The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) recently launched bilingual guides for Canadian career professionals entitled Military to Civilian Employment: A Career Practitioner’s Guide. The goal of the guides is to help career practitioners better understand barriers veterans face and help them to find suitable jobs.
CERIC, a respected resource in the world of career professionals, teamed up with the non-profit organization Canada Company to create the guides.
“CERIC’s mandate is really to support knowledge and skill development of career professionals in the country, and we have learned through feedback from career professionals in the country that there was an absence of information relating to working with military as they are transitioning to civilian life,” said Jan Basso, Chair of CERIC and Director of Co-operative Education and Career Development at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON.
The guides will serve to educate career professionals and employers or anyone working with transitioning military members, about military life, culture, and the transferable skills they bring to the private sector.
“For example, one of the things for me as I was writing the guide was that most of the promotions in the military are based on the recommendation of the commanding officer. Well, that’s not how it necessarily works in the civilian world. You [career practitioner] have to make sure things like that aren’t intrinsic for someone who’s spent their life in the military or a long time in the military,” said Yvonne Rodney, career development expert, and researcher and author of the CERIC guides.
Through her research, Rodney realized military members acquire many useful skills throughout their careers, however, they sometimes just find it hard to relate those skills in the civilian world. That is where the guide comes in to help.
“It’s going to help me, if I’m the career councillor or the employment coach, or it’s going to help, the HR person, ok I need to scratch below the surface and dig a bit deeper,” explained Rodney.
The guides serve as a navigation tool to help career practitioners understand what to ask military members.
“It’s just a good understanding of the culture and background that they are coming from and the skills and where they might have barriers,” noted Rodney.
The guides start out identifying the needs and barriers of military members transitioning to civilian life. The guides then expand on topics like resources, programs, a list of transferable skills, and a list of suitable jobs in the private sector according to those skills. The guides also have a chapter dedicated to spousal employment.
As she was writing the guide, Rodney says she realized that military spouses’ careers also suffer as they move from location to location, causing some employers to wonder about inconsistencies in resumes. The guide answers questions on how to deal with this and other potential employer biases.
The guides were first launched at the Cannexus16 National Career Development Conference on Jan.25. Five hundred copies of the book were distributed to attendees.
The guides are available for purchase via Amazon or Chapters/Indigo, or a free pdf download is available at the CERIC website at www.ceric.ca/military.