Sideline

Finding a job in Canada, why is it so difficult?

Recommended Posts

Merida

I have been told it is a good idea to just walk around, take your resume, introduce yourself and drop it off at various places.

This is not really recommended. See: http://www.askamanager.org/2009/06/dropping-off-your-resume-in-person.html

Edited by Merida

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Burts

Thanks Merida, I did have a good read of this article and the comments. Seems some say its OK and others not. I think nothing ventured, nothing gained! I'm going to give it a go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Merida

As mentioned in the link above, this might be OK for restaurant jobs, small mom & pop businesses or when there is a 'Help Wanted' sign.

However, not recommended for professional/white collar jobs. Might even hurt your chances in the future with the applicable employers.

They might think that one received the outdated advice from:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MissusVeeDee

Of course, also keep in mind, posts on this thread come from a lot of different sectors, and each sector has their own culture, so everyone's experience will be different.

This is what I was thinking about reading through the 4 pages of this topic (fending off a panic attack).

I am hoping and praying that the industry that hubs is working in (Quality and Welding procedures) will not be so "finicky". But we'll probably have to tailor his resume for each specific application though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ENGinCT

MrsVD, I suspect you'll be fine.

Trained artisans - especially from the Anglosphere - are highly sought-after.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sideline

Just time to bring this topic to the front again. Due to recent questions asked this topic is incredibly important to understand.

In my typical manner I am not going to pull any punches and I ain't going to sweeten the story by sugar coating something to make someone feel better.

"Assumption is the mother of all f*** ups".

Don't assume because you have been accepted and approved for immigration that your profession/experience will nett you a job. You MUST I repeat MUST research in depth what requirements your profession has in Canada.

Engineers (and related professions) MUST be registered and assessed for professional registration in each province. You need to contact the relevant professional body to understand what is required. Much like you getting WES assesment on your degrees, these bodies will asses your experience, education etc and advise what short comings you have and what it will take to get qualified and accepted to work in Canada.

This same advice extends to almost EVERY profession that is professional in nature. Accounting, human resources, medical, educators, psychology, etc.

It's not like you get off the plane here and there is a line up of employers waiting (in the airport terminal as it were - tongue in cheek) to sign you up because you were successful in qualifying for immigration. Immigration / WES assesment merely show that you are a personality type that has the capacity to "tuff it out". You have the discipline to study 3-4 or more years to get degree/s which means you have the tenacity to see your way through the Canadian job market challenges.

YOU WILL find numerous administrative and professional challenges that must be met to get employment here. You may as well research these ahead of time and know what you can do before arriving here and what can only be done when here.it might even cost you a bucket load of extra money to do more certificates, pay exam fees, write knowledge exams etc.

To give an example. We know a pharmacist who is highly educated. Very good at her job, has all the background and experience needed to be a pharmacist. Yet in Canada she faces numerous rigorous challenges about certification. SHE CANNOT practice as a pharmacist in Canada. Did this stop her? NO!

It will take her about 4 years to go through the administrative, education re qualification, exams, apprenticeships etc to be registered and accepted as a pharmacist in Canada.

In the mean time she works day shifts as an admin person at a company, works after hours in a pharmacy to get training, but isn't paid well for it, goes home every evening after 11pm to study for about 1-2 hours and spends weekends writing exams etc. like I said it will be 4 years before she qualifies, but it didn't get her down. She knew it was going to be tough, she knew serious sacrifices would be needed but she refuses to complain about it. Instead she buckles down and gets on with getting to the end.

She doesn't even believe that working in a low paying admin job is 'worthless'. To her she puts food on the table and helps pay the rent.

At the end of all that sacrifice and getting certified (all over again and at great pain and frustration), she will only start at the bottom of the pharmacist job pool and have to work her way up the ladder again. A challenge she takes on willingly, because she knows where she is heading. It's just a small detour to her ultimate success and passion.

That people is the meaning of perseverance. You WILL need to adjust your mindset if you want to succeed here.

Make allowances for your plans when getting here, but more importantly have a plan B and even a plan C. You might have to change careers to start with and get ahead. You might have to work in low end jobs for the first few months to survive and gain experience, you may have to sacrifice your wants and make do with your needs.

