Getting the job you want in Canada can be challenging. When I came to Canada years ago, I expected my job hunt to be difficult. But what I didn’t expect was how I had to change my behaviour to adapt to the Canadian work environment. To master this will take time, I’ve been in Canada for years and I’m still learning.
However, there are a few things that you can do to prepare for the job hunt and give you the edge over other newcomers who are eager to find their dream job in Canada.
Here are six essential tips that I found useful.
1. Take time to learn the basics to get the job you want
It’s essential to research the companies that you want to work for and especially their culture. For example, when I was applying for my first job here, I was surprised at how equally everyone was treated. I was much more used to a rigid hierarchy when in actual fact, in most jobs in Canada people are generally treated equally.
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2. Learn what to wear and how to act
You need to understand what is expected of you in Canada. How you will need to dress for an interview is very important. Many, if not all job interviews require smart dress. Some industries have a more casual approach, so try to feel out the company before you show up for an interview.
During the interview, you can get a real feel for the office and work environment, take the opportunity to look around the office and see what people are wearing and what the atmosphere is like.
3. Learn what your manager needs and act on that knowledge
Take special care to read through the job description, you can tailor your resume and cover letter before an interview. You can also prepare answers to common interview questions that include your relevant experience based on the job description.
The best piece of advice I can give from my experience is that you need to be able to adapt. Once you start working at the new job, you may find, as I did, that the job description differed from what was actually expected of me. If the requests are reasonable, you should look to meet and exceed your manager’s expectations.
4. Communicating well in the Canadian workplace takes practice
Depending on your background and proficiency with English it may be second nature to be diplomatic when conversing with colleagues. You may on the other, hand be used to a more direct communication style than your Canadian colleagues expect. You will be very grateful for the extra time and effort it takes to change your demand into a polite request.
Interpersonal relationships and networking are essential to a career in Canada and to get the job you want. So remember to smile, be patient, and communicate well.
5. Be professional and punctual when you get the job you want
If you are working in a formal office setting this can be very important. You should conduct yourself with the level of professionalism that your fellow colleagues exhibit. In my experience, it is better to err on the side of being too polite than to overstep. This can be especially important in more casual settings where the lines are a little more blurry. Don’t worry, it sounds very complicated, but you will be just fine.
6. Be a go-getter
Canadian employees love it when you take the initiative, I have found that being as self-sufficient as possible is a great way to earn my manager’s trust in Canada. Be careful not to overstep but show that you are willing to be a problem solver rather than just pointing out mistakes. This is a huge asset to any company.
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