Resources for Launching an Online Business


Top Tips to Get Started

When designing your website, recommends you:

  • Make the site accessible to those who are using smartphone, tablets and laptops. Mobile device-users make up 15 percent of all people who browse the Web, and they need to be able to access your site. This is called “responsive design,” and you can find free step-by-step directions on how to do it at or
  • Use social media to market your site. This can be as simple as establishing a Facebook page for your business or hiring a company that will take charge of marketing your website for you on all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus. See and for details about how this service works.
  • Read the free publication by college professor and author Rohit Bhargava entitled, “How to Launch a Successful Blog in 90 Days.” This guide takes you through the entire process, from choosing your niche and securing your URL to how to have your website listed with all search engines. He also tells you how to get your blog syndicated in order to increase revenue and how to make connections with other professionals who can help advance your website.

Legal Considerations

Before you launch your website, be sure you take into account important legal issues that may be involved.

  • Copyright infringement: If you post any copyrighted material on your site without permission, including images, photos, drawings or stories, you may have legal problems with the holder of the copyright. Search the Web for copyright-free images on sites like or
  • Protection against libel lawsuits which can arise when someone feels you have allowed them to be defamed on your website. If your site has a place for comments, you need to specifically state that any views posted do not represent your views. Monitor the comments and delete any that disparage another person or company. Have a complete disclaimer in your Terms of Service confirming that opinions expressed in any comment are not yours. You can find a standard template for your Terms of Service that will cover all the legal issues. For examples, see
  • If your website has links to other websites, you need to have a disclaimer that each linked website has its own Terms of Service and you are not responsible for any content on any linked site. Although a basic link in your text to the source of your material is generally not a legal problem, if you plan on linking to photos, cartoons, art work or literary material, you need to check with legal sources to determine how to do this without incurring any legal liability. For an overview of what you need to know legally before providing links to other websites, go to For more detailed information, check
  • All quotes must be properly attributed to the person you are quoting. Beware of plagiarism, which is passing off someone else’s work as though it is your own. A helpful website is You upload your written material before you publish it. In a matter of seconds, Copyscape will provide you an information sheet that tells you if your copy matches any other copy that has been published on the Internet. If there are matches, you can revise your article in order to avoid any plagiarism implications.

Travel Nurses Needed in Growing Healthcare Sectors

A critical shortage of advanced nursing professionals has hospitals scrambling to provide quality health care to an ever-expanding, aging population. By 2020, there will be a shortage of more than one million nurses nationwide, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. In addition to fewer available nurses, technology and regulations – such as the Affordable Care Act and new legislation that mandates patient-nurse ratios – demand new skills and support non-traditional nursing roles, such as travel nurses.

Physicians and hospitals have shifted toward hiring nurses with advanced training to respond to the challenges. Many hospitals are actually only hiring nurses with BSN or higher credentials. Hospitals are embracing creative staffing solutions. Some facilities boost ratio numbers and fill vacancies by hiring contract nurses through travel nursing jobs agencies. Temporary staffing agencies allow employers to take more time finding best-fit personnel for their facilities.

While there is a need for staff to fill traditional nursing roles in the ICU, operating rooms, NIC units, and emergency rooms, there are new roles travel nurses might consider. Gaining experience in these non-traditional roles could lead to higher future salaries if nurses decide to return to full-time employment in one location.

Nurse Navigator

These professional nurses act as a guide for patients and families, especially during health management situations that involve surgery. For example, navigators working with cancer patients provide education about treatments, surgical procedures, nutritional guidelines and what to expect as the patients moves through various treatments. Patients are typically assigned a navigator after initial diagnosis. Training and implementation are emerging in hospitals nationwide.

Transitional Nurse Provider

Patients go home more quickly today than they did in past decades. Transitional nurses provide services similar to home health services. However, they are an extension of the hospital care unit today. Patient care is shifting toward a more inclusive package that includes pre-admission and post-admission care. Follow-up care lasts from one to three months in most cases.

Electronic ICU Nurse Roles

Nurses with a passion for patient care who cannot handle the 12-hour shifts on their feet might consider a role that can be performed from anywhere, including a remote location. With electronic monitoring equipment and telecommunications software, nurses monitor patients visually and via computerized equipment.

How Travel Nursing Serves the Medical Community

Freelance travel nurses may respond to a call to fill one of these emerging roles or to fill a void left as staff members move into new roles, leaving gaps in the traditional hospital setting. In either case, a temporary professional fills a crucial role in providing quality care to patients.

Healthcare is changing drastically. Nurses looking to expand their professional horizons have options today that have never been available before. Nurses have options to see first-hand what working in the 21st-century medical environment looks like, options to learn new skills, and put current skills into practice and options to increase wages and have more flexibility in scheduling.

For nurses with experience and advanced education credentials, becoming a traveling nurse provides almost limitless opportunities.

What are your thoughts of the nursing industry? Tell us in the comments.

Have You Thought About a Career in Identity Theft Protection?

Identity theft is on the rise—a 2013 Javelin Strategy & Research report shows there were 12.6 million victims of identity fraud in the U.S. in 2012, up 1 million cases from the previous year. One side effect of this is an increase in job opportunities in the identity theft protection field. The industry is one of the few that has increased over the last four years, according to IBISWorld. Those interested in getting into the identity theft protection field have a variety of positions to choose from, such as sales, call center operators and data security technicians.

Work at Home

Many companies handle customer service, sales and technical support through independent contractors. This can be an excellent opportunity for a working mother or someone who simply desires flexibility in scheduling. Work-at-home positions are usually available through identity theft protection services, though some protection services require workers to be physically present at their call centers. Job seekers who are interested in positions such as these should check the websites of each protection service and go to the careers section. Here you can check the current job openings at and similar companies.

