Getting a Professional Job in Canada

How easy is it to get a job in Canada?

This is probably one of the most searched questions for new immigrants heading to Canada, and they are right to be concerned. A quick search on the internet will reveal a plethora of horror stories of professionals who had abandoned their impressive jobs in their home countries, not to mention warm countries, in search of the Canadian dream, only to have that dream fall flat right before them.

Dreams of bagging jobs similar to previous ones or even better, having excess disposable income to spend each month, touring all the Caribbean islands, driving fancy cars, feasting at high-class restaurants and generally living a life filled with luxury quickly disappear a few weeks after arrival in Canada. The reality of the Canadian job market hits and you begin to wonder if relocating was such a good idea after all.

So, is it really impossible to get a professional job as a new immigrant? Do you need to start from entry level, must your first income be minimum wage? The simple answer is NO with a caveat on “preparedness”. I will speak from my personal experience and hopefully it can help someone.

I decided I was going to relocate to Canada in 2011. The first thing I did was get a visiting visa and come check out the terrain. This is not a necessary step as the only thing I learned on that trip was that winters in Canada are brutal and no matter how close you are with people, no one is coming to visit in winter. Winter is for hibernation!

Before I made any concrete plans to relocate, I asked myself some pertinent questions. What type of life will I want, what type of city would I like to live in and most importantly how much money would I like to earn. A quick research showed me my best chances of earning a six figure salary and always be employable because the demand would always exceed supply spelled, “TECHNOLOGY”. I knew I wasn’t technical in anyway and wasn’t interested in learning to write code at my age, I tried it when I was younger and that didn’t work out.

I looked into non-technical roles and came up with two options: Business Analysis and Project Management. I decided to study both and my first role in Canada was as a Project Manager. I didn’t hit the 6 figure mark with that first role but 6 months later I was well over the $100,000 mark.

The summary of my story is, a lot of people focus and expend a lot of energy on the immigration process and little effort in figuring out what they would do for work or make money here. A lot of roles in our countries of origin are not viable here and others pay so little it’s not worth the effort. New immigrants should focus on two things

  • Open your minds and be ready to switch careers – we all have things we are passionate about but you cannot limit yourself if those jobs are not readily available. Focus on getting a good job and over time your passion may re-surface or you may choose to float a company of your own.
  • Research! Research! Research! – there are tons of material on the internet, use them. You can find out what occupations thrive in different parts of Canada and where you can learn new skills.

Starting with a survival job is not always a bad thing but I keep seeing survival jobs become sole sources of livelihood. The menial jobs are over-saturated and it’s harder to find jobs at that level. Up-skill yourself and you will never have to look for work. If you need help identifying what jobs are hot, help with your resume or technology training, shoot us an email and we’ll be happy to work with you.

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