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To Canada or Not to Canada, That Is the Question, Eh?

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“The Canadian government has set up an ambitious target of 1.2 million new immigrants in the next three years, despite the global pandemic. 60% of the newcomers are going to be from India, followed by China and the Philippines”

The Canadian government has set up an ambitious target of 1.2 million new immigrants in the next three years, despite the global pandemic. 60% of the newcomers are going to be from India, followed by China and the Philippines. This is a unique opportunity for those dreaming of experiencing a new country with clean air, the largest freshwater lakes in the world, decreasing carbon footprint, lots of nature and wildlife to explore and plenty of job opportunities. Here, I will be discussing a few of the common misconceptions that people may have regarding immigrating to Canada.

Myth 1: It is impossible for students to get a job in their career of choice once they graduate.

Not true. The ‘Wisenup! Canada’ Podcast co-host arrived as a student, as did many of the attendees of the show’s live Q&A sessions. Just as in any other part of the world, there is a clear distinction between those who make it and those who don’t; and it boils down to two key differentiators: 1) work ethics, and 2) growth mindset. 

One of my mentees, Sourabh, who is quite shy and an introvert, has been working for a multi-million dollar commercial real estate firm after his accounting program at George Brown. He is quite soft spoken, has a non- Canadian accent and built his work experience and client management skills working at Subway, the fast-food franchise. He used his job profile working in the underground pathway of the financial district of Toronto to network with all the decision makers in the city. He had great grades and knew his subject matter very well. So, the question we need to ask ourselves is, if he was able to make it, why aren’t the others?

Fundamentally, we need to understand that the average North American has five years of additional work experience over any newcomer from Asia or Africa. In South Asia, students start working after their undergraduate degree, however in North America they start when they are 16. So, if you are planning to join a course as a student in an undergrad or master’s program, keep in mind your peers have two to five years of real-world work experience over you. This means that they are simply better at customer service, sales conversations, client escalations, interviews and other skills they were exposed to even before they graduated from high school. Most importantly, they have established a network. Some started even earlier as baby-sitters or helping out with their family business or at mom and pop stores. 

Myth 2: There are only tech jobs available in Canada.

Not true. This also depends on what your definition of a tech job is. For the sake of this article, I am referring to jobs that need a specific software skillset as tech jobs. Yes, Canada is enjoying a tech boom. 

The Toronto-Waterloo Tech corridor, which I refer to the Silicon Valley of Canada, has added more jobs than any other major North American city. However, all those companies also require employees in their HR departments, Accounts departments, in Sales and Marketing, Social media community management, and most importantly in Customer Service and Client Management.

Case in point, take a look at the jobs available right now at ApplyBoard, one of the many billion-dollar companies from Canada. They have hundreds of positions across the globe and less than 10% of them are tech positions.

Myth 3: It is impossible for someone in their 30s to establish their career in Canada. 

This is not true. My podcast guests Sam, Saugata and Jacqueline moved into Canada well into their 30s with their children in tow. It is more challenging for certain individuals than others, certain specializations than others. 

Check out their unique stories, lessons learnt and experience at WisenUp website.

Canada is ranked one of the best countries in the world. However just like anything worthwhile in life, it doesn’t come easy and it requires newcomers to raise their skill level. People who work hard with the right information at the right time are the ones who move ahead of the pack and settle down faster.

The article was originally published in Career Ahead April 2021 issue.

Ron Johnson is an author, entrepreneur and wellness engineer, helping people navigate through critical life decisions, changes and pivots; including relationships, career, education, business and geography. Ron's clients include professionals, influencers, entrepreneurs and individuals at critical junctures who need guidance in dealing with stress, anxiety and uncertainty about their way forward. Ron has an undergraduate degree in engineering, an MBA specializing in Human Resource Management, an MA in Counselling from Waterloo, Canada and a certification in success coaching from California. Ron believes in the power of community and collaboration. He currently co-hosts a podcast that helps share stories of new immigrants in Canada and is the India Partner for TheHungryLab.com.

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