Thinking of a career shift?

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There are several reasons why some newcomers may consider changing their careers. Some may see their move to Canada as an opportunity to completely transform their lives and start fresh in a new profession. Others may discover that job opportunities are low for their profession and decide to shift to one with greater demand. And there are those who shift to a non-regulated job in Manitoba because it will take time to get their certification or licence (read What are “Alternative Professions”?). For example, a doctor may work as a medical laboratory technician, or a lawyer can be a law clerk. Some take these alternative jobs temporarily until they get licensed, and others decide to keep their alternative jobs instead of going through certification.

There are many other reasons for considering a career shift, but whatever it is, a thorough assessment of who you are, what your strengths are, and where your interests and passions lie is essential to this process. You have to consider and study many things before you decide to make a move.

Things to consider

Before you make this decision, you should ask the following questions:

  1. Who will be affected by your career shift?
  2. What are the resources available to you (financial and other supports)?
  3. What are your skills (both technical and “soft” skills)?
  4. Have you researched all aspects of this new career you want to get into?
  5. Are you willing to train or take courses?
  6. Are your goals time-bound?
  7. How much time can you spend training and building your new career?
  8. Are you willing to volunteer or take on an internship?
  9. Are you willing to take on a lower level job?
  10. What are your future prospects of growth?

You may have to answer more questions when you conduct a complete self-assessment. This will take into account not only your work skills but your life experiences, personality, values and interests. To start you off, watch this video from Harvard Extension School featuring Assistant Director and Coordinator Linda Spencer who talks about how to change careers and shares five tips on how to successfully go about it:

Resources in Manitoba:

Here are a few resources in Manitoba to help you through this process:

For self-assessment:
Read: Self-assessment: Your first step to success
Manitoba Career Development Decision-Making Model
A guide to planning your career
A guide to recognizing your prior learning

Labor market research:
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Job Bank
Manitoba Labour Market Occupational Forecasts 2018-2024
Manitoba Career Prospects

Professional mentorship
Do you want to know how it feels to be in the shoes of the professional you want to be? You can sign-up for English Online’s Career e-mentor program. This 10-session, free mentorship service can connect you with a professional in Manitoba in a field you are interested in. You can consult your e-mentor about the ins and outs of the profession, licencing or credentials assessment concerns, the Canadian workplace culture, networking, and other practical career tips.

Other free career counseling services in Manitoba:
If you are still in your home country preparing to move to Manitoba, the Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) program is for you. It provides orientation and workplace culture communication support.
Most Immigrant Serving Organizations have employment assistance services.
Manitoba Start or Success Skills Centre can assign you a career coach who can give you expert guidance.
Winnipeg Transition Centre (Employment Assistance & Resource Services)
Opportunities for Employment provides employment assistance services
Osbourne Village Resource Centre (a pre-employment centre)

Resources for further studies or training
Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centres
You can also read Planning on going back to school? Here are resources to back you up for information on funding support or bridging programs or “Want to get ahead in the Canadian workplace? Be a lifelong learner” for more learning options.

Sources: Career Development– Newcomer; “Canadian Experience for immigrants and newcomers” by Mark Swartz,

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Community Resources

If you’re interested in shifting into the trades, read “Is going into the trades a good career or alternative profession?” to know more.

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