From an interview with Tuni Mosmann
When Tuni came to Canada in 2018, she not only left her home in Brazil to begin a new life in a new country, she started a brand new career in a brand new industry. That’s called being a triple jumper. Tuni shares the ups and downs of her journey and provides insights and tips for newcomers who are considering changing countries, their calling, career role, or all of the above.
When I moved here, I had to start all over again – from the beginning. So, I thought, why not make a career change too? I had been working for eight years in graphic design and fashion design, but I had in the back of my mind that I always liked doing websites for fun when I was in high school. Until this point, it had never occurred to me that it could be my profession. I thought, “Why don’t I do that?”
I briefly considered going back to college, but I didn’t want to study for four or five years before starting to work in this field. One weekend I did a deep dive researching salaries, what the life of a front end developer is like, and what courses were available. Then I found out about boot camps! I didn’t even know what a boot camp was. It’s intensive learning over a short period of time. To me, it just seemed better than college: you study eight hours a day for nine or twelve weeks, depending on the program.
Getting into a good boot camp can be highly competitive. Some people try three or four times before they are accepted. So, in preparation, I did a part-time course that took around three months. I was working retail and studying every day and doing projects for school. You have to know how to make a simple website, and then the boot camp will give you the skills to go to the next level. They not only teach you how to code, but they also teach you how to apply to jobs, how to do interviews and find a job.
Three weeks after I graduated from boot camp, I was working as a Front End Developer. I plan to keep studying to become a full-stack developer. My boot camp has also become a strong Community. Once you’re in, it’s for life. I have become friends with people from my cohort, people from before my cohort and after. Anytime you need something, or you have questions, you can reach out. The community is great.
From the very first day of my first class, I realized that this was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. In Brazil, it is very difficult to change careers – you work within a field directly related to your degree. For most fields in Canada, your degree and previous experience don’t matter that much. Entry-level positions are more about who you are and what type of soft skills you have, making it easier to change careers than back home. It’s not easy: you have to study a lot and work hard, but you can do it. Canada has a lot of opportunities, especially if you work in tech.
Tuni’s tips for newcomers: Do your research, be prepared, and be patient.
Before I left home, I did a lot of research. I was kind of obsessed. I wanted to learn as much about moving to Canada, like what it’s like living in a few cities, how do I prepare for winter, which service providers (phone, bank, internet, etc.) were the best, how to save money, how to apply for jobs, how taxes work, and about Canadian culture in general.
Learn how to format your resume for the Canadian market. Network and volunteer. Connect with people. Network with the goal of connecting and knowing people. Opportunities will come in time.
Move to Canada with more money than you think you’ll need; you never know what kind of emergencies you might have. And even if you don’t have an emergency, treat your money like emergency money. Only buy what you need. You have the rest of your life here to buy that cool video game, and prices don’t change that much from one year to the next. Be responsible, make a budget and don’t buy on impulse. When buying something expensive, track the price for several weeks before buying it, so you know when an offer is really good. My apartment had the bare minimum, and I only bought things that I needed when I needed them.
I had an awful experience finding a place. It took two months, three Airbnbs, three realtors, way more than a hundred phone calls to buildings, and probably twice as many emails. The greatest piece of advice I got I didn’t follow and I regret it: If you’re moving to a big city like Toronto, book temporary accommodations for at least two months. I had to stay in places that were super far away from everything and expensive. If I had booked at least two months from the get-go, my life would have been way easier.
Do as much research as you can, but don’t believe everything you read, You’ll only know how life is here when you’re here. It’s a big change, so take care of yourself, your health, and your finances.
Flyers change every week, usually on Thursday, and some stores do price matching. So, if you show that another store has an item on sale for less than their special price, they’ll match it. Flipp, the flyer and coupon app, is your best friend when it comes to grocery shopping. When I first moved here, everything that was in my shopping cart was on sale. I saved a lot of money that way.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Canada is a country filled with opportunities, but the pace might be slower than what you expect. You’ll get there, just keep fighting. Sometimes you need to take a few steps back to move forward.
Starting over, I felt like a child having to learn how to walk and talk again. It’s hard to explain, but it was like being reborn with memories from my previous life. Everything felt the same yet so different. There’s a lot of trial and error; I’m still trying to figure out which Canadian shampoo brand works best for me. But at the same time, it’s exciting to start anew. My goal is to continue working as a developer, learning more and more every day, having a balanced and comfortable life, and sharing my experience to help others achieve the same.
|You can use the following Arrive resources to help be better prepared for your job search in Canada:
Arrive is with you every step of the way.