That million-dollar question every Brit will face at their first job interview in Canada.
“I like your track record, Mr. Smith. After quitting a highly successful law career, deciding that after 10 years the brain surgery field wasn’t for you and heading up the multi-national conglomerate and steering it into a $10 billion IPO, your resume is certainly impressive. But do you have Canadian experience?”
Argghhhh! It’s catch-22. How can you get Canadian experience if no one is willing to give you the chance?
I was VERY lucky. Landed a job within months of moving to Toronto and haven’t looked back since. But — I do say that we all make our own luck in life. I researched companies in Toronto six months before I left London, U.K., so was already ahead of the game before I landed. My first employer liked that initiative and I believe it helped land the role.
It breaks my cold English heart to see well-qualified immigrants not get the chance they deserve, and end up as taxi drivers or security guards. They leave a lot behind to start a new life in Canada, and then get a bad impression when no realistic job interview is offered to them after 200 application letters.
I won’t pretend to have a solution. But I have always believed that you hire people for the skills they bring to the table, their ability to do an excellent job, their track record and not because of where they’re from.
We should be embracing the highly skilled immigrants literally begging to come to this brilliant country and contribute to society.
A quick plug for Canadian Immigrant. You can read a lot of these tales of woe there in the letters section.
Update: Following a tweet, Settlement.org mentioned that they have an article on this very subject. Interesting to see that, and I quote, “In Ontario, employers cannot request Canadian work experience unless it is a legitimate job requirement.”