When transitioning from the Australian Defence Force, some leaving the military will have a successful transition whilst others may experience some difficulties. Unfortunately many people outside of the ADF community are unaware of these struggles and they are also unaware of the tremendous asset that ex defence people can be for any organization.
We have listed a few statistics that can help explain what some of the difficulties are, where they are coming from, why you should seek assistance if you are Ex- ADF, and why businesses should support those who have supported the nation?
1. Homeless veterans
In 2009, when the last national Homeless Veterans Survey was conducted, there were 3,000 veterans without a home. 10% of Australia's homeless are returned veterans.
30 % of 5500 leaving the army every year will end up being unemployed for a period of time.
Field experts say mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, is impacting veterans and contributing to a loss of jobs, homes, and families.
2. Social Issues
Members making the transition to civilian life may:
Have trouble readjusting to family they have not lived with for a long period.
Find it hard to accept the difference between civilian life and experiences in military service.
Experience a loss of role, identity or purpose.
Find it difficult getting a new job.
Have concerns about supporting the family, possibly on a lower wage.
Experience financial problems.
Feel less valued or appreciated with a sense of diminished status in life.
Find it challenging making new friends, and coping without old friends.
Find civilian life chaotic due to perceived lack of structure, order, and direction.
3. Mental Health issues
27.6% of Ex-ADF personnel were concerned that reporting a mental disorder might result in being treated differently.
26.9% feared their career might be harmed.
Mental health affects everyone not only ADF personnel. 1.4 million Australians at any one time have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is 6.4% of 21,530,081 Australians.
If you are Ex-ADF here is what you can do?
Think about your time in ADF, you have developed many highly desirable transferable skills that the civilian world are looking to hire.
Develop and build your civilian CV that clearly articulates the skills you have obtained in ADF (make sure you use civilian language when describing these skills).
Talk to others with similar struggles (join Facebook and LinkedIn Groups for veterans) and assist each other in your transition process.
Reflect on positive experiences you had in the army. How can you use that positivity into your new life and career? Share your professional accomplishments in your resume.
Develop a new network of contacts. Join associations that share the same interests. You will develop new friendships outside of your ADF mates and potentially meet someone who can lead you to employment.
When looking for work, do not go for every job. Set up alerts for jobs that meet your needs and skills.
Contact Recruitment agencies that prioritise the recruitment of Ex-Defence personnel. They will assist you with your search, match you with the right employer and job, and help you with your resume writing and interview skills. Read more about this on the ERS Recruitment website.
Transform your skills or hobbies into your own business. Working for someone is not for everyone and you can make it happen (ref to IncubatERS).
Do a physical activity. There are a lot of veteran owned gyms out there, you may find it more comfortable going to one of them.
Don’t take on too much. You learnt how to be structured in the army, then apply what you’ve learnt.
Always allow time for relaxation, yourself and your family.
Businesses here is how you can help?
Become part of the Supporting Defence Personnel Community. These are businesses which hire Ex-Defence personnel as a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. Businesses most of the time are unaware of the skills they can get from an Ex-Defence person. The skills are broad and can go from an administrator to a cook, an engineer to a mechanical fitter, a sales manager to a leadership expert. For more information Contact ERS Recruitment.
Mentor a veteran employee or entrepreneur (ref to IncubatERS). Share your experiences as a successful entrepreneur. Read Scott Houston ERS CEO’s success story as an example.
Encourage female veterans employment. Gender diversity and equality are still a common issue, even in 2017. Any initiatives your business can create will assist with this matter and create a change in today ‘society.
For a confidential conversation regarding EX-ADF employment Contact ERS Recruitment at 1300 ADF RECRUIT or firstname.lastname@example.org