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Are You Feeling Lost Without Your Military Uniform?

Clients have said, "when they leave the military, they feel like they have lost their identity." Military careers require a mindset and lifestyle that extends beyond the traditional job. As individuals, they are part of a larger purpose and are committed to fulfilling a mission.

Feelings of shock, denial, and frustration are common among individuals in career transition. These are normal emotions. They can be related to the Change Curve Model based upon the research of psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

The Change Curve Model consists of 4 Stages:

1. Information - feelings of shock and denial

2. Support - feelings of frustration and possible anger.

3. Direction - feelings of exploration and experimentation. 4. Encouragement - feelings of acceptance and integration.

In stages 1 to 2, the individual is focused on the past. In stages 3 to 4, they are focused on building and integrating into a new future. According to Kübler-Ross, not everyone will go through all the change stages. Some individuals may revisit the different stages more than once. Recognizing and confirming your feelings as being a normal part of the change process can help you understand your behaviours. If you find yourself stuck in any of the change stages, it is important to get professional assistance.

Suggestions for managing the change process include:

  • accessing supports, programs and resources, via Veterans Affairs Canada

  • utilizing Career Professionals during Stage 3 for career exploration and job search strategies

  • maintaining physical activity, healthy nutrition and regular sleep patterns

  • participating in volunteer activities, as well as hobbies and interests

  • engaging with family, friends and colleagues

If you are ready to explore other career options and want assistance, contact


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