One thing international students need to know about Canada

Here’s the thing:

Canada is a welcoming nation but is not a hand-holding society.

Every year, thousands of students like you, new talent from all over the world, come to Canada
in pursuit of a better life and career opportunities, hungry to contribute to the growth of this
thriving society and build an exciting career and Canadian experience.

Meaningful Canadian experience!

Meaningful Canadian experience that challenges you and serves as a strong foundation to
support future immigration processes, or meaningful Canadian experience that you can take
with you and apply towards the betterment of your countries of origin.

Acknowledge the frustration you may go through while building the experience:
Getting that experience comes with challenges, of course, and many of you get frustrated when
your work prospects delay in materializing, impacting your morale and self-confidence. If you
come to this country with so much experience and education, what is the reason for not getting
calls from potential employers? Why is it taking you so long to get to do work that moves you?
Are employers blind in this country? aren’t they reading all the accomplishments outlined in the
resumes you are submitting?

Some of you were told that jobs were going to fall off the trees; you were told that Canada was
a great destination because the ageing population is clearing the path for countless career
opportunities. You thought it was going to be so easy!

Well, again, what no one told you is that Canada is a welcoming nation but is NOT a hand-
holding society!

Avoid complaining and reflect on how you are making the most of this experience:

Your frustration becomes evident even though you are failing to evaluate your methods and ask
yourself other important questions: out of those resumes you are sending, how can you
measure how many of them actually get to touch human hands? and also, are you really
making the most of the experience of being in this country? are you making an effort to
understand the dynamics of the Canadian workplace? are you connecting with the right people
to get valuable insight into how you can land the jobs you want? or on the contrary, are you
limiting yourself and are only interacting with folks who speak your native language and share
your same culture?

There are millions of opportunities indeed but they are not going to chase you. You have to
chase them down! Canada does not care that you have two master’s degrees under your belt
and the experience that comes with that if you are unable to engage with people to whom you
can talk about that. If you decide to play safe and hide behind your laptop, you should not
complain or whine about the fact that you are not doing meaningful work.
Challenge Yourself:

If you are from China and only hang out with the Chinese, if you are Brazilian and decide to
move to an apartment with five other Brazilians knowing for a fact that not a single word in
English will be ever spoken, if you are from India and in class you choose to sit only with Indian
students, then what was the point of making the investment of moving to a new country? It is
not only about changing the geographic location; it is about immersing in the language and the
work culture in Canada.

You might be the most qualified on paper, but if you do not talk about those qualifications with
the people who matter, then nobody cares! you cannot sugarcoat the reality that many of you
face when communication and the lack of contacts are still big barriers that many of you
endure.

Get creative to get noticed:
You must take action and find out what services are available in the institutions where you
study, so you get the support that eases your transition into life in Canada. Platforms like
Linkedin, Glassdoor, and Ten Thousand Coffees, provide the means not only to connect with
like-minded individuals who can help you understand the industries you want to be part of, but
also to research the market, review companies, and get your foot in the door to seize countless
opportunities.

You cannot continue relying solely on online job applications in the hopes of landing your
dream jobs because that is simply not an effective strategy; it is actually quite obsolete!

There are numerous chances to join forces not only with folks who are Canadian born and
raised, but also with people from all over the world to forge incredible career opportunities, to
create, and to innovate.

If you want to thrive in this country, you have to stop waiting for the moment when Canada
holds your hand to start walking the path because that moment might never come.
You must avoid resting on your laurels at all costs!

Written by David Mendoza
Keep shining – Keep thriving
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