The Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Service is bringing back “Your Career Path,” a virtual career counselling program for military spouses.
Debuting in 2017 as a pilot program under Military Family Services, Your Career Path matches military spouses with certified career counsellors who work with them to map out a career fitting to the military family lifestyle.
Successful applicants will participate in five individual career counselling sessions, either online or by telephone, to develop a career path and create a concrete plan for seeking a new job or profession.
“When it comes to employment, it obviously is one of the top challenges that military families face largely due to relocation,” says employment and entrepreneurship program manager Katie Ochin.
Located on Canadian Armed Forces Bases and Wings, half of the local Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs), which provides for the delivery of military family services and programs, offer employment counselling. However, Your Career Path is a national initiative available for those spouses who live remotely or overseas. Their MFRC may also not carry employment counselling.
“Any national employment service that the Morale and Welfare Service is doing is meant to complement what the MFRCs are doing,” adds Ochin. “There are local services happening which are specific to each military community and then there are these national online programs that are available to everyone.”
The career of the military spouse/partner is deeply affected by the military member’s service. Your Career Path embraces the concept that the right professional career counsellor understands these challenges and can help spouses make a plan to achieve their career goals, while still considering the reality of the military family lifestyle. Participants will need to commit two to three hours a week to work with the program. Your Career Path is tailored to each person’s specific needs and goals, however, does focus on career exploration and planning. Priority will be given to applicants who do not have access to employment counselling through their local MFRC.
“The program is largely intended to help someone navigate their career,” Ochin adds. “It deals a lot with career exploration so you are ready for the next move.”
Your Career Path is offered twice this year. It will run from November 2018 to January 2019 with applications required by Oct. 26 The second cohort will run from February to April 2019 with applications required no later than Jan. 25, 2019.
Military Family Services offers other programs, such as Helping Entrepreneurs Reach Complete Success (HERCS), an online training program that seeks to empower its participants to create businesses of all types, especially “portable” businesses which can be easily relocated due to postings. There is also a two-day interactive training session on entrepreneurship for members of military families offered by the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. Telfer has already visited MFRCs in Greenwood, Gagetown, Bagotville, Ottawa, Petawawa, Borden, Shilo, Central Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Cold Lake and Edmonton. Another program is Work It Out with MFS, which will provide monthly online career training sessions geared towards military spouses and adult family members from October 2018 to June 2019.
For more information on Your Career Path or other programs and how to apply, visit the website at www.cafconnection.ca.