Military Spouse Employment Initiative: Luce Vallée
December 8, 2020 - Defence Stories
I would encourage military spouses and partners to take the opportunity to join the Military Spouse Employment Initiative employment inventory.
My experience with this initiative was positive as I was able to sustain work for the duration of my husband career and posting in Cold Lake, Alberta and in Borden, Ontario.
I was an indeterminate public servant from 1992 to 2017; 25 years of loyal service to the DND/RCMP and Canadian Housing Agency (CFHA). My first experience with relocation was in 1994, when we moved from Borden, Ontario to St-Hubert, Quebec. I was well informed about the program and my substantive position in Borden was secured for 5 years. We didn’t have pools or internet at that time; therefore, we depended on the Public Service Commission (PSC) to help us find other work opportunities. This is how I ended up with a secondment opportunity with the RCMP for 2 years in Montreal, Quebec.
We returned to Borden, Ontario in June 1997. I returned to my substantive position, as it was still vacant. I worked for DND in Borden in different positions until we moved in 2012 When we were posted to Cold Lake, Alberta, the PSC had just made changes to the relocation program. Even if I was on the priority list for relocation of spouse, the federal public service was fifth on the list making those under workforce adjustments and medically released CAF and RCMP members higher priority than us.
It took me over 8 months before I found a government position. I continuously communicated with HR and searched through the jobs.gc.ca website. I was able to stay on the priority list for an extra year because I accepted a lower paying position. I was my own advocate and I was able to find a position with the same classification as my substantive position within that year.
In 2017, I had the opportunity to take advantage of my transfer value and resigned as a federal public servant. Luckily, they decided to hire me as a casual employee. It was during that time the Military Spouse Employment Initiative employment inventory opened and I applied immediately.
Since then I’ve been offered several opportunities. When we were posted to Borden in August 2019, I left my name on the list. I started receiving offers for casual employment as soon as October 2019, but since I had already worked my 90 days casual with DND I wasn’t able to accept any positions.
In November 2019, I was asked to work a position with another department and I accepted. Not long thereafter, I received a phone call from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada for a one year term position and started working on 30 March, 2020. I’ve been in the position for six months now and have been working remotely. It has been an unusual setting and time to start a new job, especially with the ongoing pandemic. Service Canada became extremely busy with the introduction of the Emergency Response Benefit (ERB) and the numerous issues that came with it. The possibility of a term extension or indeterminate offer is definitely possible.
I would encourage military spouses and partners to take the opportunity to join the Military Spouse Employment Initiative employment inventory because they have the opportunity to move forward with their own career. No matter where you are posted, employment opportunities are always opening due to the constant movement of personnel occurring every year. You may work for one department for a few years and relocate somewhere else and get hired by another department. It provides us with the flexibility that our federal government is striving for. Every new employment has given me a different set of skills, abilities and knowledge which I bring with me everywhere I work. That experience can only increase the chances of being successful and satisfying ones desire of owning their career.
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