There was a time when one chose a career for life. It was the accepted and expected pattern, to study, train, perform, advance, and retire after 40 years. All within the same industry, and frequently within the same company.
Those times are far behind us. Scientific and technological advances throughout the ages have shaped industry and career options have shapeshifted along with them.
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. Necessity can equally be the impetus for re-invention.
Economic shifts can obliterate entire industries; boons and droughts can create and destroy jobs in a flash. Rapidly changing technology makes certain careers obsolete, while giving rise to the emergence of others.
Adapting to a new country and culture definitely demands career analysis. Unexpected medical or physical events force new perspectives, and there’s always the appeal of entrepreneurship.
There are so many stories. So many exciting journeys. So many personal and professional awakenings.
In the Fall of 2021, with the sponsorship of Ontario Creates, the Wave team set out to investigate some of these amazing stories. We researched and interviewed a variety of Brazilians who, for a wide range of reasons, have needed or wanted to reinvent themselves, find a new purpose, or follow their passion in Canada.
New Country, New Life
“Now in Canada, I have decided to follow my passion.”
The inspiration for this project was born from our previous podcast series – Ontario Beyond Toronto – when we interviewed Brazilians who left Toronto for smaller cities in Ontario. Many of the interviewees commented on the need, or desire to “reinvent themselves”, at some point in time, in their new country. There was Roberto, an Esthetician in Brazil with a Metallurgic Engineering diploma who decided to pursue his passion as a Graphic Designer in Timmins. Angelita also followed her passion and became a Chef de cuisine in Kingston. Marina, an Engineer in Brazil, became a Retail Manager in St. Catharines; Maya, a Journalist in Brazil, is now a Real Estate Agent in Welland. Rita opted for a new path as an accountant, and Flavio and Leonardo have followed their entrepreneurial bent in Hamilton and in Innisfil respectively.
Immigrating to a new country is always a life-altering experience – an adventure that comes with its own set of challenges. The more support someone has during this transition, the easier the process becomes. Success in the job search depends on someone’s ability to discover what Canadian employers are looking for and leveraging his/her knowledge and skills to make the best of available opportunities. Real-life testimonies are also a big help.
With Crisis Comes Opportunity
We all create contingency plans of some sort but rarely actually envision a force majeure. Seriously, who could have predicted that a global pandemic could so dramatically impact so many career decisions?
The COVID-19 crisis has definitely served up abnormal times, and we are all facing a new reality. For many, a career change is now a relevant subject, with high unemployment due to layoffs, hiring freezes, wage cuts, and business closures.
“Hey, I got laid off too and I’m now doing something I am passionate about.”
According to a 2021 online survey of 3,000 Canadians conducted by Morneau Shepell, 24 percent say the COVID-19 pandemic led them to consider a job or career change.
Indeed, there’s a lot of buzz today about the Great Resignation of 2021. Personal choices and lifestyle factors are driving change, shifting values, and highlighting the importance of physical and mental health, family priorities, and the need for stability and flexibility. For many, remote work scenarios have given us the space to re-evaluate our goals, revisit our career aspirations and perhaps sharpen our priorities.
A dramatic career change can often require some backtracking, but it doesn’t mean reverting to square one. It can simply mean applying your knowledge and experience to a new area, upgrading skills, and filling in the gaps as needed.
New Wave Podcast Series for 2022
Reinventing Ourselves: Career Journeys
In 2022 Wave will be publishing a series of podcasts exploring real-life decision-making designed to motivate, inspire, support, and entertain. There will be career-change testimonials from people with a variety of backgrounds describing professional solutions and lifestyle adjustments; the necessary steps taken for the career shift, including where to get the education and skills upgrading. We will share opportunities for potential government support. The stories address both challenges and achievements, describing difficulties finding first jobs, dealing with rejection, successful networking, and lessons learned.
50 Tips to Help You Navigate a Career Change
In relaying their stories, each individual will share practical tips and words of wisdom for anyone wishing to follow in their footsteps and achieve their own goals. We will conclude the series with advice from a professional Career Transition expert and share a list of at least 50 tips covering practical steps for self-analysis, goal setting, communicating, taking advantage of resources, skills upgrading, networking, and so much more. Be sure to tune in to www.waveplus.ca