7 REASONS TO RETRAIN BETWEEN JOBS
1 > IT LOOKS GOOD ON A RESUME Listing the latest software or a new language certification on your resume can make your application stand out. A period of training also helps fill the gap in employment that occurs if you’ve been out of work for more than a few months. The employer will notice that you chose to upgrade your skills and learn new ones, in addition to previous work-sponsored training. This shows initiative and intellectual curiosity. 2 > DIPLOMAS DO MAKE A
DIFFERENCE Most employers expect applicants to have a high-school diploma, and many want some level of post-secondary education. If you never finished high school you could be a few credits or a General Education Development (GED) test away from getting a job. Visit the website of the Independent Learning Centre (www.ilc.org) to find out more about earning your high-school diploma. For those who want to add post-secondary credits to their resume, colleges and universities offer access to full and part-time studies and continuing education programs. To learn more visit the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities website (www.edu.gov.on. ca /eng/general/postsec/postsec.html). 3 > IT MAY BE REQUIRED
Government legislation and industry standards change. Your profession or trade may now require a certification, or most employers simply expect it even if it’s not mandatory. For example, a course in First Aid (www.sja.ca/) or the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (www.hc-sc.gc.ca) may be a requirement of the job you want.
4 > TIMES CHANGE, SO DO WORK
PLACES If you’re looking for employment in the same field as your last job, you may think you’re already qualified. In fact, new, more efficient ways of doing your job may have been created since you were trained. You may find that while you did most of your work using one program or tool, other companies use something newer, or something else entirely. Software changes frequently, and being even a version or two behind can mean that you’re not as competitive as other job seekers.
5 > IT CAN BE FUN
You may not have fond memories of sitting in a high-school classroom, but studying as an adult is different. Most adult education instructors know the value of group discussion and interaction when presenting new material. Plus, once you get in the classroom, you may discover that you have a knack for creating spreadsheets, or some other untapped skill. Taking courses gives you a scheduled reason to get out of the house and socialize with people who have similar professional interests. This is great for maintaining and improving communications skills and also provides an opportunity to network. Another bonus – courses help you prioritize tasks and work to a deadline, which will keep your time-management skills sharp for when you do go back to work
6 > IT MAY BE FREE If you are in receipt of social assistance or Employment Insurance, there may be government funds available to you to upgrade your skills, or even to train for an entirely new career. If your previous employer had a Labour Adjustment Program, there may also be money available for you to go back to school. In addition, there are local non-profit agencies that offer free computer workshops and other professional development courses for little or no cost.
7 > YOU HAVE THE TIME If you’ve ever wanted to learn another language, improve your computer skills or upgrade in your trade, you know that adding extra hours to your work day is a daunting prospect. Being between jobs provides a certain amount of free time that can be used to focus on studies. Unemployment can create money or child care issues, but there are many night courses and continuing education programs offered by the City of T.O. (www.toronto.ca/), Toronto School Board (www.tdsb.on.ca) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (www.tcdsb.org/). Distance learning opportunities also allow you to learn on your schedule. These courses can be for personal interest and resume enhancement or used towards completing a high school or post-secondary degree.