If you’re looking to launch your career in Canada or simply make new friends, you may be wondering how to go about it. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Moreover, there are some tried and test methods to get the most of your potential and turn your move to Canada into a life-changing experience for the better.
1. Canadianize your resume and know how and when to use it.
Nearly every good career in Canada starts with a killer resume that is concise and shows your value and achievements. By showing what you have achieved in your career thus far, you will be able to outline how you can help the company succeed in its goals.
While searching for a job in Canada you will need to provide a typed resume. Importantly, you will need to adapt to the resume format in Canada. Knowing how and when to use your resume is also essential; tailor the content to fit each job description and make yourself stand out. Resumes that outline duties, but ignore value, won’t get you far. Quantify what you brought to your previous jobs in real, numerical terms and get excited about what you have achieved — if you can’t, then no employer will. This is a vital first step on the path to finding the perfect career in Canada.
2. Join a club.
One of the best ways to create a social life in a new place is to meet people with similar interests. From sports clubs to yoga to book clubs, community activism groups to baking meet-ups, joining a club puts you in your comfort zone, helping you to relax. It will get your social life moving in the right direction. This may also have the added benefit of getting your career in Canada up and running, as your your new friends might be able to introduce you to the right people.
3. Know your surroundings.
Getting your bearings in a new neighbourhood can make life much easier and help you forge new ties. From being aware of where to go to get over-the-counter medicines to knowing where you can get a late-night snack, familiarising yourself to new surroundings will give you peace of mind.
4. Talk to people.
Canadians are, by and large, open and receptive people, so talk to them. You never know where this might lead – it may even result in a career opportunity.
If you’re staying at a hostel or hotel, talk to the staff. If you’re in a pub, introduce yourself to the bartender or the person beside you. It’s classic, face-to-face social networking, and will open doors for you and help you get ahead in Canada.
5. Go online.
From finding a place to live and buying second-hand furniture, to looking for contacts in your industry, all of this stuff is now largely done online. Using your time online wisely can save you money, build your network, and maybe even land you a good job in Canada. Classified ads sites such as Craigslist and Kijiji are ubiquitous in Canadian life, so use them. And if you’re serious about embarking on a professional career in Canada, having a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn profile is key.
6. Know your budget and work within it.
You should have a solid idea of how much you can afford to pay in monthly rent before you even move to Canada. A basic benchmark is that you should be able to meet your rent payments for the month with one week’s wages or salary (i.e. spending about 25 per cent of your total net income on rent and bills is reasonable).
For other expenditures — transport, entertainment, groceries, etc. — keep track of everything during your first weeks in Canada, and become comfortable with what’s coming in and out of your bank account. Once you establish yourself and find a job tied your career in Canada, you may be able to spend more. The cost of living comparison website Numbeo is a great resource.
7. Tap into local resources.
There may be networks you can access to find mentors and flesh out the less developed areas of your skill set. Few people are good or experienced at everything, but we can all improve on what we have.
Remember that you are of value to others too, so sell your knowledge and experience. Innovations hubs such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are more accustomed to this style of networking, so strive to meet people for informational interviews and attend industry meet-ups. Doing so will improve your chances of building your career in Canada.
8. Be visible, unique, accessible, professional, and interesting.
Be visible — Get out there and make your face known.
Be unique — Show others what you can bring to them, not the other way around.
Be accessible — Go to events, reply to emails, answer your phone, and produce a business card. This will help you land your dream job and kick-start your career prospects in Canada.
Be professional — Dress to impress, know when you are or are not on first name terms, and don’t say anything inappropriate. (Canadians can be more politically correct than what you might be accustomed to in your home country.)
Be interesting — As an immigrant, you probably already have an interesting backstory. The best way to be interesting is to first take an interest in other people’s lives and stories, so being a good listener is vital.
9. Get active. It may even help your career in Canada.
There are few good excuses for not exploring the outdoors in Canada. From skiing to hiking, biking to kayaking, this country presents so many opportunities for fun and exploration. And if you plan on staying urban, why not join a sports team, pick up a new pastime, or join the gym? Numerous studies show that fitter, more active people generally enjoy happier lives and lead more successful careers in Canada.