Written by Arcelia Camacho, PMP
When I was working as an Information and Referral Counselor, I often encountered newcomers who were reluctant to do a needs assessment before getting the information and resources they thought they needed or wanted. Some of them simply felt that they already knew what they needed to navigate the Canadian system.
However, skipping this crucial step of the process can have costly consequences for you in the long run. While there’s a variety of circumstances and constraints that can prompt you to rush the process and skip this important step, there are many benefits of getting a needs assessment with a PrepCan Employment Consultant. Here are some of them.
Confirm your assumptions
When you access information from several sources, you may make assumptions about what you’re reading. For example, if your occupation is regulated in Canada, you may assume you will not be able to secure a job without being licensed. However, there are cases where you can perform certain jobs without the license while working towards it. Attending a needs assessment session gives you the opportunity to test your assumptions and clarify information that was perhaps generally stated in the resources you consulted.
You don’t know what you don’t know
You can’t know about the things you have not discovered. A needs assessment unearths many details about your current knowledge of the Canadian Labour Market and other important things you need to know in order to find a job in Canada. Here are a few of them:
- When you are applying for a job in Canada, your resume and cover letter have to demonstrate you have already performed most of the tasks of the targeted position. Clearly describing your relevant experience and achievements is more important than your academic credentials.
- Your resume has to explain how you are the best candidate for the job. You make your case by quantifying your achievements.
- You may know by now that you need to develop your soft skills. However, you may not know that soft skills are attached to the culture you’re immersed in. Outside Canada, you are perhaps considered to be an outstanding employee because you follow directions from your direct supervisor. In Canada, however, having initiative is a more fundamental component of being a good employee and just following directions will not give you the same reputation you may have now.
Get feedback about your communications skills
Being a good communicator in English or French is not only about the fluidity of your speech, your grammar, and the richness of your vocabulary. It’s also about your mastery of unwritten cultural rules. For example, how do you greet a professional contact? Do you address the person as Sir or Madam? How formal is the first in-person encounter? Would this person be pleased if you address them as dear or honey? Your Employment Consultant has the answer to all these questions and more. When you meet your Employment Consultant for a needs assessment, they analyze your needs and are also attentive to how you display soft skills. Their feedback is valuable to you because nobody else will let you know if you’re making an embarrassing social mistake.
If there is one thing you will retain from this blog, let it be this:
A PrepCan needs assessment is the best investment you can make as a newcomer to Canada.
Have you completed a needs assessment with your Employment Consultant? If the answer is no, you now know what you’re missing out on. Contact them and schedule your needs assessment today. You won’t regret it.