Hello House ......here is my 3 month journey to a good job.. information matters alot here and you will really find this helpful . Enjoy and pick something out of it .... your testimonies are on the way !!! Amen
Felt i should share my story with you . I came in to Calgary in August 2012 , left after like 3 weeks to resign in Nigeria and finally re-landed in December 2012.
Honestly i thought i can just walk in and in the first 2 weeks i will get a job . Because i saw adverts of jobs i could close my eyes and perform like magic and was awed by the salary range they command.
Someone gave me a link to a website that can help format my resume and i tried to format my resume accordingly. I put up my resume on indeed.com and monster and within 2 weeks i got a call and had an interview.
Trying to impress this client , i loaded my cv with both technical and managerial skill sets . They were impressed , did well in the interview , but i was not called. I couldn't believe it ! I was leter to learn that you cant be technical and a manager .
Lesson number one : Know what you want to be , and be it ... think of lean meat – zero fat , don't be a pork !
By end of December i did another interview , but failed again and was sending an average of 10 job applications everyday. I met a lot of our forum members that were very helpful and supportive , we exchanged information , encouraged each other and the information i got really helped me . Lesson too , please don't go solo , seek others , socialize and be part of a positive thing . One of the information i got has to do with maximizing the government many opportunities to learn , integrate and network here . There are lots of good program for new comers you can latch on . if you come to Calgary on Saturday , by no means please visit places like Direction for new Immigrants, New comer centre, Catholic Christian ..something something ..CCIS , Bow Valley CRTP, Alberta works workshops . Power Engineering program please google all these programs . Some of these programs. Can set you up with an employer and you can get a job quicker through this route ...They have good program, register for as many as you can , start early . As Naija , we are too sharp to be slow , so no fall my hand . Lesson 3 : Register for at least 2 or 3 Immigration programs, get it started asap.
By January , i was lucky to get another interview second week of January , i did all i could, was nice , answered all the questions. But was told i was over qualified. SO i went back to the drawing board, skinned my resume and reproduced like 4 variants. One of the good guys i met on this forum introduced my to Directions for Immigrant and i was lucky to get into an orientation and a communication for business professional class that runs for 10 weeks. Believe me i learnt a lot from this class and it really helped . i will recommend the class for anyone any day . it is only 3 hours every week . Lesson 4 : have variant of resume , well focused and almost matching the advertised job description word for word. Ask around for the format for writing the cover letter . Get someone to check your “must be 2 pages resume”. Also i was assigned a coach who tried to check over me once in a while. One of the strategic advise she gave me was to enrol for a free 2 days resume and 2 days interviewing skills workshop . Those workshop were straight to the points , very rich you will even be video-taped during the sessions . I was given a 20 paged manual that later became my bible and tremendously helped me . There was once a mention of a certain Dr Laroche video on youtube. That is a must watch video , please get it and get viewing it .
By now i was getting fidgety , but i didn't lose hope . I did 3 more interviews without success. Meanwhile i started courting placement agencies, i had like 12 working for me at the same time , Naija no dey carry last ! so please those guys are good and you need to work with them . Names like Friday professional , Robert half, Executrade, S.I systems , and a couple of other ones.Google them and use them . You can pm me with your resume i will have a look and give you a good referral to some of them . Still with like 6 interviews , and no one calling me . I went on to Linkedin , bought a job seeker slot and pampered myself online , yes i was able to apply for some jobs , but it didn't work for me . Along the line i tried another thing , i joined the local chapter of a professional group and for the first time i felt welcome to Canada, . The members were so friendly , everyone willing to get my resume. So i went ahead and volunteered to help with some technical aspect of the organisation . So i was able to meet a lot of people in my profession and i did what is called an information interview. SO i already knew a lot about the industry , the key players , what the industry is all about , what employers look out for and how to comport and compose oneself. I released all the information on my 2 paged resume . . I even got a naija who volunteered to be my mentor and was calling me everyday to encourage me and boost my confidence , he really helped as well . So you might want to be on the look out for a mentor ....We were so professional about it , i respected his time and i tried to manage his time to ensure i am not hurting him while he tries to help me Lesson number 5: look for your professional association, join them , if there is none look for something related, take up a volunteering role , write it boldly in your resume , it works. Get a mentor.
Afterwards i went for another interview that totally destroyed my self confidence. I was so such i would be employed. Without asking a made and printed 5 paged presentation of how i will solve the problem at hand. I did my interview well and the presentation. I was unable to read their mind. When i got feedback from the recruiter, i was told the project has been put on hold..Isch ....another way of saying they don't want me . After this time . i lowered all my guards, stop applying for just any job , i totally stopped applying . As a Christian , the only thing i could do was to pray and watch . I used this short period to quickly read for my PMP exam and within a week , i passed and i updated my resume. I took my communication class serious and was looking out for the best .
Out a blue one of the biggest Energy companies advertised for a position and within 2 days 4 recruiters called me for the job. I was so sure that will be my job . SO i was given some pre-interview questionnaire, which i tried my best to fill. And i went for the interview. When i got there , it was like a walk over, they were pleased with the way i filled the questionnaire –sometimes called a skill matrix , probably because it made their work easy within an hour i was done , 2 days later i landed a very plush contract job . See me dey dance alanta like my friend will say . so all these former rejections were for a greater one waiting for me . SO don't be discouraged most time , something better , bigger is within your reach !
All through this period , i refused to give up, there were times when i felt so down , but i just have to encourage myself , i will wake up , look myself in the mirror and say Jibaba , executive director ..xyz Incorporated, One Calgary , One Jibaba! I will hail myself in my allocated 5 minutes madness per day and am out of the house. Wifey was also solidly behind me , prayer, kind words and encouragement from Nigeria every day , she wakes me up with her call and sms. I also appreciate the good sense of community we have on the forum especially the landed ones in Calgary .. Dapo and the Omoelle crew are superb. Omoelle encouragement was so infectious ...it helped me . I really pray for favour for everyone.
The first crossing i learnt is usually the hardest, I pray we all cross it to beautiful places . I will be willing to offer the little experience i have gained over these time with anyone, just pm me and wont mind mentoring people too on how i went about these things . But remember there was element of everything here , goodluck ,Patience, (no Jonathan oh ) God factor, timing, even previous positive bad luck , mixing with people, surrounding yourself with good people , a little bit of selflessness , being positive, not losing hope. My family are still in niaja , but so supportive , so i have ample time to be myself , scatter the apartment and take c train from south west to North East without any guilt !
Again i noticed and i will like to tell all that during the period you are waiting to land a good job , please make the best use of it , the day you get job , another stress has starts ! you wont have time to move around aimlessly and enjoy the various parts of the city again.. so while we cry , we must always make provision for vision ! Pa Mufu help translate that to your 21st century Ingrish :-X
SO if you are still in naija , or just landinng in Calgary this story will help prepare your mind and help you plan well . One more thing, naija are a class of its own here , superbly educated and doing well in most places. So yours wont be an exception in Jesus Name.