Written by Arcelia Camacho, PMP
Meet Miguel Abascal: Immigrant to Canada (2010), Project Manager in the financial industry, relentless volunteer, and co-founder of UnstoppableMe.
You have a lot in common with Miguel: You are immigrating to Canada, you want to work in your area of expertise, and you can be unstoppable.
Networking opens doors and volunteering is a master key
Networking is the #1 career advice you will often get. It is not only a Canadian trend, but it has also always been the most efficient way to build a career, develop and foster relationships, and establish social support groups. When you come to Canada, you can bring almost everything except your whole network. As a newcomer, Miguel invested various resources in building these Canadian support groups; he literally networked his way up into his current career. How did he do that? Through volunteering.
In some countries, volunteering is sometimes perceived as a waste of time; a way people use to get away with unpaid labour. It is not the case in Canada. According to Volunteer Canada, 6 out of 10 people in Canada volunteer. They have different reasons to do so, some of them being to:
- Use their skills and experience
- Explore their strengths
- Network and meet people
Volunteering is a master key because you can get involved in various activities depending on your goals and interests.
Start building a network before you land in Canada
In April 2015, Miguel founded UnstoppableMe, a volunteer-based association dedicated to helping individuals like yourself to advance their careers, connect with other like-minded people and get career-focused information.
PrepCan and UnstoppableMe are collaborating to offer you an efficient way to build a robust network in Canada through volunteering opportunities. You can get started from your country of origin because UnstoppableMe is open to offering volunteering opportunities you can perform online.
What is in it for you?
Many benefits! Volunteering with UnstoppableMe will allow you to:
- Get exposure to a volunteer-led Canadian workplace
- Foster relationships with professionals who can act as professional references
- Meet like-minded people from all walks of life
- Explore alternative careers
- Add valuable experience to your resume
- Build and strengthen your ties with the community and broaden your support network
- Use your existing skills and develop new ones
- Become familiar with the Canadian workplace culture in a safe environment
In Canada, skilled volunteer work makes job applicants more appealing to potential employers. It shows you have initiative – a highly coveted ability in the Canadian labour market – and are willing to go the extra mile to make things better.
How can you sign up?
- Visit the UnstoppableMe website to know more about their mission, vision, and activities. Some of the volunteering roles you can take on are Graphic Designer, Social Media Coordinator, and Membership Coordinator.
- Talk to your Employment Consultant about your areas of interests. At PrepCan and UnstoppableMe we are very creative, and we can explore ways for you to make valuable contributions.3