Last summer, after returning to Canada from a four-year overseas posting to Belgium I reached out to my network from the NATO community to examine the challenges they faced as they began to consider transitioning from a military to a civilian career. The survey was originally conducted to help gain specific insight into their needs. I wanted to share the information I collected with an audience of my peers in an effort to educate career professionals about the specific issues relating to military members as they transition to civilian roles. As a member of the military community, I was seeing a number of members struggle to identify a path forward and I was confident there was a better way to serve our members.
A few months later, when attending Cannexus 2017, a National Career Development Conference designed to promote the exchange of information and explore innovative approaches in the career development field, I reached out to the editor of the Canadian Journal for Career Development. They were looking for research submissions for the journal. The editor was supportive of my “military to civilian transition” idea and suggested I write the article and send it her way.
I returned from the conference and reached out to my friend and colleague Dr. Alexandra Heber. She and I had previously discussed our shared interest in serving the military population and some of the work she had been doing in this area. Dr. Heber had already researched and presented a number of key findings on how to support military personnel. She agreed to assist me with writing the research paper.
Today, I am proud to share our findings.
It is my belief that military members need more than a translation tool to help identify and match their skills to the ever-evolving labour market. Members deserve to work one-on-one with a supportive and credentialed career professional who can help diagnose issues, uncover underlying beliefs, pinpoint ineffective strategies, clarify targets for precise focus and debunk any myths about the ‘civilian’ world of work.
There is more work to be done to ensure Veterans are supported as they transition from military to the civilian careers. I believe certified career professionals are poised to better support the men and women in uniform as they make that move.
Related Categories: Career Clarity, Job Search
About The Author
Maureen McCann is an award-winning career coach, master resume writer, and master certified interview, employment, and career strategist whose clients include C-level executives, managers, and professionals in all industries including the Canadian banking, oil and gas, healthcare, IT, and government sectors.