2020-12-17T13:37:14-05:00Sep 6, 2019|

Iterate and learn with each job application: Komal’s story

My name is Komal Preet Kaur; I’m from New Delhi, India and I moved to Canada in October 2017. I have a Masters degree in Operations Research from the University of Delhi and over a decade of experience in data analytics — marketing, collections, and credit risk analytics working with leading retail banks, and financial technology companies in India. Currently, I work with goeasy Ltd.—a financial services company, as a Credit Risk Analytics Manager. 

This is my story.

After receiving my PR, I was skeptical about moving to Canada because I had a good thing going on with my career back in India and I was not aware of the Canadian job market. The decision to leave my family, friends and a well-settled career was very difficult for me but I decided to reach for the opportunity and start a new life in Canada. Filled with hope and optimism, I landed in Toronto in the fall of 2017. 

I took it slow in the initial two weeks after landing and let my mind, body, and soul accept that I’d moved away from India. I enjoyed the fall weather and took walks along the lake. From the third week, I actively started looking for jobs. During that phase, I relied heavily on networking through LinkedIn. Most of the people I met for coffee chats were Canadians or immigrants like myself who had landed here fifteen or twenty years ago and conversations with them were always warm, welcoming, friendly, and very helpful in understanding the job market. 

In my initial days of job hunting, I focused only on the leading financial institutions, as those were the only names I was aware of. I applied to most jobs that aligned with my experience back in India but that didn’t yield any favourable results or even interviews with the leading banks I then shifted my focus to start-ups. I applied to jobs on Indeed and LinkedIn. I even made a spreadsheet to track my job applications and sent out five to six customized job applications per day. I treated the task of finding a job as a formal nine to five job and worked on it daily.     

Soon, my efforts started to show results and I received interview calls not only from start-ups but also from some of the leading banks where I initially applied and hadn’t succeeded. One of the organizations I was interviewing with was goeasy Ltd. It was for a managerial position. I had three rounds of interviews with them which included a written test and an in-person interview. The entire process moved fast and I received a job offer from them within the next three days. The job profile was similar to what I was doing in India and hence, I could hit the ground running from day one.    

A job search is not easy and it took me a few iterations until I learned from my mistakes. Here are some tips that I have for fellow newcomers:

  • Tailor your resume for every job that you apply to. 
  • Focus on recently posted positions instead of those that are two or three months old. 
  • Set up voicemail on your phone so recruiters or hiring managers can leave you a message.
  • Have a well crafted and updated LinkedIn profile because it’s the first thing recruiters and your professional connections will look at.  
  • Remember to introduce yourself and send a brief note when you add connections on LinkedIn. Avoid sharing your resume and asking for favours at the get-go. 
  • Research your salary expectations using tools available online on sites such as Glassdoor.
  • Try to look beyond job titles and the pay offered; focus on the role instead.
  • Be confident and don’t hesitate to express your thoughts.
  • Have clarity on your career goals when you take up a job that doesn’t align with your previous experience.
  • Sometimes, your desired opportunity can take a while so be patient. 

In the process of finding the right opportunity, I did have my fair share of ups and downs. During such times, it’s important to get out of the house, take walks, pursue other activities, or just look at nature. It helps you feel optimistic and motivated. And lastly, have faith and patience. Giving up is not an option!