Start The Conversation- A Win-Win for Corporations & Military Families
There’s a joke shared amongst some military men in Moose Jaw, “do not talk to the local girls,” they say, “they see you as a ticket out of here.” Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, is the home of a Canadian Forces Base operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force known as 15 Wing, and it’s also where I met my spouse. When I first started talking to him, I did not know he was military, but I did know I fell in love with his baby blue eyes. Fourteen months after we met, he was posted to 1st Field Am in Edmonton, Alberta. There was no question in my mind that I would follow him, but unlike the girls they would joke about, I wasn’t looking for a ticket out of MJ.
On the contrary, as a small business owner a move to Edmonton meant I was going to take a huge hit financially. I had built up a network in Saskatchewan and most of my PR came from doing seminars in small towns. If you don’t know the area, it’s a good seven hour drive from Moose Jaw to Edmonton when the weather and traffic are favorable. It was not feasible to drive back to work every week.
They say financial stress is the number one reason married couples divorce. Military families are no different. In the Canadian military, members are usually posted to a new base every two- three years; as they take new training, take on new positions or get promoted. If the normal stress of moving, having kids adjust to new schools, finding a new support/social group, and missing your significant other who is always gone on training or deployment wasn’t enough, you might also have to look for a new job. Even university educated professionals, such as teachers, find it difficult to relocate often and find a permanent position with a new school district or employer. For an entrepreneur this transition can be even more difficult since establishing a business often requires investing in a community and central location. On average it takes seven years to build up a successful retail business.
Interestingly, there is a huge need amongst small businesses and corporations in most Canadian markets to find and retain talent. They primarily rely on outsourcing to fill the skills gap. Right now there are programs offered through the Military Family Resources Centre for spouses that would like to become entrepreneurs, but I feel something more could be done because of the disconnect of how often families get posted to a new location and how long it takes for a bricks and mortar business to become profitable. What if there was a way to solve both of these problems with the same solution?
By matching military spouses with these positions, we provide employers highly educated, loyal, and flexible solutions to their employment needs. Military spouses could also have the opportunity to work remotely and take their work with them when they are posted to a new city. This would give them security, flexibility, and one less thing to stress about in the military life while at the same time saving employers the stress of wondering where and how to fill vacant positions.
Edmonton ended up being a great experience for me; I grew a lot personally as well as professionally, and I met some amazing friends and mentors. My spouse has since retired and I have enjoyed staying in contact with the people I met in Edmonton.
SuccessionMatching has really taken off in 2015, and I will be expanding our staff. Due to the nature of my business, the staff can work from home. Many of my military spouse contacts have expressed interest in finding credible work from home that they can take with them as they follow their spouse. I would like to find a way to match these well-educated, energetic, and loyal individuals to other online companies or companies who have staff that work remotely and may be interested in joining an alliance. All jokes aside, I would like to make it easier for military spouses to be able to follow their partners everywhere they go.
I am not sure what the end service will look like, but I would at least like to start the conversation.
Please add or message me with ideas. Feel free to share this post with anyone that you feel could help or get behind this.