What you need to know about relocation for a job in Canada: A three-step guide for newcomers

Published April 4, 2022.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In summary:
  • Do your research and get to know the community where you want to live and work from neighbourhood safety and average commute times to housing affordability and local arts and culture.
  • Relocation for a job can mean moving to a place with greater in-demand career opportunities.
  • Use newcomer welcome centres as a launch point to build your local personal and professional network.
  • Volunteer and dive deep into everything your new community might have to offer.

For skilled immigrants and refugees, there are growing job opportunities in every part of Canada. The pandemic economic recovery is on and Windmill Microlending’s Trending Jobs Report shows that newcomers with in-demand skills are being sought after by employers in health care, IT, construction and transportation among other sectors across the country.

This may lead some new Canadians to consider relocation for employment opportunities in a different province or territory. If you’re new to the country and still trying to establish yourself, this kind of a career move can feel both exhilarating and daunting all at once. Former Windmill Client Success Coach Musenga Simwawa himself immigrated to Canada from Zambia more than a decade ago. He also knows a thing or two about relocating to a different part of the country for work.

Simwawa joined Windmill in May 2012 and that’s where his cross-Canada journey with the organization began. His first stop was Saskatchewan where he spent four years living and working. When the opportunity to support clients in a different province presented itself, Simwawa didn’t think twice. In May 2016, he moved with his family to Toronto. Then, in August 2019, Musenga decided to relocate again, this time to Windmill’s Calgary office. In May 2022, Musenga left the organization to pursue his next career opportunity.

Did you know a low-interest Windmill loan can help you pay for the costs of relocation for work or travel expenses to take courses in Canada? Find out about the different uses for our microloans here. 

We talked with Simwawa, who offered this three-step guide to help them successfully pursue new job opportunities, wherever they may be in Canada.


Former Windmill Client Success Coach Musenga Simwawa immigrated to Canada in 2010 and since then has lived and worked in Saskatchewan, Ontario and now, Alberta. He shares his three-step guide for helping newcomers successfully relocate for work.

Step 1: Get to know where you’re going

Prior to your move, it’s important to find out as much as you can about where you could be living and working. From researching housing costs and commute times to neighbourhood safety and school information, if you have kids, these can be invaluable data points to help make an informed decision about your new community and career opportunity. Your new employer may even offer supporting information or resources to find affordable housing. One example of helpful information is that most regional police services offer statistics and maps on their websites highlighting crime rates in different neighbourhoods. As well, rental, home purchase prices, commute times and cost of living expenses vary dramatically across Canada, so be sure to find out what you can about your new home.

Step 2: Meet your neighbours and find the helpers

If you’ve decided you’ve found your next great job opportunity and a wonderful new community in which to live, next, it’s time to help you get settled. If you don’t have an established community of friends, family or colleagues, hit the local newcomer welcome centre. Each province is equipped with government-funded offices dedicated to helping immigrants and refugees get settled and to support you, whether you’re from outside of Canada or just outside the province. These centres specialize in newcomer settlement meaning they can help introduce you to individuals with similar lived experiences and help you build a new local network.

Consider attending community or networking events so you can make even more connections, and maybe even some new friends along the way. Simwawa also suggests connecting with people through local social media groups that celebrate shared cultural heritage or interests.

Step 3: Start entrenching yourself in the community

Whether it’s donating your time through volunteering, mentorship or at a local religious or community organization, the best way to entrench yourself in your new home is to give back. This is also a great way to get to know more about your community. You can also dive deep into its arts and culture, local foods, unique neighbourhoods, nearby provincial and national parks as well as favourite pastimes. Go for discovery walks or bike rides. What do they do for fun where you now live and work? There’s only one way to find out. Get out there and give it a try!

Here are some other helpful resources to enable you to make the best decision you can about relocating for a job in Canada.

Windmill’s affordable loans can be used to help you pay for accreditation, education, training or professional development courses you need to reach your career development goals in Canada. Take our two-minute quiz to find out if you are eligible for a microloan of up to $15,000 from us.

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