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Well - to say that it has been a while since i have been on here is probably the understatement of the decade.  5 years in, and we are still loving Canada, probably even more than when we first arrived.  

I have been toying with the idea of starting up my own resume writing business for a while now... and I guess giving you a bit of a background as to how I came to this decision is helpful.  So here goes:

We arrived in Canada with my husband getting a WP with Canadian Tire, and that meant that I was on an open work permit.  I had no idea what lay ahead for me in those first 6 months after landing, but I was just so excited to be able to start working!  I did not have a Canadian Resume, and zero experience in the interview process here, but somehow by the grace of god and some good luck, I managed to land my first job within 2 months of searching.  I lasted 4 months.  I completely underestimated the cultural differences, work load, expectations from my employer and so many other factors that lead me to becoming a tearful blubbering mess in my boss's office 4 months into the job.  And so I quit, and along with that came the feeling of utter hopelessness and panic.  We were a family of 4 on a minimum wage salary (hubby working at CT) and I couldn't cut it in the corporate world here.  So we started scraping by - I delivered flyers to about 120 houses every week with a 3 year old in tow, I looked after other people's children and I worked at CT 1 day a week doing price checks.  Basically we did what we had to do to make it through.  Fast forward 2 years, the WP at CT ended, we got our PR, and hubby started looking for another job.  He got one, but it was in BC.  And we had settled in AB... and so we had to move again.  Another big move, to a different province where we knew nothing and no one.  Not for the fainthearted - this immigration - i tell you.  Anyway, BC it was.  And we bought our first house!  That meant I had to go back to work... and I was ready to at this point.  I felt that I had a better understanding of the work culture, communication differences and the whole bang shoot.  So, I got a job at a reputable company in BC, and worked away happily for a year and a half.  Everything was finally working out - or so I thought.  I'm sure you have all heard the stories of how quickly people are let go here in Canada, and I had heard those stories too, but it would never happen to me - I was doing such a good job.  I was wrong.  One sunny day in August I was called into the Executive Director's office, and handed an envelope of 3 months payout.  They had restructured the company, and myself along with 2 other managers were being let go.  With immediate effect.  I freaked out.  Cried, hyperventilated, shook, cried some more - and that was all in the first 5 minutes of digesting the news.  I drove home in a state - we had JUST bought a house!!! What was I going to do now??? So I spent a month at home feeling very sorry for myself, brooding, and hating everything.  It wasn't right, but it happens.  Finally I got out of my funk, and did some research on the Employment Insurance process here - and applied.  Once I was on EI, i got notice of an organisation here called WorkBC.  They have all sorts of programs to help you get back on your feet and into a new job.  I had nothing to lose, so I thought what the heck, let me go check this out.  I did a lot of their courses, one of which was a resume writing course.  And while I was doing this course, I remembered how daunting it was all those years ago trying to squeeze in 15 pages from my CV into one page for a resume.  I remembered how unprepared I was for the interviews I faced.  How much stress that was.  

One thing I have always had deep down in my soul, is a need to help people.  A need to know that I am making a difference in someone else's life.  I hate the fact that I sit at a desk every day and 'waste' my days on mundane things, when I could be out there doing something good.  

So I put two and two together.  I have been through the ringer in the 5 years we have been here with regards to the employment side of immigration.  I have been on all sides - big company, small work, stable work, no work, EI, and now back at work.  I am also from South Africa (obviously) and so I understand the frustration of trying to find a job from that side, and wondering if I have the resume right, what are they going to ask me in the interviews etc.  Finding a job from that side is ridiculously stressful.  So this is where I come in.  I can help!  I had that light bulb moment.  I know what you need to do, to have a good resume, and be prepared for interview questions.  I have the answers from the course I did, the experience I have gained, and this need to help others.  So here I am.  Back on the website that helped me all those years ago - now reaching out with an offer of help to you.  The wheel has finally turned.

I want to start this off small, and see how it goes.  This 'business' is still in its infancy stages.  This was my first step.  Putting it out there.  

So - if you are interested in having your resume done professionally, getting some tips and tricks to the interview process, and some general advice on the work culture here in Canada - send me an email.


*if this post breaks any of the rules of the site - please let me know and I will remove it.*



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Well Hello Lauren I remember you !!!!

What an excellent story of determination with a dose of reality... Everything you wrote about is basically how it is without the sugar coating - to a greater or lesser degree.

There were many people who moved about the same time we all did and there was a lot of conversation about jobs and settling - for some reason that's all died and most of the stuff is about application related things.  That's all fine, but it does not help the newly arrived. 

We all used to talk about the honeymoon phase etc.....

One thing that struck me in a big way and rang absolutely true is that "Canada is not SA."  When you come here you think it's an English country so you'll fit right in and be up and running in no time...  ER NO, error, error, error.  The culture shock is something like being punched in the face by an MMA :boxing: fighter who just had a fight with his life partner that morning.  (I said life partner, because just about every term known to people kind (note: not man kind - that's bad) is offensive to someone - you know, the professionally offended.  No resume required to be offended. Can't us Miss, Mrs, Ms, Mr, Master..... because everyone is full of gender-fluid now - even service Canada (by Liberal Decree) is banned from using Gender offensive terms, such as Mr...)

But... back to the topic at hand, I'm not known for wandering in rampant rants off topic.  It's just Peter and the Carbon ghost get my goat..... Or is it the Ghost of Carbonate?

A Canadian Resume is about the most important thing you need after you arrive.   And yes, condensing an SA CV is a challenge.  

But the most important part of your resume is going to be the cover letter - without that, you're in file 13... (Bin !) I think I can use the word bin, except Canadians don't know what a bin is, they only know trash can.  They still laugh at me 6 years later when I say "tea room", or "Bin", or "Dust Bin".... the list is endless.  (Hmm, perhaps they laugh at me for other more sinister reasons....?)

Integrating into Canadian society can be a huge challenge - I have seen people do it with ease (well it appears from the outside to be that way) - but by-and-large we all seemed to struggle the same.  I wonder now if I'd need a similar acclimatisation period if I went back to SA.

So, Lauren you go (fill in acceptable gender pronoun here :D)  - people would be smart to use your service to help them on their way. 


Disclaimer: I don't know Lauren personally, but I think the idea of getting help is a good one - especially from someone who knows the ropes.  Also, perhaps you might get some emotional support too? Eh Lauren? 




*Please consider the environments and carbon cookies before printing this email.  There is a price on carbon in Canada (I hear it on the radio everyday - Peter Pan Calling), it's our vilest polluter of the universe.  Aliens visited and told Peter Pan and the lost Boys and Girls, whom are locked in Cabinet that the earth is in imminent danger of melting down into carbon poop.  The north pole is melting and secretly freezing at the south pole, which will cause an inertial imbalance on the tropic or corny carbicorn.  This diabolical imbalance in the oxide of carbonaceous atomite will result in an imminent shift in the paradigm of carbon plant food to carbon fried oxtide.  Which will kill us all. Dead. Gone.  You have been warned !  






Edited by OutOfSa
Apologies for "an" used instead on "a" - i'm getting old.
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A lot of SAns struggle more than they expect when going into the Canadian corporate world. And that can come as a huge surprise. 

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