Technical Positions

Job seekers who have a more technical background may want to work for companies that need to secure data against potential breaches and threats. This job path includes those who have networking security experience. Many companies that need to take in a large amount of consumer data are bolstering their security systems to prevent a data breach. This means security is one of the largest focuses for many technology departments, and job seekers who have experience in security will usually find it easy to secure employment.

Many of these companies also require multiple internal audit teams, because inside threats are common. Data security professionals can become highly paid, especially those with many years of experience.

Banking Sector

Many banks and credit card companies also have an identity theft protection department. The positions in these departments range from call center work to managing the 24-hour hotline and helping victims take appropriate steps to restore security and protect their identities from further harm. Online banking systems also hire a great deal of programmers and data security analysts to develop, maintain and improve their secured computer systems. This is especially true of banks that operate entirely online.


Sales positions require the employee become knowledgeable about the threats of identity theft and the level of protection that an identity protection service can provide. Some of these positions operate on a commission basis, which can be profitable to those who are skilled at sales.

Have you considered a career related to identity theft? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Innovative and Emerging Portable Career Ideas that MilSpouses Actually Want to Do

Military spouses today are rocking some pretty inspirational portable careers. But what I find more impressive is that they are loving what they do. That, in my book, is the number one factor in finding a truly portable career. So, without further ado, it is my pleasure to share the innovative and emerging jobs I found, and the military spouses who are in these careers!

Portable Career Idea: Attorney

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in this Role: Julie Heumphreus

Where I Work: 

What I Do in this Role:  In a nutshell, I help people solve problems.   I’m an attorney with a completely web-based practice ( My practice is primarily focused on assisting servicemembers and their families.

I’m a third generation Army brat, former JAG, and proud military spouse, so it’s natural for me to focus on the military. I listen to my client’s problems, and try to find them the best solutions.  Some of the areas I work in include: immigration, security clearance issues, written appeals to reprimands, written responses to loss of property or other investigations, contracts, fundraising, and small business/consumer issues.

Why I do it:  We’ve moved eight times in our ten years of marriage. It’s difficult to establish a traditional legal practice when we move so frequently.  In addition, a good work/family life balance is essential to me.   I’m able to set my own schedule and be there for my three little Army “brats”.  A virtual practice lets me do what I love from anywhere in the world.

What makes it portable: Thanks to Skype and my trusty Mac computer, I’m able to assist clients all over the world. I answer my own Vonage phone, I respond promptly to emails or instant messaging.   I can reach many more people (even if they’re deployed!) and  keep costs low with a web-based practice.  Bonus: less overhead also means affordable rates for my clients.

What degree/training do you need: College degree, Juris Doctor (JD) degree, License from State Bar, computer savvy


Portable Career Idea/Title: Employee Referral Recruiter (Contractor)

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in this Position: Jessica Kujat

Where I work: 

What I do in this role: I research employee referrals and conduct welcome outreach.  In addition, I assist with helping recruiters fill hot job needs when possible.  I also assist with our alumni research and outreach.

Why I do it:  I enjoy helping others, and it feels good to know that you can have a real, measurable impact on someone’s life by assisting them with their job search.

What makes it portable:  My position is 100% done via telecommuting.  Essentially,  I need an Internet connection, computer, and phone (landline, VOIP, or cell-phone) to perform my job.

What degree/training do you need: A strong customer service background, along with great research skills are a must.  In addition, any HR or recruiting experience is a plus.


Portable Career Idea/Title: Director of Promotions

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in this Role: Erica McMannes

Where You Work:    (Call Dibs)

What I do in this role: I am responsible for the user growth of Call Dibs in the active and veteran military communities, internationally. I manage and train teams of other military spouses who promote Call Dibs on their local posts/bases to create strong foundations for Call Dibs as a mobile military marketplace; a platform that provides a sense of security through transparency, affiliation, and verification.

I also design and develop marketing campaigns within the social media and community space that align with our brand & product. I manage all aspects of digital marketing including branded content, social media and and facilitation of user experience with the Call Dibs app and website.

Why I do it: As cliche as it sounds, I do it for the military community and the camaraderie of our small team making a big difference. As part of a start up, especially in Silicon Valley, it’s a highly competitive industry. Adjacent Applications (the company behind Call Dibs) is laying the groundwork for some amazing things for the military community, bringing military families up to speed with cutting edge tech focused applications. Call Dibs – as the first app designed for the military- offers the community a way to buy, sell and trade within the trusting network that exists among military families. As a spouse, I’ve struggled through insanity of Facebook resale pages, prayed for safety as I’ve met Craigslist strangers in Target parking lots and have grown tired of the trolls on Bookoo. When I was offered the opportunity to be a part of something that solved all these previously inefficient and unnerving experiences, I knew it was something my entire community (military) would benefit from.

What makes it portable: As a technology based company, our teamwork is often virtual, with the team spread out between San Francisco, Texas and New York. My job allows me portability as a transient military spouse and mom of two little boys. I work from home in between dropping off my 6-year-old at school, playing with Thomas trains with my 2-year-old, folding laundry and chasing both boys on their scooters in the afternoon. It truly is a job that allows me a professional outlet and contribution to the community while remaining active in my family’s daily needs and activities. And, as an Army spouse who has moved 7 times in 11 years….a portable career is crucial!

What degree/training do you need: High degree of motivation and entrepreneurial spirit! While I have a M.S. in Human Ecology and Family Studies, this new career in tech start ups and social media has allowed me self-propelled “on the job” training and the ability to stay current in a fast paced, continually expanding tech industry.


