Overcoming the “No Canadian Work Experience” Challenge

An immigrant, who has obtained education and work experience form her/his country of origin often faces a major hurdle getting a job in Canada. The challenge is, unless one is employed in Canada, one cannot get experience and one cannot get employed because employers tend to hire someone who has already Canadian work experience.

How do you prepare yourself adequately to overcome these obstacles? Some research prior to your arrival in Canada may well assist you to make a faster and more successful transition to your working life here. Before you arrive in Canada, try to find out the answers to the following questions:

  • What do Canadian employers expect from the people they hire?
  • What are some common Canadian work practices?
  • What is Canadian workplace culture?
  • What are the Canadian labour market trends in your area of work?
    Becoming established in any new country can be challenging, and experience is key. If you cannot find paid employment immediately upon your arrival, there are still a number of ways to gain valuable ‘work’ experience and build contacts. Here are a few suggestions:

Conduct information interviews: Identify Canadian companies similar to your current/previous employer. Information interviews will give you valuable local knowledge about your industry and may lead to further contacts.
Volunteer your time with an appropriate local employer.
Get involved by volunteering in your local community organizations.

If you feel you are not properly prepared for your Canadian job search, consider hiring the services of a Canadian specialist or consultant with local knowledge of the Canadian job market and Canadian work practices.

Mary Diaz emigrated to Canada in 2000 after many years of living and working overseas and now runs Hineni Media, a part of a Cross Cultural firm and information service for inmigrants and newcomers. Contact Mary via email at: hinenisyndicator@gmail.com or by phone: +1 (647) 448.2052.

Visit the CanadaWise website: www.hinenimedia.memberlodge.org


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