*This post is sponsored by Worldwide101.
(Update: Worldwide101 is now Boldly!)
Don’t quit looking for your dream job my fellow military spouses. Just adapt it.
As military spouses, we need to find a career that works around our life, not the other way around. I found my dream job somewhere I’d never imagined and you can too!
I’ll never forget the day I had to leave a job I loved. My active-duty (now) husband and I had just decided to get married. We got engaged knowing he was going to be stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado, which meant moving his life from North Carolina, and mine from Kentucky, halfway across the country to start a new one together. I had an absolute dream job at the time doing marketing for a global entertainment company to market shows, concerts, and events – I got front row seats and backstage access to the biggest concerts of the year, I had gotten to meet artists like Dave Matthews and influential figures like the Dalai Lama – it was incredible, and now, it was over. I was boldly choosing love. Can’t go wrong there, right?
Well, first let me say I have never regretted my decision (Love ya, Jon!). I did, however, go through a long, dark phase I like to call my “professional depression.” I thought my career was over just as it had really begun. I thought, “I’m NEVER going to find a job I loved as much as the one I had before.” I looked down when being referred to as a ‘dependent’ by the various military offices we had to register with, and I started to really struggle with finding my new identity.
In my mind, I had two not-so-great options: take a job I didn’t really love, so it doesn’t hurt to leave after a year or two or leave another dream job when my husband’s next orders came down the pipe (if I could even find one). Rock and a hard place. And I think a lot of military spouses feel like those are their only options, too. But then, a friend turned me onto a third option I hadn’t really considered: Why not find a job I love that goes with me, try my hand at remote work? It was my answer.
I began to research. Luckily being as I am in marketing, and given the digital age we’re in, I knew I had the appropriate tools and systems to do my job properly from home. But finding one wouldn’t prove to be easy. I spent endless hours searching for already-remote marketing jobs, typed my fingers to the bone submitting countless applications to automated systems that would never see a human eye, for jobs I wasn’t even sure were real, and I began to lose hope.
But then, I came across a listing for a Marketing Specialist for a company called Worldwide101. And the more I read, the more excited I became. The job was essentially just everything I had been doing in my previous marketing roles, but remote, and for a host of different, exciting companies in various industries I was passionate about. It was a good, reputable company with a happy team and a supportive founder. Was this too good to be true?
Spoiler alert: it wasn’t. I applied, I was hired, and almost five years later, I’m still with the same company, legitimately loving what I do every day (again)! And enjoying what I do every day isn’t even the best part. The best part is enjoying the new, flexible life it has allowed me to have. And not just with location – but with my schedule and work/life balance as well.
I started to realize, the definition of a dream job can change based on your current needs in life. Attending concerts and shows until 2 am in my 20’s was, of course, a dream. But now, we have a young daughter and priorities that exceed my own needs, what I find to be a dream is the flexibility and autonomy I have in my current role.
I take my dog for walks on my breaks, and I pick my daughter up from childcare before the mad evening rush and get to spend the late afternoons with her. I work from wherever I want – my comfy home office, the coffee shop, (my parent’s house during deployments) travel destinations when my husband gets some leave. And the real win? I get more done than I ever have before. I feel more balanced and more productive in my new role. I have more motivation than I ever had before to do my best work because I love my job, and I love the new life it provides me. Remote work opportunities are on the rise, and that should be music to the ears of military spouses everywhere.
And the best news? You can do the same thing. Since beginning my remote career, I’ve become aware of so many movements, resources, and thought leaders working to lead the remote work revolution. Not only with my company Worldwide101, which won the prestigious When Work Works Award this year, but resources like Flexjobs, Hire Heroes USA and MSEP who focus on helping military spouses find work that actually works for folks like us. I’d encourage you to check them out if you’re on the job hunt.
Military spouses by nature are adaptable and resourceful. It’s in our blood. You apply it to moving constantly, dealing with your service members crazy schedule while juggling your other responsibilities and, somehow, keeping your sanity. You can also apply that resourcefulness to your remote career search, and you can find something that fits your current idea of a dream job. I promise you, it’s possible.
PS: If you’re a professional with 7+ years of experience in executive assistance, marketing, project management or bookkeeping – check out Worldwide101, we’re hiring!
Audrey Fairbrother is the Marketing Manager for Worldwide101, a remote staffing company connecting demanding founders and executives with highly skilled, meticulously matched remote talent. Connect with Audrey on LinkedIn or Twitter.