If you have been following my personal blog, you would know that I have posted about the Top 5 problems of Immigrants in Canada If you have not yet read it, you may want to read that before reading on.
Being in Canada for exactly 3 years now, if there is one thing that I have learned, that is to continue sharing your experiences. Some people may not know how to ask for help but knowing what others have gone through can surely help. Now, I am ready to share my experiences as an Immigrant in Winnipeg, Canada and all the struggles that came with it.
I’m an Electronic Engineering (ECE) graduate and licensed professional from the Philippines. I have a total of 6 years work experience in the Philippines and Singapore combined. Arriving in Canada, I was confident that having experience in Singapore (one of Asia’s best countries), I can be considered as an experienced professional in Canada. Well, after a while, I learned that I was wrong. Engineering is a regulated profession in Canada and if you come from a different country, you would need to go through a whole lot of processes before becoming a recognized and licensed Engineer in Canada.
Without any reading and listening to pre-arrival information and warnings, I made up my plans. Plan A: Aim high and simply look for ECE-related jobs and apply. Plan B: There is no Plan B! (Let’s just say, I’m a overly confident dude.) After a month or applying to countless job positions in numerous companies, I got no replies. Frustrating, right? You tend to expect more when you got high points for your skills during your immigration application and yet, once landed, it is scrapped in reality. So I asked myself, since I had no Plan B, “What now?”
At that point, I thought of checking our settlement funds. It is true that if you have more than enough, there really is no need to panic. However, before our settlement fund runs out, I need to find a job, any job. Yes, any job!
THE JOB HUNT
Job #1: Sales Representative at MTS (Telecom Company)
During the time, this was the closest I could find that is related to ECE. At least it was in the Telecommunications field. To be honest, talking to people is one of my best skills. As a Sales Rep, I was assigned to an area and had to knock on every door to sell. If that was not bad enough, it was during winter time and I was not driving then. The worst part was, I did not get a basic pay as it was commission-based.
Needless to day, after a day in that job, I resigned.
Panic mode on! I tried applying for jobs that are barely related to Engineering at all. Again, I never received any replies. I quickly learned that there was something wrong and it was my resume. I immediately modified my resume to suit my job application and that entailed the removal of certain certifications and licenses that I initially put on there. After doing that, I landed my second job.
Job #2: Customer Service Representative at Staples (Office Supplies Retail Chain)
I only lasted in that job for a few days. I admit that the reason for this was my stubborn attitude. Here is the story. It was during winter time and they asked me to clean the pathway outside. What did they expect? It was -15C outside so I refused! If I remember it correctly, my exact line was, “I am still in Ideal Mode, nope! I can’t do that, I’m Sorry!.” After that, they told me that there is no need to report back to work the following week.
Denial Stage was where I was at that time. I took a walk to the cafeteria and to my surprise, a kababayan asked me, “Hey, aren’t you the one who refused to clean?” It was at that time that I was able to hear everyone’s stories. I totally forgot their names but I remember, one pinay was a PAL Manager and was then working as a Cashier. Reality was starting to kick in. I never told anyone what I was going through then, I just told my wife, of course. I guess I was ashamed. From that moment, I told myself that I am willing to take on any job a long as no one sees me doing it.
Job #3: Production Worker at Maple Leaf (Consumer Packaged Meats Company)
After a call I got for a job exam, I got a perfect score, 50/50. I got the job! This time, I lasted for about 5 days. I liked the fact that no one sees me doing the job. However, standing on your feet for 7.5 hours a day in a freezing cold room is difficult. I honestly salute people who can work under those circumstances. The staff there were engineers, accountants, teachers and managers in their home countries but when they got to Canada, they became Production Workers.
Job #4: Part-time Job at Various Events.
There was one time, I had a partner who was a lawyer in the Philippines. This moment, I was the editor-in-CHEF.
Captioned as “Sometimes I’m an Engineer, sometimes a programmer, sometimes an Editor. Oh yes, sometimes, feeling Chef”
Job #5 – Part-time Job Distributing Newspapers
My partner would just drop me off at one street to drop all the newspapers then I would meet him at the next street.
Captioned “Para sa Ekonomiya, Pangarap kong lumabas sa Diyaryo, hindi magdeliver ng diaryo. 1 Day, isang araw, gugulong din. ”
Continue reading Part 2: Click here