Programs & Services

Webinar series educates military spouses on options for flexible employment

Military Family Services’ (MFS) Spousal Employment recently held a webinar series entitled “Confessions from the Home Office” to help military spouses explore the options of flexible employment.

The four webinars held between October and November were launched by MFS for the first time as a convenient way to reach families and provide information.

“We want to be able to meet families where they are, and sometimes that’s in the comfort of their own homes,” said Katie Ochin, Employment and Entrepreneurship Program Manager, Military Family Services.

When researching how to best help spouses combat their employment challenges while moving from city to city, MFS found that flexible employment could be a suitable option for many spouses.

“It’s not the solution for everyone, but for some spouses, their career option might be to work from home for a period of time,” suggested Ochin.

Research indicates that the way Canadians work is significantly changing. In fact, the Government of Canada predicts that by 2030 “a great number, perhaps even the majority – of Canadians will secure at least some of their income through virtual work means.”

Therefore, the first session, held on Oct. 5, focused on the ins and outs of being a freelance worker.

“There’s a huge shift in Canada towards freelance employment,” noted Ochin.

According to the statistics from the World Bank Group, it is estimated that Online Freelancing will account for approximately $4.8 billion in revenue in 2016.

Considering this, the session discussed how many employers are now looking for contract workers. The session gave spouses tips on how to jump into the freelancing market.

In the second session, held on Oct.12, MFS partnered with Resume Target to give spouses tips on how to prepare a resume for flexible employment.

The third session focused on how a spouse can find work as a full-time employee from home. Many companies hire full-time employees that work remotely.

“I think spouses were surprised that there are so many different types of employment available. It’s not just call centre jobs. There are a lot of call centre jobs and customer service positions you can do from home. But there are also other types of positions. You can be a project manager or accountant, just to name a few,” said Ochin.

The fourth and final session was a summary of the previous sessions held in French.

Each of the sessions, except for the fourth, also brought in a spouse who had a success story working in flexible employment.

“The highlight through all the sessions was really the spousal testimonies in every session. We had at least one spouse talk about their success in that type of flexible employment,” said Ochin.

The sessions were considered to be a success by MFS.

“Overall, we had really good feedback from spouses. They were really encouraged…it seemed like it was really meeting a need. I believe it was almost unanimous that the topics were relevant to military families,” noted Ochin.

MFS plans to run the sessions again in the new year, but a date is not yet confirmed. Ochin encourages spouses to check the MFS Employment Facebook page for an update on the next set of sessions.

To hear a recording of some of the sessions visit the Family Force website.

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