Top 8 things you need to know before you go to Canada!


Nick Noorani, always a happy chap

Reprinted by kind permission of the smiling gent above who started Prepare For Canada.

This year is the beginning of my seventeenth year in Canada. Seventeen years of working to help immigrants succeed and thereby give back to the country I adopted. Here are some tips beyond my 7 Success Secrets!

1) Get all your papers ready. Starting from your educational documents, birth, and marriage or divorce documents. Driver’s license, valuables, good to follow all critical. For a complete list, go here.

2) Research your location. Most immigrants go to where they have a close or distant relative which is good but not ideal from a career perspective. Find out the labour market demand for your profession and choose your location accordingly. Remember, with Canada being so big (second largest country in the world by landmass!) once you land moving becomes pretty expensive.

3) Research your career — is it a regulated or unregulated career? If it is the former and you go through the process of getting your credentials recognised, do remember that this changes form one Province to another. In other words, if you move from Ontario to British Columbia you need to see whether your credentials still meet the requirements.

4) Choose your landing time if you can. I hear of so many who land in December or January when the weather challenges will distract you from the whole settlement process. Additionally, that is not a time you want to be going out looking for a job. The ideal time is mid-year when it is summer and just right before schools open in September. You get to go familiarize yourself in new city, connect with a settlement agency and hopefully make friends!

5) Get your finances organized. If you have attended our webinars you know that we work exclusively with Scotiabank as we believe they provide a superior product and customer service for newcomers. Find out more about their StartRight program here.

6) Have realistic expectations. Many immigrants migrate at the peak of their career and, understandably, want to pick up where they left off when they move to Canada. Have realistic expectations, but aim for the sky. Here’s the point: It took me 23 years to reach where I was in the advertising industry in my home country, so I cannot realistically expect I will instantly be at the same point immediately in a new country!

7) Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Not exclusive to migrants, fully understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses and being truly self-aware is not always easy. As human beings, we often find it difficult to face up to reality, accept when we’re wrong, admit to making mistakes, and acknowledge we may not be very good at something. To thrive in a new country, it’s critical to put down your defenses and to objectively reassess your skills in a new light — a Canadian light.

8) Seek help and advice. The first thing you should do is connect with a credentialing service that will help you get started on having your education qualifications recognized. Click here to get started. Next, ask for assistance from the many immigrant settlement agencies. They will help you with an accurate self-assessment of your soft skills which you can elaborate on in job cover letters and interviews. And don’t just stop there! Get a mentor, start networking within your profession and get on your way to success one step at a time.

So there you have it. More tips to help you succeed in Canada! Every month, I will be talking more about this in our newsletter. The only way to get it is to subscribe here.

Lastly, don’t forget to attend our Know Before You Go webinar and prepare for success in Canada!


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