As spouses and mothers, we far too easily let the needs of our family come first. As members of the military community, we give and give, tirelessly supporting those alongside us. While the challenges often faced by our community aren’t dwindling anytime soon, instead of letting our lives and goals and intentions pass us by, let’s go out and make big things happen.
It could be that 2014 is the year that you are transitioning from a stay-at-home parent to a working one, or would like to transition that job into a career. Finding, maintaining and growing careers as military spouses is incredibly difficult — between PCS moves, family responsibilities and the challenging job market, positions that fit the bill are few and far between. Reach out to your local family readiness groups and the MWR for specific information for your area on available opportunities.
Looking outside your direct community could help you find a position that is more relevant, too. Hinesville and Richmond Hill only have so many businesses, but opening your search up to Savannah, Pooler and the greater metropolitan area can help identify businesses that are of interest and opportunities that are perfect fits. Organizations like The Creative Coast offer job listings, resources and ideas for those seeking positions and ways to get more connected to the community through events and happenings in the area.
If you are interested in volunteering, many organizations are in need of additional support and your time. Even if it is just five-to-10 hours per week, organizations in your community can benefit from the long list of experiences you’ve gained as a military spouse. Think about where your interests fall — it could be working with children, animals, in a hospital or in another capacity. Search for nonprofit organizations or churches that are active in those areas and find ways that you could get involved. It could be as simple as showing up and being willing to execute the tasks needed for the day, or you may need to propose a way for you to grow your skill set in a certain area by working on specific projects.
Sometimes the traditional path to a job or career isn’t in the cards, either because of child care or personal needs. Instead of just succumbing to circumstance, look for something a little outside the box. Developing a business that can move with you and grow at your pace can allow you to manage the many roles you juggle daily.
Starting as a freelance worker or an independent contractor lets you get your feet wet without the startup costs and time involved in launching a full-fledged new business. Regardless, there are plenty of things you’ll want to be aware of, such as taxes, permits and licenses, etc. The internet is a great place to start, but for location-specific requirements, the Small Business Administration offers many free and low-cost programs.
2014 could be the year that you make big things happen — let’s do it.
Hewlett, a military spouse and mom, lives with her family in Richmond Hill.