If you don't want to do this, you are wasting your time coming here. It's easy to say 'I'll do ANYTHING, I'll work any job if I must", but will you a highly qualified professional in SA earning a high end 6 or even 7 figure income really clean toilets, flip burgers, pack store shelves or even pick up garbage to earn an income when you leave SA? If not, your arrogance and entitled SA attitude isn't going to help you here. As Ingrid rightly says elsewhere, Canada is our host country. It's a privilege to be here, not a right! Canada owes you NOTHING, you WILL work your way into a society that is better than you can imagine, you just need to let go of your ego!

In SA you might be a big fish in a small job market pool. In Canada you ain't even a tadpole in an ocean of a job market. Here you might be up against as many as 50,000 ( yes 50,000) professionals, some with even better qualifications or experience than you, for the same job market. Be prepared!

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

If this offends you, GOOD! It's meant to wake you up to the harsh realities that await you if you get here with the wrong attitude and no plan.

If it excites you, welcome to the best life that awaits you.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KarinN

My boss is in the process of hiring and a couple of things I noticed:

- where in SA it was great if you stayed at one company because it showed loyalty, it is frowned upon here because it shows stagnation. She wants to see someone that has changed jobs every couple of years.

- yes, any job is better than no job, but try getting a job at least closely related to your ultimate career. We have people applying that has degrees in accounting but is currently working in McDonalds. Those get thrown out immediately.

- although I agree with the specialization thing, do your homework. A small company would be more likely to hire you if you can do more than one thing, whereas a big company would want a specialist. I have more than once be asked to write the ads for my position as the company is looking for someone that can do everything I can do (and I'm not specialist).

- do your research on the company before applying.

-do NOT ask about remuneration in your application. Do not ask about it until they mention it. If that is one of your first questions they think it is about the money and not the job, and that you will jump ship the moment a better offer comes along. At the moment I have to make a huge effort to show my boss that I won't jump ship because I came from a much higher paying position to work for her.

- tone it down in interviews. As South Africans we tend to be excited and loud(ish). We had a highly qualified candidate that came for an interview, he got scratched of the list because he was loud and talked too much

- just because you did a basic excel course 15 years ago it doesn't mean you can put excel on your skills list. If they ask for specific skills in something that might look stupid like excel, word, etc it means they need someone that can do more than open a document, type a couple of things and do the sum of a column (again one of our frustrations from hiring candidates)

Just my two cents worth.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sideline

My boss is in the process of hiring and a couple of things I noticed:

- where in SA it was great if you stayed at one company because it showed loyalty, it is frowned upon here because it shows stagnation. She wants to see someone that has changed jobs every couple of years.

- yes, any job is better than no job, but try getting a job at least closely related to your ultimate career. We have people applying that has degrees in accounting but is currently working in McDonalds. Those get thrown out immediately.

- although I agree with the specialization thing, do your homework. A small company would be more likely to hire you if you can do more than one thing, whereas a big company would want a specialist. I have more than once be asked to write the ads for my position as the company is looking for someone that can do everything I can do (and I'm not specialist).

- do your research on the company before applying.

-do NOT ask about remuneration in your application. Do not ask about it until they mention it. If that is one of your first questions they think it is about the money and not the job, and that you will jump ship the moment a better offer comes along. At the moment I have to make a huge effort to show my boss that I won't jump ship because I came from a much higher paying position to work for her.

- tone it down in interviews. As South Africans we tend to be excited and loud(ish). We had a highly qualified candidate that came for an interview, he got scratched of the list because he was loud and talked too much

- just because you did a basic excel course 15 years ago it doesn't mean you can put excel on your skills list. If they ask for specific skills in something that might look stupid like excel, word, etc it means they need someone that can do more than open a document, type a couple of things and do the sum of a column (again one of our frustrations from hiring candidates)

Just my two cents worth.

Karin,

Some extremely important information here as well. Thank you.

Career progression is very important. Changing jobs for the sake of changing jobs isn't a good thing, but changing jobs/positions to become more qualified or progress with seniority and experience is excellent. So as long as your job hopping makes sense and move you along the path of gaining better experience, and ultimately turning you into a specialist that is what is sought after. Starting off in McDonalds isn't ideal, but to put food on the table it might be required for a few months when starting.

Often times people might even take a study sabbatical to get better qualified, and they take on less stressful work (part time in entry level jobs) just to keep the financial wolves at bay. The important part is to not list that as as a job on the resume but focus on the gap as your study sabbatical time.

