ding work anywhere in the world can be a challenging experience, when I first came to Canada all those years ago, I fully expected my job hunt in Canada to be difficult. What I did not expect was to find that I had to radically change a lot of my behaviours to adapt to Canada’s working environment.
To master this will take time, I’ve been in Canada for years and I’m still learning. However, there are a few things that you can do to prepare for the job hunt and give you the edge over your fellow immigrants as we are all hungry for our dream job in Canada. 1. Take some time to learn the basics
Doing some initial research on how the industry or company that you want to work for behaves is very important. For example, when I was applying for my first job here, I was surprised at how equal everyone was treated. I was much more used to a rigid hierarchy when in actual fact, in most jobs in Canada people are generally treated equally.
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2. Learn what to wear and how to act
You need to understand what is expected of you in Canada. How you will need to dress for an interview is very important. Many, if not all job interviews require smart dress. Some industries have a more casual approach, so try to feel out the company before showing up for an interview.
During the interview you can get a real feel for the office and work environment, take this opportunity to look around the office and see what people are wearing and what the atmosphere is like.
3. Learn what your manager needs and act on that knowledge
By taking extra special care to read through the job description, you can tailor your resume and cover letter before an interview. You can also prepare some answers to standard interview questions that lead to you discussing relevant experience based on this.
The biggest piece of advice I can give from my experience is that you need to be able to adapt. Once you start working at the new job, you may find, as I did, that the job description differed from what was actually expected of me. If the requests are reasonable, you should look to meeting your manager's expectations and even exceeding them.
4. Communicating in the Canadian workplace well can take practice
Depending on your background and proficiency with English it may be second nature to be diplomatic when conversing with colleagues. You may on the other, hand be used to a much more direct communication style than your Canadian colleagues expect.
You will be very grateful for the time and extra effort it takes to change a demand, into a polite request. Interpersonal relationships and networking are essential to a career in Canada, so smile, be patient, and communicate well.
5. Be professional and punctual
If you are working in a formal office setting this can be very important. You should conduct yourself with the level of professionalism that your fellow colleagues exhibit. In my experience, it is better to err on the side of being too polite than to overstep. This can be especially important in more casual settings where the lines are a little more blurry. Don’t worry, it sounds very complicated, but you will be just fine.
6. Be a go getter
Canadian employees love it when you take the initiative, I have found that being as self sufficient as possible is a great way to earn my manager’s trust in Canada. Being careful not to overstep but showing that you are willing to be a problem solver rather than just pointing out mistakes is a huge asset to any company.