Portable Career Idea/Title: KinderJam Business Owner

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in This Role, and the Founder: El Brown 

Where you Work:

What I Do in this Role: All KinderJam® Business Owners use fun, new, exciting, and high-energy methods to prepare children and parents for success in school. We have a lot of fun, but it’s so much more than recreation! We use kinesthetic learning  ”learning by doing” and tactile learning “learning by touching” to engage children ranging from birth to 8 years old.

Why I do it:  KinderJam® Business Owners are actively involved in and contributing to the community. They get to know the families they live around and begin to create a world at each new base, and on top of that bring in a little income. There is validation in that, and I love empowering women by providing them with an avenue to financial independence.

What makes it portable: KinderJam®  is a completely mobile business! The Instructor Placement Program (IPP) assists spouses in finding suitable locations for KinderJam®  classes at each duty station. We also assist our Military Spouses by establishing and maintaining relationships with surrounding daycare and preschool providers.

What degree/training do you need: There isn’t a required degree, but the main requirement is a genuine desire to enhance the learning experience of young children and their families.  Those individuals with limited teaching experience receive close guidance and professional development to develop the skills necessary to be a successful KinderJam®  Instructor.


Portable Career Idea/Title: Lead Transition Specialist

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in This Role: Lori Cleymans

Where I work: Marine Corps Community Services Transition Assistance Management Program

What I do in this role:  I have a variety of tasks in my job – curriculum development for our employment assistance workshops, team training, workshop facilitation, workshop coordination, implementing federal mandates/laws/regulations, career counseling, resume writing, interview coaching, new employee orientation/training, create the work schedule for 12 employees, and anything else that needs to be done.

Why I do it: I love what I do!  I enjoy helping someone find their way when looking for a  new career.  I like helping folks be the best job applicant around by having the best resume and interview skills.  I love it when my client gets the job!  I actually enjoy employment researching, learning about what employers are doing and why.  I love sharing information and helping others.

What makes it portable: There are a variety of employers I can work for – colleges/universities, military installations, workforce centers

What degree/training do you need: If you want to be a college career counselor, many need a Masters in counseling.  I have a Bachelor’s degree and multiple certifications since I like to be more in the field of helping the client with developing career action plans, not so much the in-depth counseling.

My certifications are:
-Certified Workforce Development Professional with Job Seeker Services Endorsement (CWDP/JSS)
-Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
-Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC)
-Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF)


Portable Career Idea/Title: Managing Editor & Freelance Writer

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in This Role: Molly Blake

Where I work:   &

What I Do in these roles: Day to day, I’m involved in writing blog posts and managing guest blog posts. I write the content for the BSF web site as well as bi-monthly newsletters. I’m a part of an incredible communications team which includes our Director, Stephanie, our Public Relations gal, Anna Maria and the social media guru, Jen.  We all work brillitantly together — bouncing ideas off one another, offering advice and generally meshing together in a true team effort.

For my freelance writing jobs, I typically pitch a story to a magazine editor and once she or he accepts it, then we decide on word count and a fee.   After that, I get to work tracking down sources, facts, information and background.  I put it all together and off it goes to the editor for approval.

Why I do it:  I love to write and I love being a Marine Corps spouse so voila, I combined the two for two half-time dream jobs!  Working with Blue Star Families has been such a gift. I started out volunteering for BSF for all the reasons that so many miltary spouses volunteer — to give back.  They were a young non-profit back then but eventually they hired me as the Managing Editor.  The entire BSF staff couldn’t be more supportive and understanding of the crazy military life and their dedication to military families is truly inspiring.

What makes it portable: The magic of the Internet.  I can work from anywhere as long as I have my computer and wi-fi!

What degree/training do you need: I have an undergraduate degree and a Master’s Degree but I think what’s more important is that I have a passion for writing and a passion for military families.  It’s also crucial to have a work at home ethic — I love my job and work diligently to acomplish daily and weekly goals.  Stellar communication skills are also a must!  I take the time to write proper emails to my colleagues – using spelling, punctuation and appropriate grammar every time!  I think that too many people fire off emails without taking the time to re-read them (I usually read mine outloud) and ensure the message you are intending is what is coming across in the email.  I do not like BEING YELLED AT in person and I DO NOT LIKE BEING YELLED AT VIA EMAIL NOR DO I YELL AT PEOPLE IN EMAIL! Get my drift?


Portable Career Idea/Title: National Board Certified Teacher

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in This Role: Amanda Trimillos

Where I work:  

My Official Title: NBCT Program Ambassador & Military Liaison

What I do: I am a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT).  I mentor teachers through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Process.  I offer professional Development webinars, trainings, and coaching on how to effectively use National Board tools and strategies to impact preK-12 student learning in the classroom.

Why I do it:  I do this because I am a military spouse and I know the plights of trying to remain in the classroom move after move after move.  I am an NBCT, and I have seen 1st hand how the NB tools have impacted my students’ learning, my own teaching pedagogy, and my career path.

What makes it portable:  National Board Certification is recognized in all 50 states.  Approximately 40+ states honor NBCT for teaching reciprocity – even those states who currently claim they will not honor out of state teaching certifications honor NBCT!

What degree/training do you need:  To apply for National Board Certification you must:

1.  Hold a Bachelors degree
2.  Hold a valid state teaching certification from ANY state
3. Have at least 3 years teaching experience (you can begin earlier but will not receive full NBCT status until the end of the 3rd year of experience).

Learn more about NBCT, Amanda and how to increase your career portability by checking out our interview with Amanda.


Portable Career Idea/Title: Marketing Consultant

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in This Role: Kaye Putnam
Where I work:
My own business: 

What I do in this role: I help entrepreneurs with their marketing. Which really means I help them have the confidence to communicate their unique value to the world.

Why I do it: When my work empowers people to feel like a ROCK STAR in their business, I know I’ve done my job. I LOVE seeing people succeed.

What makes it portable: My business is completely online. I sell business coaching via Skype and online marketing courses. I can work from anywhere (we’re in the middle-of-nowhere Missouri at the moment).

What degree/training do you need: I have a marketing degree with a psychology minor but everything I use on a daily basis I learned from being an entrepreneur myself, helping other businesses grow, and self-education. You don’t need a degree to start a business.


Portable Career Idea/Title: ACAP Installation Liaison Officer

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in This Role: Amy Bontrager

Where I work: Army Career Alumni Program, Fort Polk, LA 

What I do:  There are positions on installations you just need to search. Also I think spouses can really use their knowledge of military life to land them some pretty important job that furthers the mission of our military.

Why I do it: As we begin to downsize our troop numbers, it is important that the military is ensuring that those transition Soldiers are equipped for civilian life. The government supports that thought with the signing of the Veterans Opportunity to Work act.  Army Career Alumni Program has greatly expanded.

What makes it portable: To answer this question is twofold. One part is my focus on work supporting the military. Second, is the benefits of working for a contract company.

As I have moved from installation to installation working with the military has allowed me to gain skillsets that I can take to the next installation. I started off working with Army Community Services and then moved into a position that supported military families with children that have Autism. Now I serve transitioning Soldiers. I may not be working in the exact same field at each installation, but the common thread is the work I do supports the military and their families. This equates to a resume that reflects a strong understanding of the dynamics of the military, making me marketable in military communities.

The second part of why my work is portable is that I work for contractor named Serco. I say it’s the next best thing to civil service. Serco has the contract for all Army Career Alumni Programs (ACAP) sites. If I were to PCS, I would have access to not only positions with ACAP but also positions that are under the SERCO contract (to include Army Community Services and Department Human Resource).  Contractors have a number of contracts at military installations. Therefore, by working for a contractor, it opens doors that may help you find a position at your next place.

What degree/training do you need: I encourage all spouses to work toward their BA/BS. It does not necessarily matter what it is in, (mine is in Religion) however most employers request that employees have it.  My Master’s degree is in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy. Most jobs do not require a masters, however I think adding that to my experience has opened doors and will continue to in the future. And, it is important that my work experience speaks to my skill sets.

Portable Career Idea/Title: On-Air Personality/Morning Show Co-Host

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in This Role: LaTrice L. Langston

My other roles: Social Media/Public Affairs Director

Where I Work: P.S.–To start your mornings off right with Turner and LaTrice on the “Morning Salute” click here (! 6-10am Central time Monday through Friday!

What I do in my roles: As an on-air personality my job is to bring life to the airwaves and social media sites.

I personally take it upon myself to provide positivity in mass amounts so that I may bring some sort of balance to all the negativity that the media pushes in our face on a daily basis. “When given the option I will always choose to give extreme amounts of the positive and as little of the negative as possible. #SpreadingLuv” is a motto of mine and what I live by on and off the air.

I arrive at the office at 5am Monday through Friday and don’t leave until 11am (on a good day). I do “reality radio” which means if I visit a location in the community, read a Facebook post from a listener, or chilled at home with the family those are the things you will hear us talking about. If I lived it, it’s probably spoken about. I love love love to discuss what’s going on in the community and highlight the achievements of the children/young adults/adults in the area.

Why I do it: I know for a fact this is what I was called to do! Its my purpose in life, and I am honored to be a positive voice on the airwaves.

What makes it portable: Radio host/personalities are rarely live these days. Most are voice tracked, pre-recorded or syndicated (piped in from larger markets). I recently purchased the equipment needed to build a home production studio so that I can work from home, which means I am not required to access a production studio at a radio station–I am super excited about it!

What degree/training do you need: Another of my favorite quotes is: “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.” No degree is needed–only an awesome personality and a passion to see others succeed. An understanding of how the technical end works is helpful, but with the right personality anything is possible! I personally don’t have a degree. My training (running the board and production studio) has been on-the-job through the different broadcast companies I’ve worked for! 


Portable Career Idea/Title: Online Facilitator/Instructor

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in This Role: Kelly Gump

Where I Work:                 

What I do in this Role: I teach professional development for educators online at the graduate level, as well as gifted K12 kids in an online environment. All of this work is part time with varying work hours each week. I can spend as little as 7 hours/week or as much as 30 hours/ really all depends!

Why I do it: I am an educator because it is my passion. I want to see better teachers in every classroom. Each child deserves that..not matter where they live. My work allows me to have a hand in educating educators.

I teach online because it allows me to have flexibility I could not have being a traditional classroom teacher or working in a traditional school setting. I am able to work around my children’s schedule. I can log on at 6AM or 10PM. All of the work I do is asynchronous. I do not need to be logged on at any set time unless I have a meeting. As a mom and a military spouse this is priceless. I can get my boys to and from school, attend all of their activities and still earn a living and do what I love. The varying hours can take some juggling but I have gotten used to it and seem to have a good system in place.

What makes it portable: All of my online work can be done anytime, anywhere. When we PCS I can continue to work. I can even take vacations anytime because all I need to do is take my laptop and check in each day. The only difference may be a time zone or two between me and my supervisors or my students!

What degree/training do you need: All of my jobs had a minimum requirement of a Masters degree. The Center for Talented Youth also required a teaching license. Additionally, each of the organizations I work for have trained me on their own systems. I have learned things like Blackboard, Moodle and D2L.


