How to get started in remote work

One of the hardest parts of military spouse life can be losing your job every damn time you move. Now, some spouses have federal jobs that are easily transferable from station to station. Those people are a wonder to me and I envy them a bit. I never had such luck, or, when I did manage to find work on-post, it either didn’t pay enough or just wasn’t a good fit for me. (Pro shop employee at the on-post golf course in Hawaii would have been amazing, though!)

Eventually, I started to find ways I could do remote work and always take my job with me. If you’ve never done remote work before it can be hard to find a remote work gig. Many employers won’t want to talk with you unless you have previous remote experience because, let’s face it, the desire to stay in your robe and sit on the couch can be pretty real.

Photo by Jesus Kiteque on Unsplash


This means that you need to prove yourself. You need to prove that you have skills, whether that’s teaching, data entry, writing, or some other thing. But you also need to prove that you can meet deadlines and not be swayed to do laundry when you should be knocking out blog posts for a roofing company in Fort Lauderdale.

Here are three ways you can step into remote work to prove yourself:

Try UpWork. Or Fiverr. Or Elance. or Guru. Or any other freelancing site.

With a little bit of work you can create a profile that gets you noticed on a freelancing site. To get the first few jobs, keep your rates low. Build a small portfolio, then increase your rates to a more reasonable level over time. Write proposals that are clear, with actionable key points, so the employer knows exactly what they can expect of you.

Contact a former employer.

Do you have a former employer who you got along great with? Whether it was in an office setting or a fast food restaurant, contact your boss and ask if there is anything you can do for them from where you’re at. Even just a short-term project, like making follow up calls or doing data entry, can be a big help to them and will give you a “remote” job that can prove your ability to work at home.

Try online teaching.

If you have a degree already, try online teaching or tutoring. There are thousands of schools looking for people with bachelor’s and master’s degrees to teach and tutor. Teaching online can be quite a bit of work, but if you enjoy working with people, have your degree, and like teaching, this can be a great option.

Have you had success finding remote work? I’d love to hear about it! Tell me in the comments.