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6 Factors to Consider When Releasing From CAF

Clients have told me that it is both exhilarating to be in charge of their lives and also scary in that they are now responsible for all their life decisions. Completing the out-routine and handing in their uniform is a surreal experience for many because they are closing a major chapter in their life. Many members have served 20-plus years and it may have been the only full-time job they have known.

1. Family:

  • What ages are your children and how will your leaving the military affect them? If you plan to relocate how will that impact their lives?

  • If you have a partner/spouse, are they employed? If so, will leaving the military affect their job?

  • Have you been discussing your pending release with your partner/spouse and how your lives will change?

2. Location:

  • In what geographical area do you want to live?

  • Do you wish to live in your current location or take your last military move within Canada?

  • Do you wish to live in an urban environment or a rural area?

  • Are you thinking of buying or renting a home, condominium, or apartment?

  • What are the costs associated with buying a house or a condominium, or renting an apartment?

3. Financial:

  • Will you need to earn an income to supplement your pension to afford your new civilian lifestyle?

  • What can you afford to pay for housing?

  • How much after-tax pension and or other military benefits will you receive?

  • How much other debt are you carrying, i.e. credit card, bank loans, car loans, etc?

  • Do you have a spouse/partner who is employed? If so, what is their net income?

4. Community:

  • What services are available in the community you are considering? i.e. health care, dental care, public transportation, childcare, schools, financial services, internet, etc.

  • Have you started to look for new community organizations to join that will help establish your new civilian identity? i.e. professional associations, service organizations, volunteer associations, special interest groups, alumni groups, sports groups, etc.

5. Education & Training:

  • Will you be taking further education and training to upskill to be competitive in the civilian labor market? If so, what education or training do you need?

  • How much will it cost? How long will it take?

  • Does the education or training qualify for funding under the Military Education Training Benefit, (ETB) available through Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)?

6. Career & Employment:

  • Do you know what type of civilian career you want to target and develop?

  • Is your chosen civilian career in demand in your desired geographical area?

  • Do you know the pay scale for your chosen civilian career?

  • Do you want to work full-time, part-time, contract, freelance, or start your own business?

  • Will your partner/spouse have to find new employment if you relocate to a new area?

  • Will your partner/spouse need to upskill for employment opportunities in a new area?

If you are trying to figure out your career options based on your values, interests, and skills, as well as considering your ideal location, check out my Career Exploration & Decision-Making services. This service is eligible for funding via VAC, Education Training Benefit Short Course Application – 1549.

Book a free 20-minute discovery call to discuss your situation with me at Ally Career Solutions.


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