The Canada Work Experiencejanet
As a new immigrant or a fresh immigrant you have a lot of questions. And one of the questions you may want to have answered quickly is how to get a job. You need to get a job in order to earn a living. You may also want to get a job in your field of expertise. Canadian employers are prone to ask the question on the,” Canadian experience”. A new immigrant should know that employers here might ask if you have “the Canadian work experience.”
This may sound like a weird question, especially since they know you are, coming from outside the country. You may have years of work experience and proper credentials from your homeland. Yet that may not be enough to convince Canadian employers of your worth.
What is this Canadian work experience and what do employers in Canada mean by this?
According to experts on the Canadian human resource requirements, “Employers look for Canadian workplace experience so that employees are familiar with workplace culture, social cues, and expectations.”
Since different cultures may have diverse ways of handling situations, “newcomers with ‘Canadian workplace experience’ are seen as being more capable of getting along with the workgroup. The experts also note that having your professional credentials and education authenticated here is important too.
There are other aspects to Canadian experience that employers also look out for in new immigrants and their ability to get or be employed in the Canadian labor market. These factors are as follows;
– Fluent English or French, depending on the province you are in. This is crucial. Accent is not an issue, but clear expression of ideas and understanding local terminology matters a lot in this aspect.
– Local certification. Not necessarily a two year diploma or a Bachelor’s degree, but even the shortest course here that is relevant to the job will help you stand out from other job seekers
– Narrow specialization. Many newcomers instead offer (in resumes or during job interviews) wide experience and education, from which it is difficult to extract whether they can do that particular job or not.
It is important to note that one needs to be able to, “sell themselves based on the Canadian job standards”. This aspect may be very new to the new comers, since one needs to boldly highlight their strength in a particular field.
Getting the “Canadian Experience”
No Canadian experience, no job. No job, no Canadian experience. It’s a conundrum that many thousands of newcomers face each year. Fortunately there are ways to overcome this obstacle.
You can start by interning or volunteering in organizations. Many recent immigrants can start by volunteering with various charitable organizations, offering their expertise for a variety of projects.
You can also start by attending a professional mentoring group where skilled immigrants are paired with local professional peers, to talk about how to prepare for entry into their desired occupation. One such program in British Columbia is from MOSAIC. You can also start by volunteering at businesses related to your profession, if they are open to this.
You can also start by connecting with local agencies in Canada that offer free employment assistance to immigrants. There are many organizations that offer advanced English classes, work placements in Canadian companies, interview preparation courses and networking events with local employers.
If you happen to live in Quebec, you can get Canadian experience working in something called a Practice Firm. These are specially made businesses that only interact with one another. No actual money or salaries are involved. Practice Firms are training facilities that let you do specific jobs as if for real. There are 30 of these Firms in Quebec, and one in Ontario. A list of these is available at the Canadian Practice Firms Network (CPFN).
Getting a Lower Level Job To Get “Canadian Experience”
To get your start in Canada, you may want to consider taking a lower level job here than you are used to. It could be quicker for you to get initial employment that pays less. While it may be a step down, it translates into Canadian experience. The truth is that this is a common approach for a good percentage of newcomers.
However be careful not to get stuck in a menial job that is hard to move upward from. It would be smart to consult directly with one of those local newcomer agencies mentioned above. They can advise you personally based on your circumstances and needs.
There are some industries such as IT (Information Technology, e.g. computing, software, telecommunications) that may be less strict about where your experience is gained. Therefore this field might be easier to penetrate in Canada. At present, European-trained engineers may also have an easier time to get their credentials acknowledged than ones trained in Asia, Africa or the Middle East.
Some skilled immigrants can benefit from a program offered by the not-for-profit organization known as Allies. Allies has created a National Mentoring Initiative in various cities across Canada. Mentoring offers a connection between a skilled immigrant and an established Canadian professional in the same or related occupation. It’s a way of helping skilled newcomers integrate into the workforce faster.
Working in Canada can be marvelous. There are all sorts of challenges and rewards for immigrants.
Getting your start here can be difficult, no doubt. It will make things easier if you’re prepared when the interviewer asks: “Tell us about your Canadian experience.