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Teachers Information Session hosted by Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants

Join us in Surrey for a special Information Session with the Teacher’s Regulation Branch! Shawn McMullin will be discussing the teaching certification process and participating in a Q&A period. We also have representatives from public and independent schools to share their hiring process and classroom challenges. Please bring your inquiries and take time to network and share information with other Teachers and Education Assistants!

Guest Speakers include:

Shawn McMullin – Director of Professional Excellence, Outreach, Teacher Regulation Branch, BC Ministry of Education

  • Teacher Regulation and types of teaching certificates
  • BC Teacher Education program
  • Current job market and salaries for teachers
  • TRB data summary

Suzanne Braun- Associate Manager, Human Resources – Recruitment, Surrey Schools

  • Hiring Process in Surrey Schools
  • Teacher and Education Assistants

Carazon P. Pabo – Vice-Principal, Khalsa School in Surrey, Former Director of FISA (Federation of Independent Schools in BC)

  • Joys and Challenges in K – 7 BC Classrooms

 

WHEN:  Thursday, October 3rd,  4-6pm

WHERE: Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants, Back in Motion

#260 – 7525 King George Blvd, Surrey, BC

 

Register for this event by emailing Regina.Sun@backinmotion.com

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4 Dimensions of Well-being that Influence your Career

Have you ever thought about how deeply your career is connected to your well-being in all its four main components: Physical, Psychological, Spiritual and Family health? Why does emotional stress and some of your thoughts (the negative ones) affect your body and eventually result in physical illness? Moreover, do you notice that physical activity improves and strengthens your psyche?

 

 

We would like to invite you to do a self-reflection exercise to discover how these components work together in your life, and influence each other.

How does the spiritual awareness help you make effective career decisions?

Why is the physical and psychological health sensitively influenced by stress and unhappiness in your career or at your work place?

How did the family you grew up in influence the career choices you’ve made?

Te Whare Tapa Wha

Inspired by the Maori philosophy, a tribe from New Zeeland, Dr Mason Durie developed the Te Whare Tapa Wha model, a great tool which can help you to develop your self-awareness about your career and the balance of a healthy life.

To illustrate the importance of each dimension of health, he used a very expressive symbol: Wharenui – the meeting house, whose visualization leads to a better understanding of the role of each component in holding the whole construction.  Click here to see the model.

Physical health is the foundation of strong construction, represented by the walls. They should be strong, but without a roof and windows, they cannot actually offer a proper space for living.

Psychological and Spiritual components are represented by windows which permit the light (of wisdom) to enter the house. Only in the light we can distinguish objects and colours, so only in the spiritual light of our main values we can understand meanings and emotions, and consequently we can make the right decisions in life and career.

Family is represented by the roof, offering protection and security and also the old generation offer models to the young family members, influencing their career.

In normal life conditions, as Dr. Durie says, all four components must be strong, balanced, and interconnected to hold the whole structure. However, there are extreme situations where the physical and psychological health can be deeply affected by improper life conditions, but the spiritual component offers a strong motivation, based on strong values, for fighting and continuation of life.

Certainly, a proper understanding of the importance of each health component can help us keep a good life balance and harmony, including career development.

If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Durie’s model, click here.

Written by Ramona Bandrabur, Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants

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Meet Xueyang!

Xueyang arrived to Canada in September 2019.He holds a PhD. in Oncology from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China. Apart from his PhD, he also has a Master of Science degree in Cell Biology from the Ocean University of China and a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Guangdong Ocean University.

He has more than 5 years of experience in the biological research industry. He worked at the Saliai Stem Cell Science and Technology Co. Ltd as an Immunocyte Department Manager in Guangzhou, China from 2016 to 2018 and before that as a Research & Development Assistant with the Allcare Biomedical Development Co. Ltd in Qingdao, China.

After his arrival to Canada, Xueyang was actively looking for work and sent a number of job applications within the biological research industry in Canada especially to organizations doing research in his area of interest (Oncology). He targeted a few universities in British Columbia as well as in Canada. Unfortunately he had no success in gaining related work.

He joined the Career Paths Program in January 2019 and his counselor guided him with a detailed plan for his job search, selecting potential employers and targeting his resume to match their organization’s objective.

His main focus was on developing an effective networking plan. Xueyang diligently followed his plan and reached out to organizations he was interested to work for.

After two weeks following this strategy Xueyang was invited for a Skype Interview with the University of Montreal. He prepared very carefully for the interview and practiced a mock interview with his counselor. He gained the confidence needed for the interview and was successful!

Based on his perfect presentation at the interview he was offered a position of a Post-doctoral fellow; a position that matches his work experience and education very well.

