Leveraging the Canadian experience

15 June 2021
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Have you been told you needed the Canadian experience to get a foot in the door for getting a desired role or at the commencement of a career path? Have you wondered why any employer or system would require Canadian work experience from Newcomers and where they expect Newcomers to acquire such experience? Let’s find answers to these questions and figure out some simple and easy steps to leveraging opportunities available to us, despite the pandemic.

Given the multicultural and diverse nature of the Canadian society, only having a set of standards, and working culture would unite the labor market and prevent the county from falling into chaos. So, the Canadian experience requirement is in place only to ensure every employee understands the culture in the workplace. It is not to limit newcomers’ access to employment or sensor anyone out; it is to ensure that there exists a tailored standard of operation, so that everyone working from Vancouver to Montreal have a set of values.

For newcomers, the Canadian experience polishes their pre-existing skills and provides them with new skillsets when necessary. It is an opportunity to adapt to the new work environment. In employers’ eyes, Canadian experience is proof of having soft skills necessary for workplace interactions and interpersonal relations. This would enable them to reserve training hours for the betterment of technical skills. To succeed, we can consider a few suggested ways to garner the Canadian experience despite the hardships and limitations caused by COVID -19. As a matter of fact, the new COVID reality makes certain things easier and more flexible when it comes to gain Canadian experience. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  1. Volunteering – top on the list for getting Canadian experience is volunteering. It is a loving contribution of your time and skills to a cause you believe in. It is enormously rewarding and fulfilling to know that you are part of something bigger than yourself.
  2. Part-time work – Almost every Newcomer seeks a full-time, permanent position; however, in the process of transition, part-time positions are good ways to get a foot at the door, understand Canadian work ethics, learn new tools, and build confidence.
  3. Contract position – going through job postings, sometimes one wonders if there are full-time, permanent positions out there at all. That can be scary; I agree. However, a bird in hand is worth a zillion in the bush! With the same logic, it is safe to say that getting a contract role is definitely a good way to start out in Canada. This contract could range from a one-month to a two-year renewable one. Even if it is not renewable, it is a noble place to start becoming a part of the Canadian work culture.

So consider this post a call to put yourself out there and apply for even smaller, less attractive roles knowing that they are steppingstones to the desired future. Keep honing your skills; the best is yet to come.

Until my next post, life is a privilege, experience it.

Lucy Agba – Project Coordinator WITT

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