Canadian employers put a high emphasis on soft skills, which are personal attributes that enhance your interactions, job performance, and career prospects. Unlike your hard skills, you can apply your soft skills broadly.
Soft skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and communication are important for biotech professionals. As an individual working in biotechnology, you are expected to work well with others, be a good team member, be able to communicate verbally and in writing, and get along with people who are different racially and ethnically, or who are of different ages.
In addition to your technical knowledge, you’ll be judged on your listening, writing, and basic communication skills. If your hard skills will get you an interview, most probably it is your soft skills that will get you the job and enable you to keep it afterward.
Upgrading your education and skills through a bridging program or other courses and workshops may be an important part of your journey to get into the bio-economy sector in Canada.
You may have strong technical skills, but often that is not enough to get a job or maintain it afterward. You may need more training or skills upgrading, especially with regards to your communication skills and team dynamics.
Having strong skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages – English or French – is extremely important for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English, which is the working language in the sector, or French, which is the country’s other official language, will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you intend to live.
You may be eligible for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) classes through the school boards or settlement agencies. There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as job-specific language training and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT). And, if you already speak English at a high level, learning French is a good option, as it may offer you better opportunities.
Many immigrants take further education after coming to Canada. Some even want to change careers or enhance their careers with a Ph.D. or MBA.
Click here for links to Canadian Universities and Colleges.
Bridging programs are a good way to transition from your international experience and training to the Canadian workplace. Many colleges, universities, and immigrant-serving agencies offer bridging programs or workshops. You may be eligible for one. Do some research to find a program that’s suitable for you.
University of Toronto (Mississauga)
Certificate in Life Science Enterprise Management
This program offers an intensive certificate in Canadian Biotechnology Enterprise. Courses include Canadian biotechnology and biopolicy, occupation-specific language training, workplace culture and communications training. The program also offers employment services, mentoring and personal coaching.