My name is Kimi Mehta and I’m a healthcare professional from India. I moved to Toronto in June 2017. Back in India, I had over 7 years of experience working and consulting with various hospitals and healthcare institutions. After moving to Canada, I expanded my options by getting a certification in Project Management. Today, I work as a Coordinator with the Project Management Office at the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI).
This is my story.
I landed in Toronto in the summer of 2017 with the hope of finding work-life balance and a better quality of life. Having always worked and studied in the healthcare industry, I was focused on finding a job in the same field but navigating the healthcare space in Canada wasn’t easy.
I found networking options to be very limited especially since healthcare professionals are usually busy and hence difficult to meet with. I also learned that most positions at hospitals are filled through internal contacts, referrals, or chosen among volunteers who have worked with them before. I did however, manage to meet a few people over coffee by reaching out to them over LinkedIn. Although those meetings didn’t help me find a job they gave me ideas about how I should develop my skills further and thus broaden the scope of finding potential opportunities.
Picking up on advice from my coffee meetings, I decided to do a 3-month course in Foundations of Project Management at the University of Toronto, following which I got qualified as a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM). During that time, I applied to numerous jobs and ended up finding one as an office coordinator at a health clinic but it wasn’t exactly in alignment with what I wanted to do. The connections I’d built provided the motivation to keep going and eventually find an opportunity that was more relevant to my skills.
I continued looking and then came across my current job at the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI). The role was something that I hadn’t done earlier but the skill set and experience it required was in alignment with the project management and consulting experience I’d gained through the years. This role along with my prior experience in the field, gave me the confidence to prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, take the exam, and clear it.
It has been about 2 years since I’ve landed, and Canada now feels like home. Some of the things I’ve learned along the way are:
The job market is competitive. There are plenty of opportunities but the number of people applying is also huge. Hence, focusing your resume on accomplishments, ensuring that your LinkedIn profile matches your resume, and tweaking your past job titles to reflect what’s applicable and relatable in Canada will help you stay ahead of the game.
Networking is important. Don’t have any apprehensions about reaching out to people you don’t know and asking them for advice; most of them are very helpful. Speaking to people will help you build confidence.
Don’t underestimate the interview preparation. Giving an interview after a long time can make you feel overwhelmed and under-prepared. Go through the job description, be specific in responses, use the STAR approach for answering questions, learn about the company and its culture, connect with employees on LinkedIn, and support your responses with personal examples. Also, remember to activate your voicemail as recruiters and hiring managers may try to reach you.
Finding a job in a new country can be very stressful but it’s important to build a moral support system around you and stay positive and optimistic. Lastly, don’t limit yourself to just one source or industry to find a job but explore all avenues such as job sites, networking events, company websites etc., and you’ll be sure to find something you love doing!