SkillsConnect of ISSofBC hosted a seminar last April 24, 2013 at the Old Navy Community Room in Metropolis, Metrotown. The topic was about the 7 Secrets of Success for Canadian Immigrants, featuring a well known successful entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker – Nick Noorani who himself was once a struggling immigrant from India talked about the secrets in his unique and funny way and there they are:
- Learn the Language. Do not be contended by just knowing the English language, once must speak, read, listen to English at least 8 hours a day. Take accent reduction courses or even advance business English language courses, if need be. You need a strong command of the language to communicate so practice, practice, practice. A time to listen to CBC radio (690 AM) is a great way to gain familiarity hearing the language.
- Stay Positive. Living a new life in a new country is not easy, there will be struggles, difficulties – a result of CHANGE. Negative thoughts are a virus, contagious and will always be present, things you cannot avoid BUT what you do with the negative spells the difference in how you handle change. One needs to identify the negative people around you – get rid of them, avoid them!. An antidote to 1 negative people – get and meet 5 positive people!, mingle with them, talk and chat with them, BE with them and always wear a smile.
- Embrace Canada. Migrating to Canada is an informed decision, it is a choice. Live with it and Learn from it. Embracing Canada means learning about your NEW country, do not be a stranger – learn the history, participate in federal, civic and provincial activities, involve in politics. Participate in the celebration e.g. Canada Day (July 1).
- Plan B. Always have a Plan B, it is OK to follow your dream of continuing your life and career here in Canada – this is Plan A, your comfort zone but give yourself a time table. When things are not going as initially planned, re-think your career, identify transferable skills, research latest career options, develop an action plan, stick with it and prepare to make the change. When to change to Plan B? only you can determine when is the time – bills, bills and more bills.
- Move out of your Ethnic Silos. This is not to abandon your own culture, but trying to be consistent with number 2 – Stay Positive. Much as we wanted to stick with our ethnic circles, most often than not gatherings within these circles proved to be a venue for complaints and negative thoughts. Create an opportunity to make Canadian friends, expand your circles. A very powerful statement – “Make friends not from where they are from but from where they are going.”
- Take Risks. Always allow yourself to take some risks, there are 3 aspects of being an immigrant – (1) Getting a job; (2) Keeping it; (3) Growing with it; and in each of these aspects one needs to take risk, moving away from your comfort zone, learning what other things you can do and not being afraid to explore opportunities and possibilities.
- The last secret has 3 components:
a. Volunteer – a way to gain the Canadian experience, where you can practice the English language and where you can gain friends and stay positive.
b. Mentorship – tap into government funded agencies that help new immigrants build their future here in Canada i.e. ISSofBC, Mosaic. Where you are paired with a mentor in the same field and guide your way to establishing a career in this new country.
c. Networking – an approach to tap the hidden Canadian job market where connections and referrals lead you to opportunity which will lead you to a job.
So in summary, there are really no secrets. It is just a bunch of common sense that we need to make use of in order to reach that Canadian dream. We are living the dream, we ARE in Canada.
- Learn about the ISSofBC programs for new immigrants at this link (skillsconnect.issbc.org)