Success strategies to help immigrants and refugees achieve career success beyond the classroom

Published April 4, 2022.

Estimated reading time: 2.5 minutes

In summary:
  • The path to career success looks different for each skilled newcomer to Canada.
  • For some of you, this means pursuing education or professional development courses, for others, networking events or mentorship.
  • In some professions, on the job experience, may be most valuable to you.
  • The connections you make and your communication skills are critical to your career development.

Your career path as a skilled newcomer to Canada will be as unique as you are. No two individuals necessarily follow the exact same path to reaching their career advancement goals. This is because there are many ways to get to the success you dreamed of before arriving in your new country.

Many Windmill Microlending clients use our affordable loans to pay for the costs of education but many others use the funds for things like qualifying exams, professional association fees, language training, credential evaluation or professional development courses.

Gabriela Medar, an author and career coach at Dream Job Canada, who herself immigrated here from Romania, argues you must look at the full spectrum of options to decide which make the most sense for you as you pursue your career in Canada. She says some newcomers might not be aware of their options and stresses the importance of doing your research.

“Training and professional development might look like attending a job search workshop, language classes, career fairs or working on your credential recognition. Some newcomers could consider going back to school and studying in a bridge program while others take specialty courses and embrace a completely different career,” adds Medar.

To find out about all the ways a low-interest Windmill loan can help you fund your path to career success in Canada, click here.

The Ten Steps to Find Work and Be Successful in Canada author says there are many ways outside of the classroom you can get closer to the career you want in Canada. She shared some of her success strategies with Windmill to help you close in on the career success you are aiming for.

Gabriela Medar Web

Gabriela Medar is a career coach, author and immigrant to Canada who says the path to career success does not necessarily go through a classroom. 

Build your Canadian experience

Internship, practicum or co-op opportunities can be beneficial to get your foot in the door of an organization you want to learn more about. These can also be great for building Canadian experience and to showcase on your resume. As well, they can build trust with employers and reassure them you are familiar with Canadian corporate culture. These experiences can be especially helpful for networking and may even give you leverage when applying for jobs. 

Strengthen your communication skills

Communication skills are valuable in almost any sector and are among the sought after skills by employers today. Medar believes taking steps to improve your communications skills can be valuable to job seekers. For example, a good way to network and work on your public speaking skills is attending your local Toastmasters club which can have a long-lasting impact on your life by improving your communication skills and building your confidence. 

Make social connections

Connecting with people who are going through similar life experiences, challenges or who share common interests can give you a sense of belonging. While Medar endorses attending professional networking events and job workshops, she also believes in the power of social gatherings. You can find ways to connect in person or virtually from Facebook groups and through virtual meetups. You can attend ethnic, religious or neighbourhood gatherings and events. Who knows? Interactions at these events might lead you to a dream job opportunity and support your cultural integration.

To learn more about Medar’s book and career coaching practice, visit her website: Dream Job Canada.

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Categorized in: Career Success and Planning,