Portable Career Idea/Title: Social Media Manager

Meet the Inspirational Spouse in This Role: Jenelle Hatzung

Where I Work:

What I do in this role: Personally, I think I have the coolest job in the world. I get paid to be on facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, google+.  If it is a social media site I get to use it. I also create many of the graphics we use on our blog and website, host twitter chats & google+ hangouts {Like our hangout with Mrs. Amos, First Lady of the Marine Corps}.

Why I do it:  I love working with military families and I love social media.  This job affords me opportunity to do the two things I love! I am able to help other spouses and military families make sure they know about all of the resources that are available to them.  I am also able to help and encourage military spouses to continue to support their dreams and goals while they support their servicemember.

What makes it portable: I can work anywhere my phone, ipad or laptop has an internet connection!

What degree/training you need: For me much of the training I have is hands on. I have had a blog over over 4 years and have had an etsy shop I ran as well. I realized my love for social media when I got serious about promoting both my blog and shop.  I do have a degree in political science and I think some of my love for politics and the government really helps me too.  There are lots of online training courses you can take and there are lots of tutorials  on place likes Pinterest that explain all the different social media platforms and how to best utilize them.

Do you have a portable career you are passionate about? Do you work for a company that “gets it” more than any other company you’ve seen? Tell us about it below!


National Board Certification Increases Teachers’ Career Portability


Imagine walking into the principal’s office of a school you want to teach at, straight off of a cross-country PCS. This clearly means the “PCS ponytail” is resting atop your head, and you are rocking your favorite, worn-out, but-oh-so-comfy T-shirt and shorts…

Now imagine that after this meeting you get a job offer before even getting home.

It happened to one military spouse I know. And I’m wondering if after sharing this resource, I’m going to start hearing more of these awesome stories!

Amanda Trimillos, the milspouse in the story above, had no intention of interviewing that day. She was just seeking information. What she got was a personal interview—not the kind that’s intimidating and overwhelming, but a come-as-you-are, casual conversation—and an immediate job offer.

What is the magic she has? Well, aside from being articulate, knowledgeable and passionate about teaching, she has something that only 3% of all teachers in the United States possess, but that many school districts want:

A National Board Certification.

Amanda asks her employers now what encouraged them to hire her.

Their response?

“Your resume did have some red flags because you’ve moved a lot, but we would rather hire someone 2-3 years who is dynamic than a dud for 20.”

Being a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) is essentially like being a Board certified doctor. It’s the stuff of excellence and increases your credibility among your peers and in your community.

Like so many military spouses, Amanda PCSd with her service member a variety of times. After 4 relocations and 4 different processes to transfer her individual state certifications to each new state, Amanda grew tired of jumping through hoops to do what she loved. Every day that passed while trying to transfer her certification was a day less she was teaching.


The Job Search With and the Job Search Without NBCT

Though much progress is being made on the legislative front to lessen the certification barriers spouses face

every time we move, there are still some major flaws in the system that it seems NBCT can address.

Essentially, legislation is currently in the works to allow military spouses to begin teaching if they hold a valid teaching certification and a military ID, even if the state they move to does not have reciprocity with the state the license is from. Spouses will still have to go through the new state’s required steps, but it doesn’t stop them from being able to at least start teaching.

What I like about NBCT, however, is that it can really help to overcome the unpredictable reciprocity between states, because it is so widely accepted by states as a valid license to immediately begin teaching without additional steps/classes/tests. Military ID or not, many states simply view NBCT as an indicator of excellence and a valuable addition to the state’s teaching force. Reports actually indicate that PreK-12 students in an NBCT’s classroom actually advance 1-2 months faster than their non-NBCT peers.


The Benefits?

I see a major advantage for becoming an NBCT:

1. Less chance of burnout from having to go through each state’s required classes/courses/assessments to teach in that state

2. It sets you way, way, way apart from the competition. In a tough economy you want as much of an advantage over the competition as possible. In a tough economy as a milspouse, it’s almost a requirement to land a job.

3. Amanda noted that there is the initial barrier of breaking in to a new school and being “the new teacher.” She found that since becoming an NBCT, she is instantly sought out for advice and feedback, even when she is the “newbie” around the school. The credibility this credential brings with it is phenomenal!


The Process to Obtain NBCT:

Becoming an NBCT is not easy—if it was, everyone would do it. But, it’s worth it. Here are some of the facts Amanda filled me in on:

- You must have 3 years of teaching experience
- It is a portfolio process – You will complete 4 portfolios and 6 assessment exercises
- The process can be completed in a year, but you are given up to 3 to complete it.
- If you are a new teacher with less than 3 years experience, you may submit your first portfolio in your 1st or 2nd  year of teaching, and then complete the remaining portions in your 3rd year.
- NBCT is good for 10 years!
- You reapply starting in 8th year, and the renewal process is a quarter of the work  as in the initial process
- The cost to obtain your National Board certification is $2500 to submit your portfolio, but keep in mind that does not necessarily mean you are accepted! The selection process is tough, so you have to put the work in up front.


Ask Amanda

One thing I was super impressed by was Amanda’s mission to share her knowledge and experience with other military spouses so they can also develop a portable teaching career. She now educates military spouses on the NBCT process through National University’s Professional Teaching Development Center.

She spearheaded the initiative to have National University partner with MyCAA to fund military spouses pursuing Board certification and holds informational meetings about becoming an NBCT monthly! For more information about National University’s information meeting, visit

Amanda is also willing to answer questions. You can email her at:


Additional Information:

Pre-Service and National Board Certification Support (FREE!!):-  (Ride the Wave link)

Challenges Facing Military-Connected Students PreK-12 Education Discussion:

National University’s Information Meetings:


March Portable Career Idea for Milspouses | Health Educator

March Portable Career Snapshot

Title: Health Educator


Why it’s a Good Fit For Military Spouses: According to, Health Educator jobs are expected to grow at a rate that is much faster than the national average between now and 2020. Rapid growth is one one potential indicator of a portable career (other indicators include but are not limited to: most openings, state growth, and competition).

