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Come for the employment opportunities, stay for the peaceful work environment


Woman in blue shirt smiles at camera.
Cynthia moved to Fort St. John and started her career as a social worker, thanks to the New Graduate Transition Program.

Cynthia and her husband moved to Fort St. John in 2020 from Manitoba for her husband’s work. She didn’t know much about the community before moving, but knew that she had always wanted to work for a health authority. She had a diploma in social work, but there not being any Fort St. John jobs for social work assistants, Cynthia decided to get her bachelor’s degree in social work remotely from the University of Victoria while on her maternity leave. She graduated in June 2023 and is now working as the primary care social worker on the community health care team supporting Fort St. John’s ABC Clinic.

Cynthia hadn’t worked as part of an interprofessional health care team before, but finds that teamwork has made her job easy. 

“I've had many jobs in Canada since moving here where I just didn’t want to go to work,” says Cynthia. “Either I was not comfortable with colleagues, or my mental state wasn’t good. And now I always want to go to work! When I’m at work, there’s where I have peace. Leaving the craziness of my kids at home and going to work is really peaceful for me.”

Cynthia’s team lead is very supportive and open to talking about any questions she may have.

“She always answers with a smile,” says Cynthia.

Cynthia now has seven months’ experience as a practicing social worker. She says the endless support she received from her colleagues right from the beginning has helped her to feel comfortable. She attributes her smooth transition to her colleagues, her clinical practice lead, and Northern Health’s New Graduate Transition Program, which provided a point of contact to reach out to for any questions.

“I can tend to be quiet and observant, but it didn’t take me long to loosen up and become comfortable, interact with people, and not scared to ask questions,” says Cynthia. “I'm a very ambitious person, so I want to continue developing and learning. I see people doing their PhDs and furthering their education, which pushes me to keep chasing my dreams, working hard, and putting in the effort to get to the point where I want to in my career.”

Cynthia and her family have grown to love the big Nigerian community in Fort St. John, which makes it feel like a home away from home.

“I don’t miss home as much because of the Nigerian community,” says Cynthia. “I feel like I still have my family here, even though we’re not related to them.”

In general, Fort St. John is full of friendly and helpful people who constantly display community spirit and are always willing to help others.

“You just know that if you reached out for help that someone would help you,” says Cynthia.

She also loves her short commute. Because Fort St. John is a small community, it only takes her ten minutes to get to daycare and then to work.

“I feel really blessed and so happy to work at Northern Health,” says Cynthia.

Check out the New Graduate Transition Program for the support it provides to newly graduated health care professionals during their transition to practice.