Top tips to help newcomers reach their career advancement goals in Canada
Published October 22, 2018.
Since 2005, Windmill Microlending has been supporting skilled newcomers to Canada. We offer microloans to help pay for the costs of licensing or training which immigrants and refugees need to restart or launch their careers in Canada. As a registered charity, we’ve loaned more than $60 million to more than 7,000 newcomers across the country.
By supporting in the settlement and career paths for skilled immigrants and refugees, we’ve enabled many newcomer success stories and we have also seen our clients face setbacks. Here are our top four tips on how to successfully restart your career in Canada and achieve your career advancement goals.
#1: Do your research and get good advice.
Figuring out what steps to take in order to restart your career in Canada can be overwhelming and confusing. The plan you have in mind at the beginning may need to be adjusted, and certain elements may take longer than you anticipate. Before you commit your time and money to a particular direction, reach out for a second opinion from a career coach or settlement counsellor.
#2: Figure out what else is keeping you from the employment you want.
In many cases, more education does not always equal a better job. The barrier to the work you want may be a specific exam or licence, or it might not be about accreditation at all. Language skills and other “soft skills” (like networking, communication or interviewing) may be as important or, in some cases, more important to your career development.
#3: Make a budget that considers both money and time.
Figuring out how much your education, training or licensing plan will cost is important, but there are other critical considerations. Will you need to change your work or childcare responsibilities to study or prepare for qualifying exams? If so, will that impact your income and budget? Do you have a plan to generate income while you are gaining your credentials or completing a professional development course, particularly if it takes longer than expected?
#4: Be sure that a loan is the best tool for you.
At Windmill Microlending, our goal is to help skilled immigrants and refugees achieve career success. Our low-interest loans can be a very useful tool to help our clients achieve this, especially, if you have a household budget in place and/or you’d like to build or improve your credit score. However, you should also consider all options available to you (such as grants or bursaries) which don’t require repayment. There are also times when taking a loan could be detrimental to your success and financial wellness, like during a period of emotional or family upheaval, or if you are already in a precarious financial situation (such as bankruptcy or if you already have a lot of other outstanding debt).
If the high cost of education, training, licensing or career development courses is keeping you from achieving your career advancement goals, a microloan from Windmill can be an excellent tool to help you succeed in Canada. Complete our two-minute Eligibility Quiz to find out if a loan from Windmill could be right for you.
Originally published by Newcomers Canada online and in the reRoute monthly newsletter.