If this type of profession interests you, it is best to start any necessary training now so that you are qualified as soon as positions become available.


Typical Tasks (from

  • Develop and present health education and promotion programs, such as training workshops, conferences, and school or community presentations.
  • Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with agencies and organizations interested in public health care.
  • Develop educational materials and programs for community agencies, local government, and state government.
  • Prepare and distribute health education materials, such as reports, bulletins, and visual aids, to address smoking, vaccines, and other public health concerns.
  • Supervise professional and technical staff in implementing health programs, objectives, and goals.
  • Document activities and record information, such as the numbers of applications completed, presentations conducted, and persons assisted.
  • Collaborate with health specialists and civic groups to determine community health needs and the availability of services and to develop goals for meeting needs.
  • Provide guidance to agencies and organizations on assessment of health education needs and on development and delivery of health education programs.
  • Maintain databases, mailing lists, telephone networks, and other information to facilitate the functioning of health education programs.
  • Design and conduct evaluations and diagnostic studies to assess the quality and performance of health education programs.

Education Needed: Most of the jobs require a four-year degree, but some do not. A considerable amount of experience and work-related skills are needed for such an occupation.


National Average Income: $23.05 hourly, $47,940 annual


Top Industries for Health Educators: Health Care and Social Assistance / Government


Check Health Educator Growth in Your State


Important Factors to Remember:

Your personality, skills, interests and values all determine whether a career will be a good match. Portability is just one aspect of finding a job that will fulfill you. If you are feeling confused about how to find and create a career you love and that travels with you, try a Career Strategy Session for free by ! You will spend approximately 30-45 minutes discussing your situation and end the call with at least 3 action steps you can implement immediately to move closer to your goals.


February Portable Career Idea | Interpreter and Translator

February Portable Career Snapshot


Title: Interpreter and Translator


Why it’s a Good Fit For Military Spouses: According to, Translator and Interpreter jobs are expected to grow at a rate that is much faster than the national average between now and 2020. Rapid growth is one one potential indicator of a portable career (other indicators include but are not limited to: most openings, state growth, and competition).

If this type of profession interests you, it is best to start any necessary training now so that you are qualified as soon as positions become available.


Typical Tasks (from

  • Follow ethical codes that protect the confidentiality of information.
  • Translate messages simultaneously or consecutively into specified languages, orally or by using hand signs, maintaining message content, context, and style as much as possible.
  • Listen to speakers’ statements to determine meanings and to prepare translations, using electronic listening systems as necessary.
  • Compile terminology and information to be used in translations, including technical terms such as those for legal or medical material.
  • Read written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports, and rewrite material into specified languages.
  • Identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words, concepts, practices, or behaviors.
  • Check translations of technical terms and terminology to ensure that they are accurate and remain consistent throughout translation revisions.
  • Refer to reference materials, such as dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and computerized terminology banks, as needed to ensure translation accuracy.
  • Train and supervise other translators or interpreters.
  • Educate students, parents, staff, and teachers about the roles and functions of educational interpreters.

Education Needed: Most of the jobs require a four-year degree, but some do not. The majority of individuals in such positions have a Bachelor’s degree.

National Average Income: $21.23 hour or $44,160 annually


Check Interpreter/Translator Growth in Your State


Not sure if being an Interpreter or Translator would be a good fit for you? Your personality, skills, interests and values all determine whether a career will be a good match. Portability is just one aspect of finding a job that will fulfill you. If you are feeling confused about how to find and create a career you love and that travels with you, try a Career Strategy Session for free by ! You will spend approximately 45 minutes discussing your situation and end the call with at least 3 action steps you can implement immediately to move closer to your goals.



In Your Face Valentine’s Day (The New Age of I Love Me Walls)

I enjoy Valentine’s Day. Any day that promotes the consumption of large quantities of chocolate is alright with me. In the spirit of the season, I want to focus on the idea of love–but not in the way most people think about on February 14.


The majority of the population thinks about the expression of love as one that you give to another individual. As military spouses though, I find we do not spend nearly enough time appreciating ourselves. Too often, we come last on the priority list because we don’t havemuch of a choice. There are things that must get done–dinner, cleaning up, paying the bills, visits to the doctor. In the daily grind, it becomes so easy to forget about ourselves and our needs. Unfortunately, days quickly turn into weeks and months, and over time it feels as though we have lost touch with who we truly are. What I find helps break this cycle is having a constant reminder, one you cannot ignore, to reconnect with yourself. This reminder canbe anything that works for you and some of the military spouses I work with have great success setting up a schedule. For those spouses like me who tend to deviate from schedules on occasion, it seems that having more of an in-your-face, unavoidable, “HEY HEY LOOK AT ME” type of strategy is quite effective. The way I have done this is by imitating what many in the military refer to as an “I love me” wall.



I first heard of an “I love me wall” upon receiving an appreciation plaque from an employer. The President, an Army retiree and West Point graduate told me that if I did not already have my very own “I love me wall” the plaque would provide a great starting point.  I didn’t think much of the terminology at the time (using my elementary school knowledge of context clues to determine the general idea), but I began to notice this particular phrase coming up more and more in my everyday life.


While the reason to have an “I love me wall” may vary from person to person, the overall goal is to display achievements in a tangible, visible way. For military spouses, I especially am fond of the idea of using it to remind you, every day, of what you have accomplished in your life, of the things that are most important to you and of what you still hope to achieve. This means you have to set it up in a place that you will see at least once a day, but not somewhere you would pass by so frequently that you become desensitized to the meaning.


