It’s understandable that newcomers, in particular, would be thinking about switching careers as it has been reported that approximately six in 10 immigrants are unsatisfied with their current employment in Canada.
This may be due to compensation, working conditions or lack of career advancement opportunities.
For immigrants and refugees, the decision to change careers can be complex as you weigh the financial risks and challenges of establishing yourself in a new sector and a new country.
How do you know if switching careers is the right decision for you? What steps do you need to take to make the leap successfully? Making these big, life-changing decisions can be difficult and feeling confident about your new path forward, even more so. However, now may be the ideal time to unlock your career potential and reach new heights in a new field. With job vacancies hovering around 1 million across Canada, in-demand fields like health care, information technology (IT), engineering and community services present plenty of opportunities to grow your income and achieve the professional success you desire.
A checklist for your career switch
Windmill Microlending, a national charity focused on helping skilled immigrants and refugees pay for the costs of accreditation, training, education, certifications and professional development courses in Canada, has created the Career Change Navigator, a free downloadable guide to help you make the best decision you can about your career change.
The Career Change Navigator features strategies to help you determine if it’s time for a career change and offers tips to guide you through developing your professional skills. It also offers a helpful checklist enabling you to make certain a career change is right for you. Below is a preview of the checklist. Download the guide to gain access to the full career change checklist.
Checklist Question #1: Have you identified what it is you want to achieve from your career change?
Are you looking for more fulfilling work? Greater advancement opportunities? Improved work-life balance? It is important to consider these questions, and your career objectives, as you determine what your next course of action will be.
Checklist Question #2: Have you explored the education or training steps you need to take to support your career change?
Find ways to develop the in-demand skills within the field or industry you want to join. Review job postings and connect with professionals in the field to validate your findings and censure the training you invest in will pay off later. From LinkedIn Learning courses to rapid micro-credentials, virtual bootcamps or certifications that teach specific hard or soft skills, your education options are plenty in Canada. Consider all your options: full-time vs. part-time studies or online vs. in-person or hybrid learning models.
Windmill client success coach, Christopher Lau, offers financial planning tips for newcomers thinking about investing in their education or professional development:
Checklist Question #3: Do you have a financial plan to pay for re-training, certification, upskilling, education or professional development?
It’s important to think about your financial situation as you consider your career change. How much money will you need to support yourself while making this transition? Should you consider a part-time education program that offers work-school flexibility? How will you manage financially if you can’t continue to work while studying? These are some of the important questions you should ask yourself. An affordable loan from Windmill offers flexible repayment terms and may be able to assist you as you make your career transition.
If you are ready to make your big career move in Canada, take Windmill Microlending’s two-minute eligibility quiz to find out if we can offer you a low-interest loan to pay for the costs of education or training in support of your career change.