Self-reliance and hard work are key Canadian values. Getting a job is a good way to contribute to Canadian society and to support your family. At first, your job may not be the most satisfying that you can imagine. It may not be suited to your skills. It may be difficult to find a job that pays as much as you want until you get Canadian experience. Try not to be discouraged. When the right job does come along, you will have the benefit of that previous experience.
When you apply for a job in Canada, the employer will want some information about you. Bring a list of your education and work experience (a resume). Also bring letters of reference from your former employers, your professional degrees and trade certificates. You may be asked to provide English or French copies of these documents.
Remember that certain trades or professions are regulated, which means that you must be licensed, registered or certified to practise them, usually by a provincial authority. In other words, you must meet certain standards that are set by the organization responsible for your profession in the province where you plan to work. The standards vary from province to province. So even though you may be qualified in another country, your qualifications must meet Canadian standards for you to be licensed to practise here.
If you cannot speak the language used by an employer, ask a friend to interpret for you, or get a translator through an immigrant-serving organization. You might also want to ask about job-finding clubs or workshops, and getting help with preparing a resume and cover letter. These services are often provided by immigrant-serving organizations.
Many jobs are posted either on billboards or on self-serve computers at your local Service Canada Centre (SCC). The Canadian government runs SCC offices throughout the country. The centres provide information and services for people looking for work. Some offer the free use of computers, printers, the Internet, telephones, fax services and resource libraries. They may offer workshops on how to prepare a résumé or to look for work, as well as computer training and other courses.
Service Canada also runs the Job Bank (www.jobbank.gc.ca), an electronic list of jobs available across the country. Other internet sites that may be useful are www.worksearch.com and www.jobsetc.gc.ca. You can find the nearest SCC office through its website at www.servicecanada.gc.ca.
Working with others in your community without pay can be an excellent way to gain Canadian experience and networks. Volunteering can help you develop Canadian job experience, get a practical knowledge of the Canadian workplace, practise your English or French and make new friends, as well as help others. You can find volunteer centres by contacting your local community agency or through the Internet.
Many jobs are listed in newspapers. Look in the classified advertisements section under “Help Wanted” and “Careers.” There may also be a separate career section in the weekend paper.
Libraries are also helpful. They have books on how to find a job or write a résumé, and they often keep directories of businesses across Canada or in your area. These publications can help you find information about potential employers. Their “periodical” section will also have copies of various weekly magazines that provide new listings of jobs across Canada. You can also access the Internet at most public libraries. Ask for more information at the reference desk.
“Networking” is also a popular way of finding a job in Canada. This means contacting all the people you know, including your friends and relatives, and letting them know you are looking for work. This may help you to find a job that is not actually advertised anywhere. Job-finding clubs run by immigrant-serving organizations may also be useful. There are also private job placement agencies that may be able to help you find permanent, temporary or contract work. Remember that since employers pay a fee to use these agencies, your salary may be somewhat lower than it would be if you found the job by yourself. These agencies are listed in the yellow pages of the telephone book. Look under “Employment Agencies.”
You may need Canadian qualifications to work at a licensed trade or profession. You may have to write an examination or work as a trainee to qualify. The requirements vary from province to province and from profession to profession. You might want to contact the national or provincial association that looks after accreditation in your profession or trade.
The Canadian government offers information about foreign credential recognition and assessment through the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO). To learn more, visit www.cic.gc.ca.
Employers may choose to pay their workers every week, every two weeks or once a month. You can be paid in cash, by cheque or through a direct deposit to your bank account. Your pay stub (the piece of paper attached to your paycheque) shows how much you earned. It also lists any money taken off (deductions) for federal and provincial taxes, pension plans, employment insurance and any other items.
Canada’s prosperity is dependent on entrepreneurs who take risks and work hard to start and run their own businesses.
The Business Start-Up Assistant provides essential business start-up information from the federal and provincial governments. Their website (www.canadabusiness.ca), organized by topic and province, provides reliable information on market research, business name and structure, preparing a business plan, financing, taxation, hiring employees, doing business on the Internet, and much more.
The Business Development Bank of Canada (www.bdc.ca) offer management training, counseling and planning services for entrepreneurs.
When you are at work, make child care arrangements accordingly. In Canada, most families do not leave children under the age of 12 home alone. You may need to ask a relative or pay someone to look after your children while you work. To help you with the cost of child care, the Government of Canada provides a Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) to families with children under the age of 18. To find out if you are eligible or to apply for the UCCB, you can go online at www.cra-arc.gc.ca. If you need to find child care, there are several options you can look into, such as licensed day-care centres, home-based day care, nursery schools, and “drop-in” day-care centres. You can also hire someone to come into your home and look after your children.
In Canada, there are provincial and federal labour laws designed to protect employees and employers. These laws set minimum wage levels, health and safety standards, hours of work, maternity leave and annual paid vacations, and they provide protection for children. There are also human rights laws that protect employees from unfair treatment by employers based on sex, age, race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. For more information please visit www.esdc.gc.ca/.
You also have the right to join a labour union in Canada. Unions negotiate wages, hours of work and working conditions. Union fees will be deducted from your salary. If you feel you are being treated unfairly by your employer, you may seek advice or assistance from an officer of the Ministry of Labour in the province where you work. You can also contact your province’s Labour Relations Board or a Service Canada Centre, where you can talk to a federal government labour affairs officer.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada