Contributor: Nerissa Fernandes
Content Lead, Arrive, RBC Ventures

I was blessed to have gotten a job offer before I moved to Canada but what’s even interesting is that this job found me!

I started working with Arrive in August 2018 as a Content Lead and I’m truly enjoying being part of a team that’s dedicated to transforming the newcomer experience in Canada. It has been about 7 months now and I feel lucky that I get to kickstart my life in Canada by working for an awesome cause and giving back to the newcomer community that I was a part of not so long ago.

Learn about how this job found me on my personal blog.

In my current role at Arrive, I have the opportunity to guide and assist other newcomers by creating content that helps them navigate these new waters. I’ve been a blogger for a while now but mainly wrote as a hobby. Until I met the Arrive team, I had never considered writing as a full-time job and with a decade of experience in an unrelated field, I have to admit that the shift to becoming a Content Lead was scary.

Embracing the career switch

Given that Arrive is an RBC Venture, I thought it would be similar to a very formal banking environment but was pleasantly surprised to find it to be quite the opposite. The Arrive team is a very closely knit, fun team and the work culture is similar to what I experienced in India, even slightly more relaxed, so I found it easier to adjust and hit the ground running.

Since I was new to the industry, I had to start from scratch and learn the finer nuances of content writing for the web. My background in research definitely helped. However, in retrospect, my colleagues at Arrive were a greater source of support. They patiently reviewed my work and provided timely feedback which helped me improvise and get better at my job. With that said, what proved to be most valuable for me were my learnings and experiences of settling in as a newcomer — which I use to create relatable content that’s simple and easy to follow.

I’ve always liked working in startup environments because it offers the opportunity to wear many hats. And having such an opportunity within one of Canada’s largest organizations is an added perk!

Key takeaways

For me, the shift from research and consulting to being a content lead was unconventional but with my transferable skills, it seemed very natural and organic. While embracing this new career opportunity, I’ve learned a few things:

  1. By being active and present online, you make yourself available to potential employers: My personal blog is what led me to this job at Arrive so it’s important to have an online presence (be it LinkedIn, Github, personal blogs, or other online platforms that allow you to showcase your skills and portfolio).
  2. Career change can be intentional or like, in my case, unintentional, so remember to focus on your existing skills that may be valuable in another industry or perhaps in a different role. Be open to exploring various profiles as jobs may be structured differently over here in comparison to your home country.
  3. Be prepared to put in some additional effort, re-learn and/or start from scratch, and give it your best. The knowledge and experiences you gather in that process will, for sure, propel your career to greater heights!

Moving to a new country is scary and challenging but don’t let apprehensions get in the way of expanding your potential options for employment. Personally, the idea of starting afresh with a new role that presented me with an opportunity to learn while refining my existing skillset worked out well and I hope it does for you too!


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.