Author Topic: Work balance in the CAF Reserves  (Read 4075 times)

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Offline Soldier2112

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Work balance in the CAF Reserves
« on: September 19, 2015, 08:54:09 »
Good Day,

I am on the verge of joining a reserve unit here in Toronto and beginning BMOQ. I also recently started a full time civilian job. I am wondering if you guys can share you experience working full time in a civilian job and balancing that with military life.Was it difficult? What are the usual BMOQ training hours? Will I have any free time left?

Thanks
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Work balance in the CAF Reserves
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2015, 09:12:48 »
I am wondering if you guys can share you experience working full time in a civilian job and balancing that with military life.

Many ( most? ) Reservists are full-time students or workers.

Much depends on your hours of employment. Do you work 8-hour day shifts Monday to Friday? Do you work rotating or split shifts? Does your work take you out of town overnight? Are your shifts longer than 8 hours? ( eg: Paramedics work 12-hour shifts and Firefighters work 24-hour shifts. ) Do you work voluntary and mandated overtime? ( OT ). Are you expected to be on Standby or On-Call? Can you make shift changes?

Does your employer have a Military Leave Policy?

Joining the Reserves is something you may - or may not - wish to discuss with your Employer. Especially if you anticipate scheduling conflicts and requesting consideration.

Also, is your family on-board with you taking on a part-time job?

Your challenge will be that you have not yet done your Basic and occupational training.

There are various discussions about work and the Reserves. Such as this one,

29 years old, full-time job - want to be a Reserves Officer... 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=101467.0

You may also wish to read this,

Reservists Job Protection Superthread 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=2552.0

« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 09:59:31 by mariomike »
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Offline VIChris

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Re: Work balance in the CAF Reserves
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 19:09:08 »
I did my BMQ on weekends, and attended unit EXs on the weekends between BMQ weekends. Working full time as well, this meant 3 months straight with no days off. It was a bag drive. My BMQ-L was done in a one month block, and I found it much easier to handle. Also, being away from home, and in 100% training mindset vs. switching back and forth from course mode to civvie welder/ husband mode helped me focus on the lessons much more. I've since done a few other weekend courses as well as a couple of longer block courses/ taskings, and I still find it easier for me to be away for a single chunk. Even now with two kids.

The trick to making those work is being up front with everyone involved about what you need to do in order to succeed. If you're bringing it up with family, and it sounds like they're against it, talk it out. Same with employers. If they seem unable to guarantee you a position when you return, get it in writing. Or, ask if there's a better time for you to take your next course. Check with your CoC to see if it's possible, or engage your liaison officer for help in dealing with your employer through proper channels.

One thing to consider (this is more hearsay than experience,) but it seems many officers end up taking a certain volume of work home with them as well, as 3 hours a week might not be enough time to sort out all that is asked of you. Be prepared for a bit of homework.
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Offline PanaEng

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Re: Work balance in the CAF Reserves
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2015, 13:17:17 »
During training, (BMQ/BMOQ which most likely will be on wknds) you don't need to participate in unit exercises - it is pretty much up to you. Once your training is complete, the is minimum attendance plicy - which as an officer will not make you an effective member of the unit (1 day a month, one wknd ex per session, or so). As the other responders indicated, talk it out, clear communication is key.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Work balance in the CAF Reserves
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2015, 18:09:47 »
One thing to consider (this is more hearsay than experience,) but it seems many officers end up taking a certain volume of work home with them as well, as 3 hours a week might not be enough time to sort out all that is asked of you. Be prepared for a bit of homework.

Sadly, the advent of email means that there is no more 'one night a week and one weekend a month', for Officers and SNCOs in particular.

It's become a constant stream of email traffic to your civilian address that, depending on the style of the boss, can easily overwhelm you unless you tell them 'no more'.

Most will back off if you are up front about it. Others can be auto-routed to your trash  ;D
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