Advice for young newcomer professionals: Seek mentorship to help you achieve career success in Canada

Published January 10, 2023.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 

In summary: 

  • Young professional and highly-educated newcomers to Canada are increasingly concerned about their long-term career success. 
  • Mentorship can play a role in helping immigrants and refugees reach their Canadian career aspirations by empowering them to expand their professional network and understand job search norms in Canada. 
  • There are formal and informal ways to find a mentor in Canada including free programs designed for newcomers. 

Can a mentor help you reach your career goals in Canada? 

A recent study shows younger immigrant professionals (18-34) and highly-educated newcomers are concerned about their career advancement prospects and income growth potential in the Canadian job market. 

Newcomers don’t have to settle for lesser career opportunities in their new country.  

Mentorship can help you rise to your full potential in Canada and reach your Canadian dreams.  

The Windmill Microlending blog talked to Véronique Church-Duplessis, Director, Research and Evaluation at Mentor Canada to seek her advice for younger immigrant and refugee professionals about how to use mentorship to strengthen and improve their chances of career success.



Mentor Canada’s Véronique Church-Duplessis offers mentorship success strategies young professional newcomers can use to reach their career goals in their new country.


Church-Duplessis says there are free mentor programs and resources available across Canada focused on younger people. Her organization’s Mentor Connector tool can help you find a mentoring program for those under the age of 30.

Did you know approximately 60 percent of newcomers to Canada are thinking of making a career change? Windmill Microlending’s Career Change Navigator can help with a career change checklist as well as education and training success strategies. Download the free Windmill Career Change Navigator, today. 

She also offers the following mentoring tips for younger newcomer professionals. 

Tip #1: Find the right mentorship program for you 

A variety of mentoring programs exist in every part of Canada. Some programs specifically support newcomers, some are meant to support entrepreneurs, and others to support educational achievement and/or career development. Look for a program whose goals align with yours. In particular, look for mentorship programs that provide the types of support you are interested in receiving.  

Tip #2: Do not limit yourself to formal programs 

Informal mentoring relationships can provide valuable support to young professional immigrants and refugees, as well. To find informal mentors, look for people in your surroundings or in your extended network (e.g. a friend of a friend or on LinkedIn, for example) who can provide support such as practical advice related to career development, training or even emotional support. An effective strategy to initiate mentorship is to directly ask a person to be your mentor and explain what you believe they have to offer to support your journey. Consult and adapt Mentor Canada’s “Finding your next mentor” resource to help guide you. 

Tip #3: Define and actionize your career goals with the help of a mentor  

Spend time defining your Canadian career aspirations in advance of a meeting or alongside your mentor. You can work collaboratively with them to identify how you can achieve these goals and what role they can play in supporting you (e.g., help expand your professional network or help you understand what to expect in a Canadian job interview). 

Tip #4: Remember, you have something to offer  

Mentoring relationships are generally reciprocal, meaning, both parties benefit from them. In many cases, mentors can benefit as much as mentees. For example, mentees can help mentors develop new or improved skills such as coaching, communication or teamwork. Your unique experiences and perspective can also help broaden a mentor’s horizons while they help you build your knowledge of the Canadian job market. 

Tip #5: Show gratitude for your mentorship experience 

Be sure to thank your mentors and be explicit about the ways in which they have had a positive impact on you and your career. This can help develop a lasting relationship. Mentors are sometimes unaware of their influence and can get discouraged if they feel like they are not making a difference. Your appreciation may be just the inspiration a mentor needs to continue helping other newcomer mentees to reach their full career potential in Canada.  

Could a mentoring relationship help you advance in your Canadian career? Click here to learn about Windmill Microlending’s newcomer Mentorship Program.  

Categorized in: Career Success and Planning, Mentorship, A Newcomer's Journey, Settlement and Life in Canada,