It’s important to find someone who can coach or mentor you and share information about your industry in Canada. Many professional associations offer this type of “buddy” program, where a seasoned member guides a junior one.
Many immigrant settlement agencies also have such mentorship programs where they team up a newcomer with someone in their professional field.
Or, you can handle it on your own. If, for example, you know a Canadian — immigrant or not — who you believe has experiences and achievements that are worth learning from, ask this person for advice about your own education or career path. This may continue into an ongoing relationship, with the person acting as your mentor.
Once you’re established in Canada, return the favour to more recent newcomers.
Not exactly a mentorship or volunteer opportunity, job shadowing is an interesting way to get some inside information on your industry in Canada, how the Canadian workplace operates and possibly some good networking contacts.
You will be hard-pressed to find any postings or programs for job shadowing for immigrants. More than likely, this is something you’ll have to initiate yourself on your own terms. For example, if there’s a company you’re interested in working with, consider cold calling their human resources manager or other manager, and ask for an informational interview to discuss the possibility of job shadowing.
Job shadowing can provide you with the following opportunities.
1. Observe daily work activities
2. Meet and network with people in your industry, creating a list of contacts for the future
3. Witness a Canadian workplace in action