Military Spouse Employment Initiative: Christina Radiff
December 22, 2020 - Defence Stories
Christina Radiff and family. Photo credit: Radio Canada/Vicky Boutin
Our family has relocated 10 times over the past 17 years, both within and outside of Canada. The duration of these postings were from 1 to 3 years at any given location, including places where language barriers and Visa restrictions have prevented me from acquiring work. To say my career has had its ups and downs is an understatement.
When your career is repeatedly put on hold, it becomes more and more difficult to start all over again. It’s very easy to say to yourself, “What’s the point? Why would an organization give an opportunity to someone who isn’t in it for the long term?” Before the Military Spouse Employment Initiative (MSEI), my career was put on hold each time my spouse received a posting message. The stress and anxiety of not knowing if I would find meaningful employment at our next temporary living location was not fun.
I had heard about the MSEI from a fellow military spouse. At the time, I was exploring opportunities in various government departments since we knew that we were moving to Ottawa. I recall having to find a café with Wi-Fi so that I could complete the online assessments because we were still moving into our home!
I was fortunate to be hired through the MSEI as an HR Assistant at DND in the fall of 2019. Luckily, I was hired directly into a CR-05 indeterminate position in staffing. Being offered an indeterminate role from the onset is something I consider a bit of a lottery win! I cannot express eloquently enough my sincere gratitude for this opportunity.
Within a few months of being hired, we were informed that we would be moving once again. The all too familiar feelings of stress and anxiety returned, because I wasn’t sure if I would be allowed to continue in my new position, especially since we were being relocated outside of Canada. I am happy to report that my team at DND has been amazing in supporting this move. For the first time in 17 years I have not had to resign from my job! Not only has the MSEI provided the opportunity to find employment, but it has allowed me to retain employment which is something I have never had before.
My job is rewarding and the team I work with is fantastic! It provides me career stability and the opportunity to progress in a direction that I can finally control. I no longer have to deal with the stress and anxiety of seeking employment when we are relocated and this job provides greater financial stability for our family. The subtle mental health benefits, such greater self-worth and independence, are immeasurable.
I am certain that this job has helped my relationship with my spouse, since he no longer has to worry about whether I will find a job that is meaningful to me and one that I enjoy. Moving to a new city in a different province, or even a different country, presents a myriad of challenges and stresses that we have endured as a family. The MSEI has effectively removed a tremendous amount of that stress, making it better for us all to handle the next challenge that is thrown our way!
Overall, I can’t say enough great things about the Military Spouse Employment Initiative!
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