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The Power of a Thank You Letter

Have you ever felt frustrated after an interview?  Sure you have! I know you’ve mentally gone over your interview answers and…you remember what you DID NOT say and you realize you missed an opportunity to REINFORCE your candidacy. Well, this is why you write a strategic Thank You letter, which will position you back in the “game.”

Of course, it all depends on how badly you’ve messed things up. Sometimes, there is no backpedaling, but let’s assume for a moment that you can recoup or cement your candidacy–what then do you say in your Thank You letter besides…thank you?

The problem with most Thank You letters is they are usually prepared as just a nice gesture. Saying thank you is a very nice thing to do and it does go a long way, but if written as an ordinary thank you, it is not strategic enough to add another dimension to your candidacy, it doesn’t leverage as an additional qualifier, and doesn’t elevate your interview performance. In other words, use your Thank You opportunity as a last marketing tool in order to gain a competitive distinction.

Here are a few things you can do to take advantage of the follow up opportunity. Remember, now you have “insider” information that you did not have prior to the interview—don’t waste it.

When Your Interviewer Shared a Concern:  If during the interview process, you were told that the perfect candidate must meet XYZ and you discussed your lack in one of these areas, you need to talk about this again. Concisely bring it up, reiterate why this would not be a problem, and, in fact, promote how despite this “weakness” you are the PERFECT candidate.

When You Did Not Say What You Should Have Said: At times, we reflect and in retrospect recognize where we failed. Well, this is your opportunity! Bring up the topic and say you would like to elaborate, you would like to expand; you had time to think about this and want to convey the following.

When You Think You Sensed Apprehension:  This is a bit risky because you could be wrong. Yet, what is life if not risky? If you are very good at perceiving and ascertaining needs and you KNOW you identified a problem–“smooth” it out! Please do not say you think the interviewer did not understand… You NEVER want to convey you assume to know what others think but you can discuss what YOU failed to communicate. You can say you would like to clarify a point you wish you had emphasized.

When You Really Just Want to Say Thank You: There are times when you were FANTASTIC during an interview and you sincerely just want to say, thanks!  Nevertheless, you don’t know how your competition performed and you are not privy as to what kind of Thank You letter they are preparing. So, in this case, thank them but fortify your candidacy even further.

 

Written by Sogol Jamali, Career Paths Placement Specialist

 

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Avoiding Job Scams

Recently some of my clients have reported being contacted by an employer to go for an interview where they had never applied for a job! Some of them went to the interview and then subsequently found out they were NOT being considered for a managerial position, as they had been led to believe, but were instead offered an entry level and sometimes commission-based sales job.

When an employer contacts you and you did not apply for any position with them, think of this as an early warning sign telling you to proceed with caution. It is usually NOT so easy to get an interview, and for most jobs you must really prove yourself qualified and worthy. Ask yourself why this employer is contacting you or why a job has been offered so readily after a short or non-existent interview? — It could be that the work is difficult and low-paying OR it could be that the position and company are a scam designed to get your personal information and even your money.

When you are considering going to an interview or accepting a position, make sure you have researched the company online. Try googling the company name and reading what comes up. Also look at websites like glassdoor.com to find out about the salaries and what past employees are saying about the company. If the organization has a website, look to see if it is a good one: does it describe exactly what the company offers its customers? Does it have a contact number? Do you see any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in the website?

If you decide to go for the interview, make sure you follow your intuition! If the job offer seems to fall in your lap with the briefest of interviews and it seems too good to be true, this might actually be the case. Be cautious if you are asked immediately too many personal details such as address, birth date, social insurance number, and especially banking information. You can always tell a perspective employer that you need a day or two to think about your response to a job offer, and then you have time to seek out more information before making a decision.

Tip written by Heather Musser, Career Paths Career Counsellor, Back in Motion

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September Surrey Workshop Schedule

We have THREE great workshops coming in September for Career Paths clients living in Surrey! If you’re one of our clients and you haven’t attended any of our sessions, we’d love to see you there!

Interview Preparation –  Monday, September 9th from 3pm – 5pm

  • Tips for Interview Preparation
  • Presenting your skills and competencies
  • Researching employers needs
  • Common Interview Questions
  • Answering Behavioral Questions

 Employment Standards – Friday, September 13th from 1pm – 3pm

  • Review BC Employment Standards – Minimum wages, deductions, overtime, breaks, vacation, leaves, special clothing, statutory holidays
  • Understand Compensation for length of service and resolving disputes etc.
  • Resources & contact information for future reference

Canadian Workplace Culture and Communication – Monday, September 23rd 3pm – 5pm

  • What is Culture?
  • Communication Style: Low Context vs. High Context communication
  • Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory
    • Individualism vs. Collectivism
    • Power Distance and Management Styles
  • Process of Cross-Cultural Adaptation

Please note, these workshops are only available to Back in Motion Career Paths Clients. If you are a Career Paths client with a different organization, please contact them to find out what workshops they are offering.

