Hear is my story...take the time to read it, if nothing you might at
least save a few pennies and a couple of sleepless nights.
I have been a silent viewer on this forum, I have read a lot of
arguments and I appreciate the zeal of most people. The positive
approach some people have displayed in spite of all the negative and
discouraging information is really inspiring.
I have been in Canada for over 25 months now, migrated from India, to
quickly answer some of the biting questions in your head....
1, Am I doing well---Yes I am, maybe not as good as I would have liked
it but I am happy.
2, Was I doing well back in India--- Very well.
3, Am I happy to have made the switch----No doubt about that.
4, Did I have to struggle and go through hard times----- Very very hard
times, I've had to hang on by my tooth and claws.
5, Would I do it again---Damn sure I would.
6, Would I go about it in the same way that I did----NO, This post is to
help you guys avoid the same mistake that I made
and to give something back to people like me 25 months ago, I would have
NEVER been able to do it without the help of many good hearted people,
God bless em. So here is my story......
But before that I just want to mention that I have met a lot of
immigrants, some who have done well some not so well and others worse.
The common line among all the immigrants were certain qualifications and
these are a must according to me and my experience if you have to
succeed, if you don't have these qualifications then you will be putting
yourself in deep trouble.
At the risk of sounding dreadfully dull and at a horrible effort at
instigating motivation here are the qualification you need to have:
a, Determination... If you are not absolutely determined its a waste of
b, Perseverance...The heart to go on in spite of all odds, never failing
to loose the strength to take another step, NEVER NEVER give up, its
your life and you cant give up on it.
c, Hard work....Try to be the best in whatever you do, don't work hard
because you have to or because you are being watched just work hard coz
you WANT to. Even if you are polishing shoes and if you are the best in
doing that you will achieve glory someday. NOT BORN TO BE A MEDIOCRE
d, Good Heart.... A good heart to help people in need, may not just be
financially (if that is not possible) but a kind word, a passionate hug,
an encouraging line to any fellow in need. A genuine good wish and
prayer from someone thankful can even move the Heart of GOD.
So, my story then, My God, its just starting, even I am tired already.
I'll make it short.
Got my visa after a long and painful wait...Quit our jobs, my wife and
me (first mistake, will explain later) scooped up all our savings, got
our children out of school with appropriate planning so that they don't
miss out a year. Did our lil research, said our prayers and got on the
plane. Landed in Vancouver, some website told us that this was the
worlds best place to live and raise a family (mistake number two).
Checked into the hotel and began house hunting, looked at all the nice
neighbourhoods and selected a house based on our budget (third mistake)
so far so good, we thought. Put our kids to school and began the
mammoth task of job hunting ( 25-30 days and 2000 dollars down).
Me wife and me are well qualified and based on our experiences we made
absolutely wonderful resumes and started applying ( fourth mistake).
Amazing responses, calls every day but that was that, stopped at calls
after realising we don't have any Canadian qualification or experience.
We were not too worried initially but as time passed it started to get a
little uncomfortable( down by 3 months and 4000 dollars). We then
started trying to get help and advise from the locals, mixed responses,
very conflicting as everyone were from different circumstances. We then
had to downgrade our resumes (as one of the refusal feedback was that we
were over qualified) and start applying, still luck eluded us. Every
dollar spent was like fire in the belly growing hotter. Five-six months
later we were desperate and ready to take any job that was available to
us. A month later, my wife got a job and few weeks later it was my turn
to get lucky to get a job.
These were not nearly ideal jobs that we were hoping for but some income
was better than nothing. It killed me to see my wife doing data entry
who was working for ICICI bank back in India and managing a whole branch
and had won many awards for being the best run branch , just typing away
8 hours a day. I never really had the courage to ask how she felt seeing
me flip burgers when I had 120 employees working for me at Hewlett
Packard back in India.
Though both of us were earning still we were not able to make enough
money to stop digging away from our savings. The house rent, bills,
travel to & fro to work, food and the most expensive of the lot, child
minders for our kids, to pick them up from school and take care until my
wife gets back home. I was working over time, nearly 12 hours a day but
could not sustain ourselves, we then switched our plan and I took up night shift
and weekends while my wife worked in the day, I would wake up cook and
get the kids back home and put them in front of the telly and pass out
on the couch. I was ready to leave for work and would be waiting at the
door to rush out to get the train, sometimes I must admit, with wet eyes
while walking to the train station.At all time, I tried real hard to put
a brave face for my wife and my two little angels, one kiss at the door
everyday was all the interaction I had with my wife. That and kisses
from my two little angels is what kept me going.
Even though we had figured out a way to save the child minders costs we
were just making enough to live a very limited life. My children
deserved more time from us, at least from one of us. I dint want them to
grow up without that. I forced my wife to work only part time, moved to
a smaller house, took up work for 12 hours every night, 6 days a week. I
could not miss a single days work, no work no money.
Life seemed a little better for a while, at least for my wife and kids.
When all seemed in control ( at least better than a few months ago )
another blow (forgive me for saying that but that's what it seemed like
at that time), I was hardly with my wife a few times since we started
working and she was pregnant for the second time ( we had twins the
first time) in spite of all the caution we had taken. The irony was, we
had to try for almost a year the first time around to get pregnant. If
that was not all, it was twins AGAIN. The odds of that happening, twins
twice, was 10 million to one or so I was told. This was about the time
when I could sense my wife giving up. I could not imagine how we could
afford the expenses of additional two babies in our present circumstances.
