Canadians will awake to face the most depressing day of the entire year on Monday.

The event, nicknamed Blue Monday, was originally conceived by a British researcher who theorized that cold weather, holiday bills and broken new year’s resolutions leave people down in the dumps.

However, a recent survey by Everest College and Harris/Decima found that more than 60 per cent of Canadians are actually feeling most unhappy about their work and the crumbling economy.

Don Thibert, director of academic affairs for Everest Canada, says that even though many factors point to an impending recession, this can be the best time to develop new skill sets and career options.

“There’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the programs that are out there to go and get re-trained,” says Thibert. “Take a look at the careers that really don’t experience big fluctuations in employment based on economic trends.”

Aside from providing more job security, re-training for a more recession-proof field means you are more likely to advance in that area in the future.

“Part of the depression in the survey was that people didn’t see any growth for them in the next year or two in their job,” says Thibert. “There’s a natural, inherent part in every human that we would like to see ourselves progress.”

Thibert also says those who think proactively, by training for a career they love, will be better prepared to stick through tough financial times.

“Never stop learning. You can never have too many skills,” he says.

Anthony Oliver, a network security specialist student at Everest, spent years in dead-end jobs before he realized a change was necessary.

“I wanted a role that meant something. Rather than just being a worker, I wanted a career,” he said. “Without education you’re going to be doing jobs without growth. The more education you have the more opportunities for career advancement you have.”

Though Oliver was employed as a security guard, he left the position despite the economic uncertainty around him. He began researching careers on the Internet and said he found the IT industry was still prospering.

Like Thibert, Oliver says prospective students can seek help from provincial programs aimed at guiding people towards the right career path.

“Knowing there might be an economy crunch, if you have the opportunity to get funding for training then go for it,” he adds.

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