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Free Resume Workshops at the Newton Library

 

Looking for free resume help?

Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants has partnered up with Surrey Libraries and is offering Resume Workshops at the Newton Branch. 

 

Summer and Fall Schedule 2019

Monday, July 29, 2019 1pm-2:30pm   Register Here

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 3pm-5pm  Register Here

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 3pm-5pm  Register Here

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 3pm-5pm   Register Here

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 3pm-5pm  Register Here

 

 

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The dilemma of phone interviews and quick remedy tips that may help

If you ask anyone who just had a phone interview how it went, you will probably get a reply something along this line. “….it was not too bad but I am not too sure…I should have…”
Phone interviews are a tricky business and you can never be totally prepared. For one, the interviewer will always give you a time range in which they will call you and logically speaking, are you really going to be sitting in one spot waiting for their call?
Even if you somehow managed to glue yourself to a spot, chances are that you might be playing the famous mental game called “best ways to live like a millionaire” when the all-important call comes in and then you struggle against time to get yourself composed before the next ring from your phone.
Although there are many blogs and articles available online providing tips on how to do well in a phone interview, it does no harm knowing more. So here are 2 tips which could be beneficial to you.

Tip 1: Be mentally prepared – Run the interview in your mind step by step

• Introduction: Work on the basic things like your greeting when you receive the call, simple responses to ice breakers or leading questions to ask to help facilitate the conversation.

• Body: Identify 3 to 4 important pieces of information about yourself which you would like to share with the interviewer that are related to the job but are not in your resume.

• Conclusion: Prepare a subtle “Thank you and please invite me” speech to end the interview.

Tip 2: Document the strategic mental plan – Leverage on the fact that the interviewers will not be able to see you

• Make sure you list down all the key words you would like to mention during the interview and categorize them accordingly. Highlight them if you have to.

• Research and create resources that may assist you for the interview and place them before you or ensure they are easily accessible if required during the interview.

The next time you have a phone interview, consider these additional steps. Once the interview is done and you have managed to say the essentials on your list, then you know you have done the best you could.

Good luck!!

Raj Sidhu, Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants Career Counsellor

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Creating Successful Cover Letters

 

 

A good cover letter shows you are an ideal candidate for the job because you possess all the skills, experience, and attributes to bring success to the company. Typically, the cover letter should have 3-5 separated paragraphs, and it should include the same header as your resume. It should contain NO ERRORS in spelling or grammar. If at all possible on the job search, it is important to ask AT LEAST one person skilled in written English to look over your emails correspondence and cover letters (your Career Counselor is available to assist).

Your first paragraph should mention your interest in applying for a certain position, and you should name the job title you are applying for. This paragraph is also a great place to mention any previous contact you’ve had with the company. For example, you might say “Talking with Wendy, in your Human Resources Department, really ignited my interest in applying for the Lab Technician Position.” You should also present a sort of Thesis Statement, mentioning 2 or 3 words or concise phrases to summarize what you would bring to the employer. Take this example from TheBalanceCareers.com Website: “I believe that my five years of experience in office administration and my passion for your products make me an ideal candidate for this role”.

The body of your cover letter is where you want to highlight your most RELEVANT skills and strengths. To write these paragraphs and/or bullet points, carefully study the job description, and if you don’t really have one, find some additional job descriptions to scrutinize. Pick out key skills, attributes, and experiences which the employer is looking for and make sentences to prove you possess an asset and you can make a difference to the company. You can also list accolades from colleagues or concrete examples of changes which you effected. DO NOT copy verbatim the points already mentioned in your resume.

An effective way to highlight your assets is to make a bulleted list in the body of your cover letter. Bullets really show your skill and experience in an immediate way. As a general rule, create no more than 5-6 concisely worded bullets; if a bullet becomes longer than 2 lines it may be best to it into a paragraph format. Note also that a bullet should start with a strong action word which shows how you took action to accomplish certain tasks or to produce certain outcomes.

How should you close your cover letter? Make a sentence or two to reiterate your interest in helping the company succeed and make sure to mention one or two additional key attributes you might bring. Indicate your willingness to further discuss your qualifications in an interview and make sure your contact information is listed there at the closing. You could simply put your phone and email information after your signature, or you can mention it in your last sentence.

 

Tip written by Heather Musser, Career Paths Career Counsellor, Back in Motion

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