Conestoga news

June 23, 2009 11:30 AM

Second Career Success

As the labour market started showing clear evidence of a drastic downturn last August, Chris May knew it was time to re-evaluate his education and skills in order to compete for jobs in the new economy.

Despite being proactive and leaving 14 years of experience in the manufacturing sector behind him for a job in management at the Galt Country Club, that job too came to an end when the golf season ended.

"I really liked the job at the country club since my passion is golfing. My goal was to pursue a career as a Canadian Professional Golfers' Association pro. Although I know that is not a reality in the near future, I obtained many transferable skills to take me into my new career in business," May said.

Knowing the position he held at the country club would soon be eliminated, May contacted Conestoga College, where he was once a student for a short-time in Robotics Automation before leaving to work. He always kept the college in the back of his mind. "I always knew Conestoga would be my choice when I wanted to return to school to further my education."

With the economic meltdown, May inquired about services for laid-off workers provided by Conestoga. He was soon put in touch with Karen Shoemaker at the Career Centre and Cheri Dowding at Career Development Services for assistance. The Second Career Strategy funding and career counseling also helped out, according to May.

"Cheri was patient and supportive and helped me with my labour market research and application to support my request for the General Business diploma at Conestoga through Second Career. I really appreciated the guidance, patience and support."

May received approval for Second Career funding and started his program in January. "Growing up, I was told that the best route to success was to obtain work in the manufacturing sector and life will work itself out. As many years passed, I realized there are more options than working in a factory but never took the time to assess my skills and career interests until now."

When asked if he misses work after being employed for 14 years, May’s response is a resounding yes. "While I am enjoying school, I am looking forward to obtaining a job."

May, it turns out, has now acquired his own team of cheerleaders. He has the support of the Galt Country Club, friends, co-workers, and Conestoga staff. Much of that support has given May the confidence that he made the right choice and is moving forward to complete his education to find his dream job in the world of business.

"The support has been overwhelming. I have potential job offers after graduation through networking and the labour market research I conducted to confirm my career goal."