An Unexpected Career Change

I never expected to be interested in the field I am in currently, due to life’s circumstances or destiny as some may say I find myself in the Employment Services field. For the most part of my life I have been working in the administration field but during the time I’ve been with the Region of Halton, Employment services I have had the opportunity to be part of different projects.

In 2011, I was part of the team that developed the Halton Newcomer Portal http://www.welcometohalton.ca, a website that provides information to potential and current newcomers about all the services available in Halton Region. This portal was part of another project, the Halton Newcomer Strategy http://www.haltonnewcomerstrategy.com this was formed by group of community members, service providers and people from government and funders that got together and formed a steering committee with the following vision: Halton will be a welcoming, inclusive and supportive community that values diversity.

In 2012, I was the Program Assistant for the HNS, being a newcomer myself I was able to relate to the topics and share my personal experience and contribute to ideas of improving the services available.

Within a couple of years of having the privilege to work with a great team of Employment Specialist and Job Developers, I have learned to admire the work they do
helping people reach their employment and/or career goals. They inspired me to want to do the same and pursue this career.

I always planned to return to school and furthering my education and career but by unplanned life events, my plan was always delayed. One of these events happening in 2010, the birth of my third child, and another one was our immigration process here in Canada taking longer than expected.

Finally, in 2013, after being employed with the Region of Halton for almost five years and becoming a permanent resident of Canada, I decided to start acting on my career goal. I researched different counselling programs, discussed them with my manager and supervisor and the best that suited my career goal was the Career Consultant Certificate program.

In my current role as Program Assistant, besides supporting the team I have the opportunity to meet and screen clients (Ontario Works referrals and Halton residents) that come to our resource centre for job search and career counselling assistance. I’m able to discuss with them their goals and depending on our
discussion, their field, experience or interest, I then assigned them to the corresponding sector’s Employment Specialist.

I see myself in a few years, or maybe sooner, successfully in the role of an Employment Specialist. My hope is that this new step towards my career goal will enhance my counselling skills and knowledge and help me guide others in accomplishing their own career goal.

Maribel Sanchez Rojas is a student in the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. MCACESBlogs aims to assist job seekers and their peers with their work search journeys. Thanks for reading!

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