I’d like to share my IEC experience in Vancouver, Canada last year as it really was one of a kind! I was in Vancouver on an International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday work permit. I’m originally from Poland and the IEC Working Holiday work permit for Polish citizens is valid for a year. I landed in Toronto at the beginning of March 2019, and this is where I activated my work permit but my final destination was Vancouver. But why Vancouver?
For starters, one of my good friends had been there before and highly recommended it to me. It was also the only place where I thought it would be easy enough to find work in the middle of the winter season. There were also lots of people in the IEC Working Holiday Forum – Moving2Canada Facebook group who had lived or were living in Vancouver, and I read their experiences closely. Another reason why I chose Vancouver was the weather. Yes, it can be very rainy in winter but freezing temperatures are hardly ever a problem. Vancouver is also a multicultural hub which makes it a really unique and interesting place to live!
As soon as I got my Social Insurance Number, Canadian cell phone, and a place to stay sorted, all of which took me literally three days, it was very quick to receive lots of job interview invitations. To be fair, the length of your job search obviously depends on the type of job one is after. I was looking for customer service jobs, mostly in hotels, and found the process to be relatively straight-forward. I had made sure to write my CV in the Canadian format. Moving2Canada website provides a detailed article about formatting your resume for Canada which helped me get it right.
One other big thing that I learned is that it is generally best to apply for jobs when you’re already in the country. Canadian employers conduct job interviews in a certain way with plenty of questions. You should prepare yourself to answer those elaborately, and always have examples ready. Moving2Canada can also help you with that. Thanks to this help of Moving2Canada, I felt a lot more at ease during my job-search in Vancouver, and soon after I was offered a seasonal job at an RV Rental Company.
My work experience was definitely worthwhile as not only did I work with people from other countries but also with a lot of Canadians, and was astonished by their customer service skills. I undoubtedly learned a lot from them in this field. Canadians are really kind, open-minded people and always willing to help. I must honestly admit that my station manager was the best I have ever worked with.