Yes there are many companies that need the skills (multi skills) of a 'generalist' as they are known. These generalists should follow the path of specializing over a few years, but we all start off as a generalist.

Excellent advice regarding the need for stating skills. Ensure your skills are relevant and fit with the job. Almost everyone can use a computer, but not everyone can decode computer programming. So if the job ad is asking for computer programmers, why does everyone that can turn on a computer think they are suited? Applying for a job that has skills outside of your expertise just gets your resume deleted and ignored.

If you don't have specific skills and you notice a trend in the skills being sought, start planning to get those skills. Enrol in an online course that starts you down that path. Planning this for a few weeks or months just gets you ready for the job market. In the mean time you enter the job market in a lower position and work at getting better. Often times the company might even start paying for you to complete the studies and get the skills, after you have proven that you are an asset to them and they can't afford to loose you. They will happily keep you by offering to pay for studies (related to the job of course) and then promote you within the company.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Often times the company might even start paying for you to complete the studies and get the skills, after you have proven that you are an asset to them and they can't afford to loose you. They will happily keep you by offering to pay for studies (related to the job of course) and then promote you within the company.

Some of the larger companies offer to pay for further education as part of your package.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I thought I would BUMP this thread (although it is pinned) for some of the newer members on the forum, to gain some valuable information from this thread. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sideline

I'm just updating this thread a bit with a new video I found about the frustrations people are having with understanding LMIA and why companies don't like to offer foreign employees jobs that easily.

not to say there are not successes but the majority of the time people are frustrated with why things are not. Happening.

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jules

The job market in Canada is a tough nut to crack. I think it's why some SAns "fail" and they return home. Lots of good advice from Sideline and others on this thread. Take heed.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Myusuf

Once you are there - How hard is it to find , say a basic admin position or clerk to keep going until you get what you looking for

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sideline
On December 6, 2016 at 4:31 AM, Myusuf said:

Once you are there - How hard is it to find , say a basic admin position or clerk to keep going until you get what you looking for

 

Most entry level jobs are fairly easy to find. It does depend on your language skills for things like front line reception positions etc. some times you could face an issue of 'qualifications' if it's in things like book keeping etc but these are dealt with through short courses to get the local terms and lingo used in every day Canadian work environment.

there are numerous government funded help centers to get you on the right path and they are all free to use as a new immigrant.

In short, it shouldn't be difficult, might take a few weeks to adapt to the changes and etiquettes just takes some perseverance :)    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JeffH
On 12/6/2016 at 6:31 AM, Myusuf said:

Once you are there - How hard is it to find , say a basic admin position or clerk to keep going until you get what you looking for

 

If you can, try delay it until you can find a somewhat reasonable job for your career path. I think there is a risk if getting "stuck" in that bridging job here and then you are in a worse off position than you were in SA for a longer or much longer time than you expected. It's not easy to make it here at the best of times, so if you can, try avoid getting into that situation. I guess if you are in a hurry to leave SA or want to stay when you do your landing, then by all means. Accommodation is really really expensive compared to SA - but I guess everyone's situation is different - and if you are committed you will always make it wherever you go. I think the folks looking for an "SA but better" would quickly get into trouble taking the first burger flipping job and giving up a cushy SA job. 

I got a job similar to the one I had in SA - salary wise (with some savings as well) and even then, it's pretty tough at times - so I cannot imagine coming over straight into a minimum wage type job. I have heard of people that came over with basically nothing. Then again, if you were hijacked in SA a few weeks before you left (one example) it's a different story. 

Good luck and feel free to pop me a PM - you never know, my company is looking for people and once you have PR, that's a way in. I applied to approximately 150 jobs, I got one cold call interview and zero call backs. Basically nothing happened. That was with a "perfected" resume, Canadian number and address etc. Referral is probably the only way that is reliable I would say, otherwise it's a bit of a lottery. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Qrios1

This age old question that inevitably always comes up when planning to go over. With being a landed PR back in SA should I apply like crazy on the various career sites or would that be wasting my time. Landing a job before going is obviously first prize. I would guess that the moment an employer sees that you are not physically in Canada they lose interest or is that not true? I am planning to go over ahead of my family soon but would like to know something.

1) Timing is critical. When is the best time to look for a job in Winter or Summer? 

