Whether you like it or not, your two years of national service is finally coming to an end. Soon, you will be reunited with your identity card (NRIC) and enjoy the freedoms of a civilian.
Here are five things you can do to for a fulfilling life after your Operationally Ready Date (ORD).
1. Plan how you will be spending your post-ord time
After having two years of your life and schedule planned on your behalf, including the exact time you should eat, wake up or sleep and what activities you need to complete daily, life after your ORD might take some getting used to.
Since you won't have an instructor or commander dictating how you spend your days, you should think about how you spend your time. You can start by defining a daily routine of job-hunting or preparing for school and spending time with family and friends.
Taking things to the next level, you can set some projects for yourself to accomplish, like getting a driving license, learning a new skill, or exploring a new country and culture.
Finding your "why" and defining a vision for yourself will go a long way in helping you make the most of your newfound, albeit short-lived, free time. Ultimately, you need to answer this question for yourself: #WhatsYourWhy? Only then will you be able to spend your post-ORD time meaningfully.
2. Update your resume
Whether you are looking for a temporary, part-time or full-time job or applying for higher education, you will need an updated resume and consolidated academic and professional records.
In the two years you spent serving national service, your career objectives might have changed, and you might have picked up additional skills and training during the process. Updating your resume and list of skills will allow your resume to more accurately reflect the new person you've grown into.
3. Upgrade yourself
A few things in the world and job markets might be different since you started national service. To remain relevant, you should look at upgrading yourself, whether its furthering your studies or going for a course.
Application dates for higher education programmes may not coincide with your ORD, so you need to pro-actively research this to ensure you don't miss deadlines and are not left in limbo for months before the next intake.
For shorter-term courses, the SkillsFuture programme is a great place to start, regardless of whether you've expended your $500 in credits. Courses on the SkillsFuture scheme are vetted, varied and deemed to be relevant for the workplaces of today and tomorrow.
Another way to gain new skills is to take up an internship or part-time job. There are job portals dedicated to internships or temporary positions that you can use to find meaningful opportunities that's right for you.
4. Maintain your fitness and wellness
An aspect you shouldn't neglect is taking care of your fitness and general well-being. After your ORD, there won't be a physical training instructor encouraging (aka yelling) at you to push yourself for every additional push-up, sit-up or pull-up.
You also still hold many responsibilities as a National Serviceman (NSman), including booking and clearing your IPPT test annually and keeping fit, at least until the age of 40, to be ready for a call-up.
To do this, you will need to find your own ways to stay motivated. This is where AIA Vitality can come in to play a part in motivating you to keep healthy, fit and active. This science-backed wellness programme rewards you with annual cashbacks and discounts on your AIA insurance policies, gym memberships and more as you make small but significant steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
Find out more about how AIA Vitality can make a real difference in your life today.
5. Review your insurance policies
When you are no longer a full-time NSman, you will not enjoy 24/7 coverage under the Group Term Life and Group Personal Accident paid for by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
After your ORD, you also lose access to fully subsidised medical and dental care and treatments at government hospitals and polyclinics. This means that you should review of your existing insurance coverage with your financial advisor to ensure that you and your loved ones continue to enjoy financial security and peace of mind.
Our financial advisors will be more than happy to help you with such planning. You can contact us here.
We understand you've ORD-ed and may want to play catch up on some things you feel you have missed out while in army. However, you should note that you're no longer receiving an allowance from the army, and if you don't work, you may find yourself depleting your savings or overspending. If you do work, you should still ensure you spend wisely and prudently set aside money for your future as you will definitely find yourself taking on more responsibilities and commitments as time goes on.
Finally, we're grateful that you have contributed to the safety and security of Singapore for two years. During this time, you've also equipped yourself with experiences and networks from your national service, and are now poised to go forth and build the life you envision.