Michaels Experience

How I Landed a Job Within My First Week In Canada

Toronto Canada image

A very important aspect of immigrating to Canada is landing a job once you arrive. It is not an easy task for most depending on the level of demand and the province you are moving to. Everyone goes through this process one way or another and it takes time, dedication, and focus.

We interviewed a gentleman who, he himself, had to search for and land a job and was able to accomplish this tedious task. Michael Howe-Ely worked as a Digital Marketing Analyst in South Africa and was seeking a similar role In Canada.

In this blog, we will learn how Michael started networking before and after his move, what platforms he used, and what his job search (internal link) strategy was. He also included some very insightful tips in his job searching venture.

How Long Did It Take To Land Your Job In Canada?

Fortunately, Digital Marketing Analyst is the type of role that is pretty standard across the world.
First off, I received PR In October of 2019. Once that happened I started applying for jobs in Canada within the same month. In December of 2019, I started doing phone interviews before landing in Canada in late January 2020. In the first week of February, I did an in-person interview, and within the second week, received and accepted an offer.


When and How Did You Start Your Networking Journey?

I had been building connections with people in Toronto who work in digital marketing for some time, but It was based on shared interests, not the fact that they were living in Toronto. I also started a personal website and blog in which I wrote about topics specific to my Industry.

I reached out to other South Africans on the SA Canada Facebook page, then set up some coffee meet-ups for the first couple of weeks.
I even spent some time building up relationships with people in Toronto who worked in Digital Marketing. I ended up meeting with an online friend for coffee the first week in the city.

Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter were helpful too. Although, I focused on building connections on Twitter more than I did on LinkedIn. In my opinion, LinkedIn is not a great place to authentically build relationships. For LinkedIn, I just tidied up my profile and made It look nice.


Tips For Connecting With Organizations In Canada

I applied to around 40 jobs and heard back from two. I also applied to various job ads. However, keep in mind that these job postings get flooded with applicants. So, if you’re outside Canada when you apply, be very specific about when you’re arriving.


How Did You Adapt Your Resume For Canadian Purposes?

First, keep in mind certain Canadian (North American) practices. For example, It’s “January 4th, 2020” not “4th January 2020”. Also, be sure to explain what the company was that you previously worked for.

I didn’t work for Pick n Pay (a household name In SA) but if I did I would have included a quick description such as “Second largest FMCG retailer In South Africa with XXX branches and XXX CAD In annual revenue”. That will make it very easy for a Canadian to quickly understand the type of companies you worked for stated in your resume.


Were you open to considering other roles?

It’s an unfortunate but common reality that many people will not be able to work in their profession in Canada, upon arrival. Especially if you are applying and interviewing before arriving In the country.


What Are Your Thoughts On Taking A Pay Cut Just To “Get Started”?

You gotta do what you gotta do. Taking on a more junior role in your chosen profession is a good option. Fortunately, I got an offer for a role in my profession fairly quickly so didn’t need to consider other options.


How Did You Determine Your PayScale?

You can use websites like Payscale and Glassdoor to get a good idea of Canadian salaries for specific roles. Another tool you can utilize is websites like Numbeo and Expatistan to get a rough estimate on how a certain salary in Canada would translate to a salary in South Africa based on the cost of living.

Key Thoughts From Michael

I think it’s important to learn about Canadian culture and specifically the city you’re moving to. Watch Canadian news and TV shows. Know the parks, the sports teams, and what’s going on in the community. Being ignorant about life in Canada might suggest you won’t be able to assimilate well with the team and/or workplace.

Be aware of the standards expected for the role in Canada vs the role in South Africa because these might differ. Understanding the cultural differences between SA and Canada is important, for instance, South Africans can sometimes be more direct and blunt when discussing things.

These traits can be an asset or a liability depending on the situation!

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