Canada is known for its unparalleled beauty, superior quality of life, and economic stability, which made it a land of countless opportunities. Hence, it has become one of the top immigration destinations for people seeking better employment and a more desirable living environment.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government is under huge pressure to increase its immigration levels according to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Prior to this, however, he wants to see more immigrants working and earning at rates close with Canadian born people.
More so, despite the country’s urgent need for skilled professionals to combat scarcity on experienced workers, foreign workforce may still face several challenges in finding a career such as:
· Communication skills
· Hidden job market
· Foreign credential recognition
· Work experience
Having good communication skills is an important part of the settlement process that cannot be ignored, especially in Canada, because it helps newcomers to communicate and express themselves. English and French are the country’s official languages that immigrants need to learn to obtain better jobs in Canada, participate in any event, and establish social relationships. A newcomer’s ability to communicate in English or French is essential in finding a job because most employers ask for a proof of language skills.
Foreign Credential Recognition
This is the process of verifying if the academic and professional experience of an individual from a foreign country is equal to established Canadian education and job credential standards. This aims to improve the integration of internationally trained professionals into the Canadian workforce. Hence, the contextual differences between countries would be a huge challenge that a newcomer should overcome because it can take time and cost money.
Organizations that assess foreign credentials include:
· Credential assessment agencies
· Educational institutions
· Regulatory bodies
Hidden Labour Market
Most of the job openings are not advertised. Usually information about it is limitedly disseminated through overseer’s network of co-workers, business associates, friends, and acquaintances. However, there are several ways to find jobs in Canada:
Social Networks. Friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances are some of the best resources to find career opportunities because most of the job openings are certainly not advertised. More so, even in this age of modern technology, word of mouth is still the most common and easiest method to obtain the right job for you. Remember to start your network with the people closest to you.
Direct Approach with Probable Employers. Submitting a resume or application through e-mail or snail mail may be the most popular way of applying nowadays but such passive approach will not be as effective as an active job search strategy wherein contacting prospective employers is made in a not bothersome manner.
Job Postings. Search the Internet because many of the job openings are posted on job search sites and company sites. Likewise, don’t forget to check the latest classified ads.
Volunteer Work. It is a great opportunity to develop skills and acquire a valuable professional experience. Oftentimes, volunteer workers are absorbed by the organization for which they are working.
School Placement Office or Guidance Department. Consider community colleges and universities because most of them provide job finding services, which are available to anyone interested.
Finding jobs in Canada is an important part of settlement process but can be a very slow process, requiring time, perseverance, and determination. However, it is easier when you have the right training and requisite work experience because normally employers ask for references. Following are some of the ways to build your experience in Canada:
· Volunteering – A noble manner that can provide a newcomer with a direct experience in the Canadian work culture.
· Networking – Joining organizations, clubs, and engaging in volunteer work are effective ways to gain more skills and professional competency.
· Internship or work placement – Another way of gaining experience and internship is an opportunity for a company to hire someone for a specified amount of time, often at a lower cost, and at the same time, a chance for jobseekers to be absorbed by the organization.
· Job shadowing – This aims to get an idea of how an individual in a certain type of field spends his/her day. Acquiring experience through this would also be an opportunity to develop skills and trainings.
· Alternative jobs – Develop professional experience and skills through finding a non-regulated career that is related to your field of expertise because sometimes securing a license for a regulated profession can be time-consuming and expensive.
Ricardo Colindres is a Canadian staffing and immigration expert. He writes about the countless reasons why Canada is an ideal place to work, study, immigrate, or have a vacation.