Thinking of a career shift?

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There are many reasons newcomers consider a career change. Some may see their move to Canada as an opportunity to start fresh in a new field. Others discover that there is a low demand for their profession so they shift to one with greater demand.

There are also those who shift to non-regulated jobs while they work on their certification or licensure (read What are “Alternative Professions”?). For example, a doctor can accept a job as a medical laboratory technician, or a lawyer becomes a law clerk. They may hold these alternative jobs temporarily until they get licensed, or decide to stick with it instead of going through certification.

There are many other reasons for considering a career shift. If you’re thinking of making the move, start with a thorough assessment first. Here are some things to consider:

  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 this process, watch this video from Harvard Extension School about how to successfully go about changing careers:

Resources in Manitoba:

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

For self-assessment:
Career Planning, Government of Canada Job Bank
Career Planning from the University of Manitoba (Student Affairs Career Services)
A Guide to Planning your Career, Government of Manitoba

Labor market research:
Job Bank
Manitoba Labour Market Occupational Forecasts 2018-2024
Manitoba Career Prospects
Trends and events in Manitoba’s labour market

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 E-Volunteer – Settlement Coach Program. This 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 offer 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.
Article updated October 26, 2022.
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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