Now that you’re in Canada, you’ll find that government agencies, non-profit organizations and even private corporations are doing a lot to support the integration of newcomers into the Canadian business environment. There are many programs and services, some free, that are offered to support new Canadians. However, it’s up to you to be proactive and take advantage of these services.
Decades ago when I arrived here, this support was limited, so we have come a long way! But taking a job-readiness program or resume workshop, for example, is just the beginning. While such programs are designed to give you the tools you’ll need to apply for jobs, you also have to beproactive in other ways beyond taking a class. It’s up to you to get out there, meet people, develop connections and network.
You can meet people most anywhere, but I find that one of the most effective, targeted ways of making connections in your line of work is getting involved with a relevant professional or business association or group.
With a professional association, meetings and other social activities provide networking opportunities resulting in interactions with potential colleagues, employers and clients. Not only will you enhance your chances of hearing about and vying for potential job openings, but you can stay on top of industry trends, get an idea on what the competition may be doing, and share your knowledge and experience.
For licensed professions, things, of course, get a little more complicated and become a matter of certification. But even these industries often have networking groups outside the official licensing association.
Which to join?
One way to give back is to consider joining the organization’s board or committees. As vacancies arise, these groups look for replacements and are often putting more emphasis on diversity among their directors.
Becoming a board member allows you to participate in the strategic planning of the organization, through sharing your learning and experience. You get opportunities to develop your leadership skills while working closely with new peers.
What you put in