Written by Arcelia Camacho, PMP, Cert. APM
I was wondering if you could share with us some of the advice and feedback you’ve heard from other New Canadians who are now living and working in Canada. I think it would be beneficial for other fellow members of this PrepCan community and me. Thank you.
Dear PrepCan mentee:
You’re absolutely right! Learning from the PrepCan members who are now in living and working in Canada can be very beneficial for the ones who are preparing for their new life here.
Here are the top 5 pieces of advice our PrepCan Alumni would like to share with you.
1. Plan your finances well. It’s uncertain how long it will take you to find a job in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, the average duration of unemployment in Canada is 19.8 weeks, about four months. However, the unemployment rate for Newcomers is twice the Canadian one.
2. Have a big picture mindset. We all come to Canada with hopes of a better life, and a job is a crucial element of the package. Having said this, don’t disregard the other aspects of your move. Make sure you take the time to help your family settle in your new home. Get information about the school system, the healthcare services you can access, the housing market and the Canadian weather.
3. Choose your first job title wisely. When securing our first job in Canada, it can be tempting to accept a job offer with a job title that doesn’t correspond to your career progression, and it’s perhaps one or more levels below your last job. Think carefully before accepting a position that could be too junior for you, given your expertise and experience. I can take you some time to go back to the career stage you’re working at now.
4. Adapt your soft skills. The thing with soft skills is that they are attached to the culture of the host country. Pay close attention to the way your colleagues interact: how they provide feedback, what topics they discuss during coffee breaks, what non-verbal cues they use to communicate, how they negotiate and express disagreement. Then, adapt how you display soft skills accordingly.
5. Network far and wide. Your current network is the result of all the interactions you have engaged in with your relatives’ friends, your neighbours, classmates, colleagues, and friends. When you land in Canada, that network stays in the country you were living in. Now, you need to grow a network in Canada as well. Don’t limit your network to the professional arena. Join activities you like, actively participate in your community to meet new people and create long-lasting relationships. The more, the merrier! A vast and diverse network will enrich your new life in Canada.