2) Regarding school my daughter is currently in grade 2 (turning 8 in May) would it make sense that my wife and kids come in August in time to start new school year  (not sure if my daughter would start grade 3 or have to do grade 2 again)  or should we rather postpone to go over early January 18? Or would it depend on some assessment to be done to check her level schooling? She is currently at a Christian school following the American Christian syllabus with paces.

Both of the above would impact my timing of starting the job hunt that side. Thank you in advance guys. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaryJane
1 hour ago, Qrios1 said:

I would guess that the moment an employer sees that you are not physically in Canada they lose interest or is that not true? I am planning to go over ahead of my family soon but would like to know something.

1) Timing is critical. When is the best time to look for a job in Winter or Summer? 

Not necessarily true. My hubby got an interview while still in SA but that was after we already have the PR visa in our hands and we were upfront to tell the employer that we were going over (landing) at such and such a date. They still went ahead and waited for him.

Can't say much about winter or summer. We arrived in winter so we got our jobs during that time.

1 hour ago, Qrios1 said:

2) Regarding school my daughter is currently in grade 2 (turning 8 in May) would it make sense that my wife and kids come in August in time to start new school year  (not sure if my daughter would start grade 3 or have to do grade 2 again)  or should we rather postpone to go over early January 18? Or would it depend on some assessment to be done to check her level schooling? She is currently at a Christian school following the American Christian syllabus with paces.

She will be assessed and will be placed with the grade closest to her age. My child came when she finished Grade 2 in SA and she was placed in Grade 3 in January. Then when she started in September of the same year, she was in Grade 5, totally skipped Grade 4.

Also keep in mind that schools here are zoned and your child will likely go to the school closest to where you stay/live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Qrios1

Thanks @MaryJane you always provide the best advice. Really appreciate it. Really great news and possibility of my baby girl even skipping a year would be the cherry on the cake. We are thinking of settling in Mississauga or Oakville. Thanks, guess I will start applying with my two page resume and cover letter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Khushboo Desai
  1. Hi Everyone,

This is a good post. Thank you.

So I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and as the others above I have done a little bit of everything. I did my articles through a bank in Johannesburg. Then I worked for 2 years as a Senior Internal Auditor for Capital Markets and now I am an Operational Risk Manager for Capital Markets.

I am in the process of converting my CA (SA) to a CPA CA and should have the CPA CA before I land or one or two months after I land.

so my question is... what are my prospects of securing a job and how should I go about doing this? do you think its possible for me to atleast have a temporary job when I land ?

thanks

Khushboo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jules

If you are asking if you can land a temp job when you land, I am assuming you mean after you land (securing a job offer before landing is very hard). And the short answer is yes you can find a temp job. Same answer for finding a permanent job.

The longer answer is when one talks of job level and salary. In a sense you have to pick your battles: the higher the job level, the more competition there is, so you have to decide what job level you want to concentrate on. There's a job for everyone at the end of the day but it's not always the "right" job for everyone. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zealan

The point about differing qualifications is valid. Even if its a world wide certification, the fact that you do not have Canadian work experience will affect you(and you could certainly be offered a smaller package as a result), regardless of how educated you are.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DuncanP
3 hours ago, Zealan said:

The point about differing qualifications is valid. Even if its a world wide certification, the fact that you do not have Canadian work experience will affect you(and you could certainly be offered a smaller package as a result), regardless of how educated you are.

The offers I got in IT are on the same level as I was in SA. Salaries obviously higher due to exchange rate, but we will have an improved lifestyle for sure. We can buy property immediately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nettie

 

6 hours ago, DuncanP said:

The offers I got in IT are on the same level as I was in SA. Salaries obviously higher due to exchange rate.........

A close family member, who is an electronic engineer had 2 job offers of similar level in the first week and even though the salary was more than his SA salary, he was paid less than his Canadian counterparts with the same experience.  This seems to be a trend. He was 34 and earned a salary of someone 10 years younger than him. I guess it gives a good indication to do this as young as possible.

 

Edited by Nettie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Khushboo Desai

Hi Jules 

I am content with getting a more junior level job but in my field. So if I am a Risk manager I am content with being a first year Risk officer but I would not want to work in a call centre in a retail bank. 

I am also keen on starting off at junior level in another field but closely related e.g. a mathematician. 

Jules - what field are you in?

I am also looking at short Canadian courses... hope that helps?

Thanking you 

Kind Regards 

Khushboo Desai 

Edited by Khushboo Desai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now