To cut it short, we had to go through more hardships, we had to move
again and again until we were in what one would call a single room
Was this what we left everything and came here?
Was this the life in Canada?
How could we have been so wrong in our assessment?
Are we losers and should go back home crawling like one?
BUT WAIT NO, I thought,
If I we had the luck of having two twins which is very very rare then we
surely should be blessed. And I will not let all the sacrifices my
family and I have made go for a waste, I did not want my kids to see
their father give up when I have always told them never to give up. I
was even more determined to move on.
Things turned around, of all the mistakes that I made I had done one
thing right, I had really put in my best at work, nobody could do stuff
in the kitchen like I could. For most people out there this was just a
job, for me it was food in my kids bellies and the last straw of hope in
keeping my dreams alive.
I got so many appreciations and management started noticing me, My work
was perfect no matter there was someone watching over me or not. As a
matter of fact I used to perform even better when I was not supervised.
the management quickly saw this and moved the night shift supervisor to
another branch to save costs. There was no impact on the business even
though I was all alone in the kitchen all night. It was barely any time
I was made a supervisor and I had enough money now and did not have to
work 12 hours and 6 days. But I did, as my wife had stopped working coz
of her pregnancy, we took this opportunity to get her to study and get
some certifications in her line of work which were recognised in Canada.
She came out with flying colours as she was twice as smart than any
certification she sat for. She scored 100% in every damn thing.
We had two healthy little angels again, within four months she started
applying with the Canadian certifications and she got a decent job,
within a very short time her employers realised her potential and moved
her to a different role with more responsibilities and more salary as well.
She did not eat for two days until I agreed to quit
my job and stay home with my kids and take up some kind of studying
myself. The first few days after I quit I slept for 15 hours every day,
it seemed like heaven as I had not had so much sleep in many months. I
then started studying at home and taking care of the babies while my
wife worked. She was getting paid more than what we had earned
collectively so it was fine.
I finished a few certifications and also got decent job.
We both feel that we can grow in the companies that we are currently in
because of our experience and knowledge and also the effort we have put
in to get so far.
We have now moved a good two bed apartment and got ourselves a second-had Ford Mondeo, and now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and any hope of realising our dreams.
Now let me talk about the mistakes I think I made and what I would have
done differently if I had to do this all over again.
1st Mistake -, Quitting both our jobs. My wife was working for an Indian
Company( ICICI) but I was working for a global company (HEWLETT
PACKARD). I should have tried to get a internal transfer, Global
companies do hire from within. I agree that it would not have been easy
but I am sure not as difficult as what I went through. I might have had
to go down several levels and wait for maybe a year or two which is
still a worthwhile thing to do.
If that was absolutely not possible I would then quit my job leave my
wife and kids behind and go to Canada myself.
2, Mistake - Trying to settle down with out first getting a job. If I am
alone I can get a temporary accommodation and be more flexible to move
where ever there is opportunity, even move to different cities, with
family it is not possible. this will also keep my costs very very low.
3,Mistake - Unless you related to tourism and hospitality industry don't
go to Vancouver. Calgary is good for people in oil industry but as a
general rule of thumb there are much more jobs in Toronto that any other
place. There are many immigrants there , right, but this is not entirely
bad as the employers in Toronto are more used to the Immigrants and are
less biased compared to other places.
4, Mistake - I expected to get a great job, like the one I had back in
India right away. This does not happen with 99% of the people. You cant
just pick up from where you left unless you have some kind of Canadian
qualification or internally transferred from within your company.
As soon as you land get yourself some/any job that you can land yourself in and ensure that your monthly expenditure is less that what you earn. Yes you might have to compromise a great deal on where you live and stuff. Make sure you spend as little money as possible from your savings. Immediately get into some kind of course/certification in your line that is recognised in Canada, use your savings for that. Don't waste even one day.
Make sure once you have secured some certifications and you are looking for a job that is in your line of work. You would already have a job, however bad but a job nevertheless. All your focus should be to get a job in your line of work and not towards getting a little more money, this is because if you get to do something in your line of work you will naturally do well.
Once you have set your foot in and fairly confident its time to get your wife..... NOT KIDS, just wife. I know it can be very difficult to leave kids behind but you will have to make some sacrifices to ensure that you do it the right way.
Now that your wife is there, just get her to do some part time work focus entirely on getting Canadian qualification in her line of work.
Always remember there will be totally unexpected things that will come up ( my wife's pregnancy for example ) and make sure you have put away some money for emergencies, however little, something is better than nothing.
Only get a permanent family home when you and your wife are working, in your respective line of work and the get your kids. Things would have been a lot easier if I had done it this way rather than the way I adopted.
THE SATISFACTION YOU GET AND THE WAY YOUR SELF CONFIDENCE IS BOOSTED WILL BE WORTH ALL THE EFFORT. ONCE YOU HAVE SETTLED IN YOU WILL HAVE VERY FEW AND JUST MUNDANE THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT, LIFE IN CANADA WILL SEEM VERY ENJOYABLE THEN.
Please feel free to ask me any questions that may crop up, I wish this was helpful and God bless you all.