump on in to it!

I saved the topic of flexibility until the end for a couple of reason. One, it will mean something different to everyone, and two, it really is a piece of career life that is unique to us. I really never gave career or job flexibility much thought, I always just assumed I would get up and go to work, hopefully doing something I loved, until I retired. Then I married a sailor and moved to Virginia. Then moved to Ohio and had a baby. It was not until almost five years after become military affiliated did the concepts of telecommuting, remote work and flexible work days start to surface as buzz words in interviews. Fast forward three years and the concept has becoming more and more popular with employers and it is the ideal situation for MilSpouses. Many of us may be sitting there thing, why did/have I not considered this option? Don’t feel crazy, I never had even given it a second thought until I had our daughter. In my last position I worked at a remote site two days a week and some of those days I could work from home, but to think of having a full time job where I worked in my slippers, from the couch? I was intrigued and wanted to know more.

After having my daughter, around the 6 month mark I knew I was ready to get back to work. My goal was to return to work by the time she was a year old, so I knew I needed to start getting myself ready. At that time, MY SECO was getting ready to host their Virtual Military Spouse Symposium and they had an entire track dedicated to flexibility and remote employment. Many of speakers discussed how to brand yourself as a remote employee, and how to sell the idea of telecommuting or working from home to your employer. I will share a couple of those ideas with you.  

Ensure that you and your family are prepared for you to work remotely. Designate a area of the home to be your office, ensuring there will be enough quietness for phone calls and concentration.
Working for home is not suitable for all people. You have to be very disciplined and focused, ensuring that you remain on task and keep up with in office productivity.
When preparing your resume for remote positions, be sure to include skills that are related to remote employment ie: video conferences tools, file sharing databases, IM and other technology skills that have the ability to “bring you to the office.” Also be sure to include soft skills that show you have the personality and discipline to work from home.
When discussing the topic with your employer, maybe begin with 1-2 days a week to ease into the transition.

These are some of the ideas recommended when considering making the transition to remote or telecommute type employment. While not exhaustive, it’s a great start when considering this type of change to your career. You might be thinking now; well what kind of jobs are remote positions. The simply answer is almost all jobs! I would recommend ten times over to sign up for a three month membership with Flex Jobs as well as going on the MY SECO website and going to their job bank. In the MY SECO job bank they have a list of employers that all have remote positions and are military spouse friends. Flex jobs allows you to create a profile and upload your resume. From there you will receive daily updates on positions that fit your criteria. Flex jobs also partners with employers who are military spouse friendly.

So I say all of this to say what you ask? I have learned that military spouses are some of the most resilient people in the world. We adapt, adjust and just when we are getting comfortable, it’s time to move. If you have a career, or you are hard worker, the 3, 4, 5 year rotation can do a damaging number on your work history and resume. With the flexibility of working remotely or even better, being hired in with a larger company that is nationwide and allows you telecommute, you can now have the opportunity to create long standing work history, gain strong references, and still support your service member and family.

It has been my pleasure to share an area of my life that is very near and dear to my heart with all of you. I never realized just how complex employment as a military spouse could be, and I wish all you the very best of luck in your career endeavors, and wherever your branch of service takes you. Thank you for letting me spend the last couple of months with y’all, remember;

Empowered women, Empower women,

 

Keadra Young-Bogardus