Ideas to Start Your Very Own Accomplishment Wall

Our walls will probably be quite different from that of our husbands, or perhaps your husband does not yet have a wall of honors and achievements. Whatever your particular situation may be, it is okay! Your accomplishment wall is personal and should highlight the accomplishments that are important to you.


Probably the most common item on an accomplishment wall, your educational achievements offer a great starting point. You can include your high school diploma, GED and any higher educational training, certifications or formal degrees.


Work honors are also popular items to include on an accomplishment wall. These honors come in many forms. For example, you may have received a formal certificate for your work ethic or completed training necessary to successfully execute your responsibilities.


Perhaps you volunteer at church, with your FRG or are especially active with a local non-profit organization. Any recognition that you may receive is valuable and illustrates your commitment to an important cause.


I am a big fan of inspirational quotes. I have seen some accomplishment walls adorned in uplifting sayings and quotations. If you have a personal saying or quote that is of particular importance to you, you can type it in Word and print it or even handwrite it in a calligraphy-style format.


Sometimes people like to display photographs of significant events—be it graduation, meeting someone famous or any other significant moment in their lives. An accomplishment wall should not be limited to just paper achievements—add some color by putting pictures up or framing a particular item that is symbolic to you.


I always encourage Army wives to develop a contract that outlines long-term goals and steps to achieving those goals. After completing the document, consider solidifying your commitment by signing it as a binding agreement. It is not a bad idea to have a friend, coach, mentor or family member also sign the document, ensuring you have a partner that will hold you to accomplishing your goals.

Consider that while only 25% of all the people who set a goal achieve it, 50% of people who set a goal that includes a timeframe and a plan achieve it. By adding that accountability partner, you increase your odds of achieving your goals to 95%.

Your self-contract can serve as a reminder to you as you work on each step and will take on a whole new meaning for you once you successfully fulfill your commitment to yourself and that little piece of paper!

This Valentine’s Day, take a moment to think of what you are most proud of about yourself. Your very own “I love me wall” is a great first step! Show us your very own walls of accomplishment! Share them on the facebook page, upload them to twitter or email them to Stacy to be featured!

Want more tips and tricks? Sign up for the newsletter by inquiring below!


10 Healthy Careers in the New Year

10 Healthy Careers in the New Year

Have you been sticking to your New Year’s resolution? Statistics show that “getting healthy” and career resolutions and are at the top of the list of commitments made starting January 1. By now, a staggering percentage of people have fallen a little short or simply given up altogether–but, that doesn’t mean we can’t get back on track. Though I hesitate to provide lists because I fear giving the impression I believe that a one-size-fits-all is the answer to our career portability epidemic, I provide these suggestions to help you jump back in to your career development should you need a little kick start! I want to emphasize that this is NOT an exhaustive list–just a way to get you thinking about careers other than the usual types of positions we hear of in popular media.

This list was compiled using a number of factors, including the relationship to a healthy lifestyle, the physically demanding nature of the job and/or the necessity of knowledge relating to health-related topics.

1. Aerobics Instructor
Over the past few years, the trend of Zumba® seems to have dominated the world of cardiovascular workouts! Though Zumba® instructors often must participate in specialized training to become certified, in many instances, the training is relatively short. Outside of Zumba®, most occupations in this field require some time and in-depth training—whether on-the-job or vocational. In large cities, Bikram yoga instructors are also becoming popular. Though training varies in intensity and cost, the demand increases especially in the new year.

Aerobics instructors may also teach classes that range from intense boot camps to yoga instruction. Some instructors choose to focus on one type of class or take on a variety. Instructors must be able to manage a room of people as well as effectively communicate concepts and body movements.

2. Personal Trainer
A personal trainer is on the list for obvious reasons. Personal trainers often have a natural affinity for exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle themselves. Perhaps you have even had your own personal trainer in the past. Some fitness centers offer one free consultation and body analysis with a personal trainer. These individuals are often employed within gyms, fitness centers and athletic clubs to ensure the overall health of members as well as provide expertise in proper utilization of equipment. Additionally, personal trainers can work one-on-one with clients to provide personalized fitness plans tailored to the individual’s health goals. Another great option is to start your own fitness business. Technology and busy schedules make the demand for on-the-go, non-gym training increasingly popular!

People attracted to this field tend to be social individuals who enjoy working with their hands and having the ability to take charge of situations. Training and education for this profession may vary based on the employer.

3. Nutritionist/Dietician
This type of profession often requires a higher-level degree, such as a Masters–and I know many of my clients keep asking me to help them find the jobs that require the use of their degrees. Nutritionists often assist individuals with food counseling and nutrition programs. Some of their responsibilities include listening to clients about their goals, desires and health concerns. Critical thinking is a huge component of this type of job in order to effectively develop nutrition plans that are catered to clients’ needs.

Nutritionists may develop community-training programs and engage in public speaking, work in physician’s offices and counsel individuals in a private practice. They may also deal with eating disorders, weight loss topics and general health concerns.

4. Recreation Aid/Worker
Often seasonal in nature, this profession is ideal for Army wives looking for temporary employment or part-time work. Typically, a recreation worker plans, organizes and implements activities at community centers, local parks, day camps or recreation areas. states that recreation workers hold a variety of positions at different levels, from camp counselors to directors of recreation and parks. Typical hours therefore range from full-time nine-to-five employment to irregular hours on nights and weekends.

Conventionally, recreation workers enjoy time outdoors, like working on their feet and particularly want to engage in physical activities. The required education for this type of profession varies greatly depending on the position desired.

5. Fitness and Wellness Coordinator
This profession combines managerial skills with knowledge of health and wellness. If you are an Army wife with a passion for leading others and managing large-scale operations, this profession may provide an outlet for your skill sets.

