Job-Search: Clearing Obstacles from Your Career Path
By Mimi Chandy, Job Developer at Skills for Change (SfC)
Not long ago, Miguel was despondent at not finding work in his chosen career – engineering. Having left his native Colombia for Canada in search of better opportunities for his wife and son, he found it very hard to fit in. Well-spoken and with extensive work experience, Miguel’s sound that his self-confidence was nonetheless eroded by employers’ insistence on ‘Canadian work experience’. He was caught in a vicious circle: no meaningful employment or Canadian experience!
For Miguel, cultural nuances – body language, eye contact, etiquette – were areas he needed to learn. Confusion and frustration had caused lack of confidence. That’s when he turned the corner and found assistance from Skills for Change (SfC).
A few months after his nine-week course on job search, English language enhancement, body language training, interview skills and business etiquette, Miguel was on the right path. He secured employment as a Maintenance Supervisor overseeing thirteen plants across the Greater Toronto Area, helping one of Canada’s largest cement companies expand their production. Grateful for SfC’s tools and resources, Miguel is now eager to help other internationally trained professionals(ITPs) make their job-search experience more positive and productive.
In addition to programs for internationally-trained accountants, bookkeepers, engineers, and medical doctors, SfC also works directly with:
- Corporations – providing companies with diversity training services, educating management teams on harnessing the power of diversity and building an inclusive workplace.
- Recruitment partners – SfC works with global recruitment firm Adecco Employment Services Limited, to educate ITPs on working effectively with recruiters to help further their career paths; and TalentOyster (talentoyster.com), a revolutionary job board that “speaks to” a diverse population in their own language and engages members interactively.
- Diversity @ Work Leadership Series – Launched in February 2010, this training event empowers ITPs to: network with corporations’ hiring managers and HR personnel; learn how companies are creating inclusive diverse work environments and understanding the immense value that ITPs bring.
- New Pioneers Awards (NPA) – For over 18 years, this SfC gala has showcased the accomplishments of ITPs. Each year, the NPA is attended by over 500 community and business leaders, giving newcomers an opportunity to meet and greet corporate contacts.
To learn more about how SfC programs help create career paths for ITPs through language programs, job-search workshops, mentoring and settlement aid, visit www.skillsforchange.org.