If you’re stationed overseas during your service in the military, you or your spouse may be wanting to make your time serving as normal as possible; this might include signing yourself up for a job to take your mind off of other circumstances. You may be wondering, is that possible? What do I need to do, if it is?

The Easiest Way to Find Work

If you’re not completely committed to getting off the military base, understand that the number one way to find a job when you’re stationed overseas is simply to serve on base. Though it’s not a job listed in the military, these jobs are federally funded positions, and thorough application is necessary. Jobs like these include human resources employment for military branches, army civilian services, exchange services, defense contractors, and common commissary jobs – like a cashier or stocker at a grocery store on base.

Off Base Employment

The first thing you should research is whether or not the country itself will allow you, as a non-citizen, to be employed by their local economy. In many countries, the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), will allow this, but many do not.

Investigate It

Once you determine that the specific country where you reside has a SOFA that allows you to work in the local economy, you’ll want to work with programs specific to your base to make sure you land in an area that’s a great fit. Most bases have programs like a Family Employment Readiness program that can provide detailed and specific employment information relevant to the nation that’s hosting you. You’ll also need to investigate what specific local monetary provisions will apply – local taxes, fees, and payment rituals will likely apply to you if they apply to others.

Other Options

You always have the option of operating a business from your home, and many people overlook that. Whether it be a photography business, landscaping, catering, childcare… there are countless options for employment where you work out of your home, but operate in a field, that aren’t necessarily “on base” jobs. Depending on the business opportunity you choose, you’ll need to check with the Family Service Center or Legal Assistance Office to determine whether or not any licenses or permits apply; you’ll also want to make sure that you’re legally able to run a business from home, and that you understand what federal, self-employment, or local taxes apply as a business owner.

Needless to say, non-base or installment employment opportunities are plentiful in most countries; though, what that looks like may vary from place to place. Determine what it is that you would love to do, and do your own research to determine just how realistic your overseas career goals are.