Immigration and Professional Transitions: New Year, New You

2015-2016 Issue 1

by Emilie Nketiah, Career and Transition Advisor


A new year is a new start. Like the first page of a blank book, it represents the promise of a fresh beginning.

For many, January is a time to reflect and plan for the future. As the Career and Transition Services Advisor at the McGill School of Continuing Studies, I know the top priority for many at this time is their career path.

People who are new to Montreal are no exception; you are probably looking to either continue your career in Canada, or transition your skills into a new field. But you may be overwhelmed on how to begin, and where to get help. Here are a few steps to get you started:

1. Are you ready?

For many, the start of a new year is a time of optimism and reflection. Embrace it.

If you’re unsatisfied with your current situation, now’s the time to prepare for change. If you’re already an optimist with big dreams for the future, now’s the time to work towards it. Either way, make the deliberate decision to create a change.

2. What do you want?

When setting your goals, work backwards and think big. It’s not enough to say, ‘I’m going to work towards a degree, or earn a certificate.’ Instead, you have to think about where you want to end up, and do the research to determine how you can reach that goal.

3. How will you get there?

Now that you have a dream, you need goals to make it happen. Specifically, you need SMART goals: each should be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Sensitive. This will make your goals easier to track, and you’ll know when they have been done.

4. Where can I go for help?

As Montrealers, we live in an amazing city. Once you’ve decided on your goal, you’ll realize there are many resources available to help you achieve them.

One way to start is researching your field of interest by attending a networking event. Or if you need to polish your language skills, there are both part-time and intensive classes available. If you want to upgrade your professional attributes to prepare yourself for your next job, register for a workshop or a part-time program.

No matter your intended career path, by adhering to your short-term goals you can make your long-term dreams come true. Enjoy the journey, and Happy New Year!

Emilie Nketiah is the Career and Transition Advisor at the McGill School of Continuing Studies. The School offers professional development courses, language classes, career workshops and individual career advising.

This article is available in Spanish on NM Noticias Montreal.

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