From an interview with Mudit Sadana.
Mudit and his wife Mansi came to Canada in 2019. He is a highly-experienced computer engineer and currently works as a full stack developer in Toronto. She is a solopreneur and personal brand trainer. Mudit recalls leaving behind a successful career and well-established life in India to come to Canada with the goal of exploring new cultures, new places, and new opportunities. He shares his story of dealing with challenges and being grateful for opportunities – from planning and landing in Canada, landing a career, buying a home and building a new life.
For us, coming to Canada was more about exploration than money. In India, we had a pretty comfortable life and well-paying jobs at good companies, but we felt that we were at the right age to take on this adventure. We wanted to explore the different cultures in Canada and travel all over North America. That meant landing a good job so that we didn’t burn through all our savings. In case we didn’t get jobs right away, we budgeted enough money to cover expenses and stay comfortably for four to six months. That was the most important point. The second was making a plan.
Coming to Canada takes planning and commitment
I clearly remember that we blocked out three different plans and weighed the benefits: Option A – not coming, Option B – coming temporarily, taking the PR, then going home until we were a little more confident, and Option C – quitting our jobs, selling everything, packing our bags and then seeing what might happen (which is what we ended up doing).
Option A: Not coming
Although it may seem odd to have this option on the table, it was an important consideration. We had everything we wanted at our life stage: careers, a house and a car. Because building all of that takes a lot of hard work, it can be overwhelming to think of leaving it all behind to start afresh.
On the other hand, we asked ourselves if we would regret missing out on the chance. After careful consideration and introspection, we came up with the answer that, yes we would regret not trying. We decided that if worse came to worse, we could return to India after a couple of years, probably with a little less money, but then we would have the answers from our own experience rather than someone else’s.
Option B: Soft landing
The second consideration was to do a soft landing. In this scenario, you go to Canada, spend a couple of weeks, get some interviews and try to land a job. If successful, you then quit your job. If not, then at least you have your job back home to return to. You don’t sell everything and pack up your life before heading out.
But when you know that there’s a backup option, the human tendency may prevent you from giving one hundred per cent. We could have come to Canada, and if we had a bad start, we might have given up. And that wouldn’t have been justified because two weeks doesn’t give you the complete picture. For us, it seemed like a halfway plan.
Option C: Taking the leap
With this approach, your attitude is different: you’re all in. You’re a hundred per cent committed and dedicated to making your life in Canada work! When we weighed the pros and cons, all of the positives added up. We would live our own experiences, explore the country and culture, knowing that even if things didn’t work out, it was our own decision.
Six months was a hit that we were willing to take in terms of finances, but luckily everything panned out.
Remember these three Rs: recruiters, resumes and referrals
Before coming to Canada, I had heard a lot about how difficult it was to break into the Canadian job market. I researched my industry, reached out to friends who had already settled in Canada, and connected with some Canadian recruitment agencies. Here are three points that helped me land a job in Canada in my field.
I started contacting recruiters while I was still in India, which gave me a kind of head start; as soon as I landed, I had interviews in my first week. Thankfully, out of the three that got converted, one was with the company that I am working for right now! That kind of planning really helped me – I was stress-free after week one because I had the offer letter in hand.
One important note about recruiters is that they will not entertain you unless you are committed to coming to Canada. Some people try to get a jump on things from outside the country and only plan to come when they have surety of a job. This makes it difficult for recruiters. So, even if you have a PR, you should have a landing date before taking interviews.
Recruiters were very helpful when I reached out to them. Most referred me to different companies, and I got a lot of interviews.
There are mixed opinions about the Canadian-style resume: should it be one page or two pages? It’s a debate that I see on a lot of portals. Whether you make your resume one page or two, what really matters – at least in my line, the tech line – is that you know your skills and really know whatever is written on your resume. Be truthful about what you put on your resume because recruiters are experts on resumes and can catch things that don’t seem right.
Referrals are the best way for anybody to get a shot at an interview in Canada. Somebody inside the company, a trusted employee, is vouching for you. So, a resume with a referral is more likely to be given preference.
It’s a very common practice nowadays for people to refer candidates because there are added incentives for them. They will get to work with a person of good skill, and in many companies, they might get a financial benefit if the person they refer is hired. You should always try to get referred to positions that are right for you and match your skillset. Otherwise, it can be a waste of time for the company hiring.
There are a lot of good recruiting companies that will entertain your resume and refer you if you have the right skill set. That’s what happened to me. I currently get several emails every day for job opportunities, and I’m not even looking. The demand in the tech sector is high.
Goals evolve and plans change: Buying a home in Canada
When we came here, one of our main goals was to travel, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, that has taken a back seat. So, we had to adjust our goals a little as to what we can do instead of travelling. My wife and I are nature fans, so we diverted our energy from travelling to buying a house. We wanted to move out of the city to a place surrounded by nature where we could go hiking and explore the natural beauty of Canada – locally.
Many people assumed that housing prices would come down because of the economic impact of COVID, but that didn’t really happen. Instead, everyone was pretty much on a buying streak, and things were becoming expensive. Our timeline to buy a house actually moved ahead by one year. So we started looking at homes.
The first step is to be in the mindset that you want to buy a house. After you’re sold on that, the second step is to determine the maximum amount you can spend. You can talk to your bank advisor to get pre-approved for a mortgage – the amount that the bank is willing to loan you, based on your family income and the amount of your down payment.
With that number, you can begin to shortlist the areas you’d like to live in and the kind of houses you can afford. Remember that it’s not just a house that you’ll be buying. There are a lot of additional expenses that come along with that purchase, like maintenance. You should have enough resources to cover unexpected expenses.
Based on our budget, the kind of houses that we like and factors like transit, the Town of Milton suited our needs perfectly. In my job, I can work from home (which I’ve been doing for ten months) and work at the office. Our house is very near to the Milton GO station, so if I need to get to Toronto, it’s a one-hour train ride, which is exactly what I was looking for.
There are a lot of trails in and around Milton that we plan on exploring, and there’s a small pond right behind our house where we see ducks flying above our house every evening. I like that kind of thing.
We’re a generation of 30-minute pizza delivery, but patience pays off
Our generation is in the habit of getting instant gratification. But when you’re coming to a new country, there are a lot of things that you’ll need to learn, and it takes time. Whether you’re waiting for documentation, trying to find a job, or looking to rent an apartment, have patience.
Canada is a very open country, and the people are very helpful. I don’t think I’ve ever met a rude person here. Anytime I have asked for help, the person has helped me. If they couldn’t help, they would refer me to somebody who could. Come with an open mind. It’s okay to ask for help, but most importantly, have patience.
In a year and a half, we have gone from looking for rental properties to buying our first house. This happened because of the job that I got, the people around me and the realtors who helped me find a house. It all takes time, but it can happen.