When I moved to Canada, I had difficulty finding work as I didn’t have any experience. The only job I could find was working in factories and cleaning (“odd-jobs”). As I was raised in an upper-middle class family back in Bangladesh, I wasn’t comfortable with those type of jobs. Fortunately, my parents provided me with savings to support myself throughout university.
I know a lot of immigrants don’t have such luxury. So, they dive into any kind of work as soon as they come here. However, I think it is very important to take the long view and map out a career progression accordingly instead of focusing on next bill payment and expenses in the short run.
I would suggest anyone planning to immigrate here to have at least a year worth of savings. You are welcome to try all kinds of ‘odd-jobs’. However, savings will give you peace of mind to overcome any challenges of settling down in a new country as well as figure out your future road map. I knew I needed experience to design my career down the road. Many close relatives suggested that I volunteer. After browsing through different websites, I cam e across City of Toronto’s special events. It looked great and would give me the opportunity to learn about the city and meet people from diverse communities. I volunteered at many events like Family day, Toronto Doors Open, Canada Day and Scotiabank Nuitblanche. It was a great experience for me and I had the opportunity to meet several community leaders and politicians like Joe Pantalone, David Miller, Brad Duguid and several MPPs. Most volunteer places provide recommendation letter. Hence, I was able to use my volunteer experience and recommendation to land my first full-time job.
There is no age limit when it comes to volunteer. I’ve seen many senior citizens volunteering as it is a great way to ‘give back’ the society.