One Year in Canada but Ten Years of Experience in HR.
October 11, 2017

We landed in Canada last year in September 2016 and stayed here for two months and then went back again and then landed this year permanently in June 2017. After only two months, I got my first job as a Field Services Administrator and it was a proud moment for me and my family.

Although it’s a temporary position, it helps me gain some Canadian experience. I am a Human Resources professional by profession and have more than ten years of experience in HR and Administration with Global companies. However, instead of applying for HR jobs, I took an alternate route and applied for administrative roles because I soon realized that until I got my Canadian education or certification in HR (for instance, through CPHR), it is very difficult to get a job in my profession.

I think the understanding an employer has regarding an immigrant’s knowledge and experience is very important. Immigrants might not have Canadian education and experience but they do have international education and international experience, even global and multinational experience! This gives them a great advantage and I think employers in Canada are starting to realize that by hiring immigrants they can have an international perspective in their workplace.

I think the most important thing for newcomers is to plan ahead before moving to Canada and, after landing, they should at least give 3-6 months (according to their circumstance) to settle down and understand the dynamics of the Canadian job market and how it works.

These are the steps that I followed and they may be helpful to others:

  1. The first thing you should do is find your local WorkBC Employment Services and get registered with them.
  2. Get a membership for your local library as they have lots of resources for newcomers.
  3. Get a list of all settlement agencies and try to visit them to see which one will be most beneficial as per your education and experience. They also have very good Career Paths programs.
  4. Register yourself with any mentorship programs in your field.
  5. Visit recruiters in person and register your profile with them.
  6. Attend newcomer fairs and job fairs.
  7. Look for volunteer services as they can help you to gain some Canadian experience. These are also good opportunities for networking.
  8. Last but not least, network with people in your field!

These are not all the steps but they are helping me to reach my goals!

This story was shared by Qaiser Jamil in support of Surrey NEW.