As newcomers to Canada, most of us desire to find a job in our fields of interest in the first couple of weeks after landing. In most cases, this doesn’t happen as the job application and interview process here is slower and hence, takes longer. As a result many people consider taking up survival jobs to help them sustain while they continue the search for that dream job.
After covering Kapil Sharma’s success story I spent some time with a recently landed newcomer, Ms. Saiyona Ghosh, who is an experienced Marketing professional.
Saiyona works as a Marketing Lead at a geo-technology firm called Rocscience, based in Toronto. She has a decade of experience in Marketing and Communications and has been working since she completed her Masters in 2011. In her current role, Saiyona is responsible for growing the Rocscience brand, creating and executing marketing strategies, and external communications.
Note: The responses have been shortened and, in some instances, paraphrased.
Nerissa Fernandes : Can you tell me a bit about your job search experience?
Saiyona Ghosh : I started applying for jobs and doing phone interviews while I was still in India but the conversion rate was very poor as recruiters preferred candidates who were physically present in Canada.
After landing in Toronto in September 2018, in addition to applying for jobs in my field, I also explored a variety of other positions (including survival jobs). Within 2 weeks I had 4 job offers and all of them were not from my field of interest. I picked the one that was from a leading coffee shop chain for 2 reasons: it was closer to home and involved working the night shift so during the day I’d have time for job applications and interviews in my desired field.
The interview process for my current job had 2 rounds. In the second round I was asked to complete a short project after which I was offered the job. Overall, it took me about 2 months from the time I landed to finding a job in Marketing.
NF : Which job search tools or sites?
SG : I used Indeed and Monster (not my favourite). The initial 4 job offers that I received were through Indeed. I found my current job on LinkedIn. Subscription to LinkedIn Premium proved beneficial with respect to job applications.
NF : What were some of your learnings from the interviews and your stint at the coffee shop?
SG : Organizations look for individuals who are ‘go-getters’ and those that fit well into their culture. Don’t let your extensive experience and qualifications from back home stop you from considering ‘survival’ jobs — they are a good way to familiarize yourself with the local work culture and develop relevant social skills. Take it as a learning experience and use it to hone your knowledge and skills. Eventually, you may have the opportunity to apply all of these learnings to another (more fitting) position in the same organization or at other jobs.
NF : Do you have any advice for newcomers starting their job search?
SG : Finding a dream job takes time; it won’t happen instantly. So it’s important to have a positive attitude and keep on applying. If you get a job that’s not in your desired field, don’t get too comfortable in it because a lot of people do and stop looking for something better. Network and talk to people — LinkedIn is a good site to do that. There will be rejections and no replies but keep at it, don’t let it demotivate you. Perseverance really pays off!
It was interesting interviewing Saiyona since she made a huge shift in her role after landing in Canada. The most important qualities that she spoke about was having the right mindset and a never-say-die attitude. She advises to keep pushing and applying until you find what you’re looking for.
As I end this series of posts I hope I was able to provide some insight into realistic job search scenarios for newcomers to Canada. The key takeaway from all the interviews was that it takes hard work and perseverance to get the job of your dreams!
About the Author:
Nerissa is a business research and management consulting professional with over a decade of experience working with clients in IT, Telecom, Retail, Banking/Finance, Retail, Pharmaceuticals, and Healthcare across global geographies. In her current role at Arrive, she works as a content specialist leveraging her first-hand experience as a newcomer in Canada to write relevant blogs and assist other immigrants to ease their transition into the Canadian life.