How did you find out about Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants? Any story about your first approach with the counselors?
A friend who had availed similar services informed me about it. After filling the form online, my initial contact was with Ramona, who was easy to speak with and gave the info what the program was about.
What services did you receive from Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants?
My Career counsellor helped me understand how the program works, what the job market looks like and what programs/courses will be the helpful to steer the career in the right direction. I was able to bridge the employability gap by working on my shortcomings and presenting my strengths strongly.
My Job developer helped me prepare for job interviews. They helped me understand what to expect and what was expected of me in the interviews. Mock interviews and self-assessment practice, as suggested by the job developer helped me go a long way.
I was able to attend sessions on various topics as organized by Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants on a timely basis to understand how the market functions, networking events and resume writing to be prepared before I dived in.
While the career counselor and job developer continued to guide me, they also ensured to be attentive with the details I shared. They were not only encouraging but also checked on me with the progress I was making with the interviews and bumps I faced along the way.
What did you find to be the most helpful part of Career Paths?
I was able to find and connect with professionals and amazing beings who helped me in getting prepared in this second instinct of my career by guiding me in the right direction and believing in me even when my faith in me was shaking.
I was able to attend useful workshops to prepare myself while I was searching for the job and even later on.
What challenges were you facing with regards to finding employment in your field and how did Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants help you overcome them? And how did the program help to overcome these barriers?
Primary challenges were:
• Lack of understanding of Canadian market
• Lack of Canadian experience
• Market slump as demand was low and supply of talent with experience in local market was high
Back in Motion Career Paths helped me choose the right program and supported me with the tuition as a step to bridge the gap in the Canadian market. Workshops provided insights on day-to-day activities in a day at work, and Canada in general. I was also able to work with my job developer to prepare myself for the interviews and build the confidence.
At some point you were suddenly unemployed and you worked really hard to find better opportunities, can you share some tips about your job search and learnings during that process?
It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Soraya (career counsellor) and Sogol (job developer). I was able to reach out to them and once the initial shock sunk, with their support I was able to strategize and start a fresh. I could also notice the red flags and what could have been possible challenges with the company in the long run.
One thing I would like to share is not to hesitate to connect with contacts in your network and to market yourself well. While working with the existing contacts, continue to build new ones. Once I landed a full-time role in my field, I continued to build my professional network. They could be the talent I wanted to tap into in the future or to work with an employer of my liking. I was able to land decent interviews and had an overwhelming response from my network of recruiters once I had 3months of Canadian experience in my own field.
You mentioned that you had 12 interviews in one week, and some job offers you got. What was the most important thing for you to get from one employer?
I was looking for a company where I could see myself grow, but also where the organization values its people. Culture and growth opportunities are the most important things for me.
Are you satisfied with this job?
Accenture, my current employer has been on my list of “companies to work for”. Also, while interviewing when I shared my career aspirations, the hiring manager, now my manager, didn’t show a concern.
How is this job utilizing your skills and experience?
I’m working as a recruiter, which is where my expertise lies with 7 years’ experience. I will be working on hiring for consultants and senior management level roles, eventually leading to stakeholder management. This is a step up in terms of roles I get to handle, from what I’ve done in the past and continue to work on managing stakeholders independently.
Do you have any comments that you want to add or something you think it is important to mention?
I don’t have anything to add but would like to thank the Back in Motion Career Paths team for helping me throughout and being there for me as a rock, for guiding me and believing in me.