I was very pleased to hear that the new legislation has finally been pushed through that will allow former military members to compete for jobs within the Defence Department. Who better to hire for a job in the military than someone who understands how the military works? I also see that numerous union members have publicly voiced concern over this new pool of competition. They should be concerned! There is nothing more dangerous than hiring an experienced and competent former military member who can accomplish jobs quickly, work with limited supervision and inadequate resources, and who would be grateful for a job. But would the addition of military personnel to the work-pool be a realistic threat to the union members? Not really. Here are a few barriers already in place to keep those ill-educated, boorish, soldiers who lack merit from polluting up the ranks of the Public Service Alliance of Canada or the Union of National Defence Employees…
1. First, as a military member, you have to register with the system, overcoming PSAC administrative employees who will be obstructive towards your attempts to invade their well-feathered nests.
2. Then you have to locate the job advertisements for PSAC and UNDE positions, which as of last year, are accessible only from government terminals. That means you can only access the job sites if you have access to a terminal AND have an account.
3. But before you can apply, you have to be released from the military. Oh wait, now that you are out of the military you no longer have an account or access to a government terminal. Ooops!
4. That’s okay, we have a government department who can help you find that job. Oh wait, you haven’t moved to your final place of residence yet? (All military members are entitled to a final move after 20 years service to a place where they intend to work and live). Well, you can’t apply for that job until you have finished moving to the province of your choice. Then the local agency will receive your file from your original location and will try to get a hold of you (oh, that’s only if the local BC phone company hasn’t gone on strike for four months and has not yet hooked up a phone to your new house!).
5. Found a job you want to apply for? Great, where is your resume? We could help you write one but that’s not our job, although we can give you some advice on how to write an outdated resume that will guarantee no-one will look at it.
6. Okay you gave us a resume, and we have your file. Oh sorry, we don’t recognize your credentials or even know what they mean. I hope you kept records of every course you took over the last 20 years. Better yet, we hope you went back to school to get your credential recognized or maybe get some certificates that we will recognize. Didn’t anybody tell you that before?
7. Oh, I’m sorry but there are almost no jobs with the federal government in the area you have chosen to live. Because of downsizing and budget reductions we have moved nearly all jobs to the major cities. Maybe you could apply for one of the jobs in the city. Oh wait, you can only apply if you live within a specific distance of the available job. You would have to move to the city first in order to even apply for the job! Too bad!
8. Oh great, you’ve found some work for yourself. Don’t worry we will keep looking for a federal job you. (It is almost one year since I retired from the military with an injury sustained during overseas service. I have yet to receive notice that any federal jobs are open for me despite 10 years of management experience, a university certificate in management, and a university diploma in HR management. It would seem I am not even good enough to work as a janitor!)
Thanks to other military programs that existed, I was able to upgrade my education and gain recognition for some of my credentials. I got help from numerous people in the HR field on how to write a resume and what information was appropriate to put into it. But when it came to getting a job, I received no help and no offers. In closing, I hope all future retirees will have better luck than I did with this new system. I would be extremely interested to know if the same barriers that I faced are still in place.