If you have recently arrived in Canada, you likely know how important it is to stay positive when dealing with NO!
No! The word none of us like to hear. And when that happens repeatedly, it certainly isn’t the best feeling on earth. For some reason or the other you will keep hearing this word in your initial few months of arrival.
Don’t be disheartened, and stay positive. It is all part of your settlement into this wonderful country, Canada! Just imagine walking into a large hall where you do not know anybody, how would you react? Overwhelmed?! This is somewhat similar. You are walking into a new country, though as a Permanent Resident, but someone completely new and alien to the people here. They know nothing about your:
- religious beliefs
- behaviour, etc.
You need to make your presence felt, your personality needs to shine.
Now as fancy as that might sound, what we all wonder is: how are going to do that?! It will take time to figure that out. We all did, eventually. A few examples of the NO’s you could hear in your settlement process are:
- NO! to bank loans (though you’ve never been a defaulter)
- NO! to renting a place (though you’re a good, clean & responsible person)
- NO! to buying a car or phone through financing (though you’re not a crook)
- NO! to jobs (though you might have applied with better credentials than required)
There could be a few more NO’s! but these I believe, are the most concerning. The immediate next question that comes to mind is How and What should I do to overcome these? So, through my personal experience let me guide you on how to stay positive and steps you could take to smile through this NO! challenge.
Four tips on how to stay positive when dealing with NO!
1. Build your social life
Job and money are two of the biggest pain points for most of us but what we often forget is that this is going to be our new home. You need a social life (friends) too. People you can trust, confide, party, relax, travel and do things you can’t do at work. We often leave this aspect of our new life to be dealt with later but, let me remind you it’s a very important feel good factor. We all love to have some downtime and that’s when you will crave your social circle the most. So, invest your initial few days to get to know the:
- language (if you can) of the locals
Join your neighbourhood library for example. You can read up a lot from there too. Most public libraries even have regular events which have good attendance by newcomers and locals alike. Some libraries even have events happening around the city which are free to attend and those could be sweet spots to meet and interact with people. Also, look up google/local websites for events happening in different parts of the city, which you could access conveniently. Never hurts to travel a bit. You’ll get to know your city better 😊.
Socialising Do’s and Don’ts to help you stay positive
- Smile, be humble and greet everyone. Sweetness always pays, besides shows your friendly approach.
- Speak with confidence. Doesn’t matter if your language/accent isn’t as polished as theirs, it’s your confidence that will grab their attention.
- Be prepared to listen. It’s a virtue that shows you respect about what others are saying.
- Have an open mind. You never know when someone could pass on something vital.
- Be prepared to learn and accept different personalities and people. Canada embraces diversity, and if you show respect, you’ll get it back.
- Social events are fun and passive networking zones not areas where you carry your resume around. Do not go looking for work with every person you meet! Remember you are there to make friends not colleagues. If that happens in a casual way, then super!
- Avoid political and religious topics as much as you can. They’re sensitive topics for some and you never know when you may press a pain point. Best to be neutral.
- Don’t hesitate to talk to more and more people. As they say, ‘never put all your eggs in one basket’. You want to know the maximum people you can.
2. Create a Canadian Style Resume
You have tens of years of experience or just good enough, capability of handling big teams or working in one, a master’s degree or a professional certification or a unique skill set, it all boils down to creating a CV/Resume which matches the requirements and guidelines of the Canadian Market. As we all know it is important to stand out and be seen and a good structured resume can do the trick.
Most of us follow and circulate our old (home country) resume and are often left disappointed to learn that we were not even considered for the position which was right up our alley. It is because of this very reason; not following the Canadian resume formatting styles. You do not need to completely rework your existing resume but would need to tweak and change it to match the requirements of the Canadian standards. It’s just like in any other country so don’t look at it as an added burden of work but as means to revisit your old and may be outdated style.
A simple do and don’t avoid blindly copying someone else’s work. Take it as an example and be unique in your own way. See how you could best maximize your experience and skills and design your resume/CV your way.
For more ideas on how to create a Canadian style resume and helpful templates, download our free ebook:
3. Build your network
Don’t you feel that jealousy or anger when you see someone half as skilled or experienced as you working at good jobs? I did! No shame in that. But in my first few weeks I realized that it all comes down to how well you’re connected. How many people do you know and vice-versa? And No! it’s not just on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, but in person. It’s a well-known fact, most jobs anywhere in the world are ‘hidden’ jobs.
There are plenty of organised networking events that take place throughout the city; some formal and some informal. Make sure to keep a regular tab of these and try and make it to a few each month, irrespective of having a job or not. You should always consider yourself new to the country and maximize the opportunity to meet and get to know more people. You never know where life takes you and what you may discover along the way.
An anonymous quote I read comes to mind here:
‘When it comes to networking, a single strong bond is better than a stack of business cards.’
Here are some helpful networking tips
|Networking Do’s||Networking Don’ts|
4. Find your home away from home
Immigration doesn’t guarantee you a job, a home or a car. Now the big question when you arrive is finding the right place to live and the right way to travel. For most of us our first home is a rental unit/apartment or just a room in a shared space. A good rental is always a struggle to find and when you do, you hear the dreaded NO! Prospective landlords may say you don’t have good credit, references or a full-time job. Now you’re so new to the country that none of the above reasons can be rectified any time soon.
The concerns landlords have in an immigrant dominant population might sound a bit harsh, but if you look at it from a landlord’s perspective it’s fair too. They could or may foresee a situation where they or their rental unit could be crooked. So, what do you do then? All is not lost here.
Now you can’t wait to settle in until you have a job. You need a home irrespective, right? So here working around some of the above discussed points such as building your social life, friends/colleagues, etc. could vouch for you. There have been occasions when landlords track social media accounts of prospective tenants to investigate the authenticity of the person, so here your local Canadian professional connections could come in handy (at least it did so in a few cases I saw).
How these activities will help you stay positive when dealing with NO!
Now what good do these activities do? They’ll help you to overcome NO! stay positive, and help you to blend into life in Canada. When you know how to stay positive, slowly but surely, you begin to realize that the initial struggle is a phase and not the end of the world. Everything starts to fall in place just like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. It has never been and never will be easy to migrate to a foreign land and expect everything to go as planned from day one. So, keep hustling, keep smiling, keep a positive attitude and be ready to stumble, fall and eventually rise. Learn to respect your new friends, try to embrace their culture, their habits, their rules and always be ready to help.
My father told me before I left home to settle in Canada “Son, people are not bad! Circumstances make them behave differently”, so always have compassion in your heart and don’t be judgmental too soon and you will be just fine.
So this is me, Rohan Lakhotia. I live life on the edge. Plan small, live big!
I was born and raised in Mumbai, India. In 2016 I secured my double Masters; one from Singapore and the other from UK.
Wife and I moved to Vancouver on the 23rd of January, 2018 for a simple reason; better quality of life and a fresh change from a busy city life and that’s exactly what I got and what I love.
My Mother always said “SMILE, however bad things get it’ll only be a phase. Slowly everything will be fine.”.