I’m a nerd for O-net Online, and found that Fitness and Wellness Coordinators often oversee entire wellness programs, create fitness schedules and deal with budgeting of facilities. This type of position also oversees fitness staff and health educators. The great news for military spouses is that this type of position is expected to grow quickly, which means it may become a high demand job with many opportunities!

6. Athletic Trainer
Do you love to travel? Do you love sports? Have you found that you have the inclination to assist others in need? If so, you may want to consider a profession as an athletic trainer. Though there are administrative requirements to this profession, the large part of this job entails assessing the injuries of athletes and developing a care plan to rehabilitate them. Some athletic trainers also speak publicly to the community about the prevention and care of athletic injuries.

Usually, a degree relating to sports medicine or similar field is necessary. Often, a four-year degree is a pre-requisite—but not always. Additionally, many potential employers desire to see a resume filled with relevant athletic training experience.

7. Health Educator
This particular title is somewhat of an all-encompassing term. Health educators may be Diabetes Educators, Community Health Educators, Child Development Specialists or a number of other specialists.

In general, health educators promote overall health within the community and to individuals. O-net Online outlines that health educators develop health marketing materials, create health education programs and deal with overall promotion of healthy living.

Ideal candidates for this type of position enjoy public speaking, exhibit great focus and possess keen critical thinking abilities. It is also important for health educators to have excellent communication skills in order to effectively communicate high-level concepts about health to the general population.

8. Construction Laborer
Though this profession may not be related to health education as many of the others have been, its physically demanding nature landed it a spot on the list. According to O-net Online, tasks in this type of job may involve physical labor at building, highway, and heavy construction projects, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites.

Strength and stamina are at the forefront of this profession, and it is not for the faint of heart! If you enjoy working with your hands and with others on completing large-scale projects, this profession may fit your interests. This field is deemed high growth as well as “green” by O-net’s standards.

9. Physical Therapist
The nature of this job is physically demanding and requires a keen knowledge of the body and fitness. Physical therapists are a type of healthcare professional who help individuals of all ages with rehabilitation relating to functional problems.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that most physical therapists work a 40-hour week with some opportunity for part-time employment. Additionally, physical therapists may practice in hospitals, outpatient clinics or private offices.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also indicates that this field is likely to grow much faster than the average, making it an ideal profession for Army wives looking for a high demand position helping others; however, every state regulates required licensure, meaning that the requirements vary from state-to-state. Army wives must do research regarding individual state licensing requirements before pursing this field.

10. Green Technology
No one ever said that a healthy career had to be limited to individual health! In this profession, health simply relates to the creation of a healthier planet! According to O-net, Renewable Energy Generation covers activities related to developing and using energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. This field may also include traditional, non-renewable sources of energy that are undergoing significant green technological changes.

Growth for this field is expected to greatly increase, making it a great option for military spouses with an interest in green and sustainable energy and technology.


Remember that each of these professions requires some form of education or training, and it is important that you research these requirements prior to making any drastic changes. Additionally, utilize resources such as O-net Online and to find out more about what professions are in demand right now. Though a profession may sound perfect initially, it is necessary to find out as much about the industry before you pursue it.


What You Need to Know Before Attending the MOAA Military Spouse Symposium

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is holding the 2013 Military Spouse Symposium aimed at helping military spouses keep a career on the move. With panelist discussions, appearances by local government officials, and insights from actual employers, military spouses in the Tacoma, Washington area are in for a valuable day of professional development.


Though the symposium is a great way to learn how to progress your career, you should go prepared with your professional game face on even prior to the event starting. To make the most of the experience—one where there is likely to be networking and key players in the milspouse employment world—you have to be strategic. Remember that the hundreds of other military spouses at the event are seeking employment and advice just like you. So, how will you stand apart from the crowd? Below are some quick tips to get your professional on, even before the symposium starts!

What Is Your Goal?

Ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of the event?” Get very specific and write it down. I am a huge advocate for Stephen Covey’s famous quote that you have to begin with the end in mind.

I always find that when I attend an event a little unsure of what I hope to get from it, I leave a just as uncertain about whether it was successful or not. The purpose of this type of goal is to provide yourself with a gauge for measuring the effectiveness of the event. If you are unsure what to expect, think about past career-related events you have attended. What did you enjoy? What did you leave wanting more of? Now, consider how your answers to those questions can relate to what you want to learn at the upcoming event. Also think about actions you can take to find what you are looking for.

Do Your Research

I know—you are probably rolling your eyes! You may be thinking that a symposium is an event where you learn HOW to research and what to do, but the real work starts now. You don’t have to spend hours, just a few minutes learning who the panelists are, what the speakers’ backgrounds are and whom you might like to meet personally.

Make a List

If there is someone attending or presenting at the event that you admire, follow, or just want to learn more about, write their name down and make it a point to reach out to that person. Introduce yourself and have your business card handy! Prepare what you want to say ahead of time, and be your natural, charming self. Being the authentic you is what will naturally make you memorable.


Do More Research

This is a little different than what you might be thinking, but it is becoming EXTREMELY crucial as we continue to become a more socially connected society. It’s time to get your online identity in shape. If you have no online identity, it’s kind of like having no credit score. Who wants to give you credit (or a job) if they don’t know what you will do with that responsibility?

You can easily set up a LinkedIn account to get started. Even easier, you can take a few minutes to start a Google+ account. Above all else, make sure everything online is professional. MOAA will be providing free professional photos—be sure to take advantage of this opportunity if you need one! Finally, if you are unsure what your online identity says about you, try



Have fun and enjoy yourself! I look forward to hearing your success stories and remember to send me your questions about the event (or any career topic for that matter!) in the comment box below.