This week, my parents are visiting from Canada. They’ve been in Europe for nearly three weeks. In that time, they’ve travelled to Berlin, Venice, London, Amsterdam and Paris. Like most visitors, I advised them to have an idea about the places they wanted to visit before they arrived in Belgium. Emails went back and forth between my mom and me for months leading up to their arrival.
Professionally speaking, I’ve had a number of inquiries from European clients this week who are looking to make a move to Canada. Though many of them had already begun their research into the administrative requirements of working in Canada (work permits etc.) I found myself echoing the advice I gave to mom and dad about their trip to Europe.
Figure out what you want to do
Larry (not his real name) is a senior executive in the automotive industry. From France originally, he had spent time in Canada while on business and decided he wanted to move his family there. When we spoke he was focused on an industry, but hadn’t given much thought to location or the type of position he might like to win. When we spoke I asked him the following:
- Who would hire someone with your talent and experience? (Company Name)
- What might you like to do in your work? (Position Title)
- What do you have to offer a company? Why would someone hire you?
- Where would you like to live in Canada? (it’s a very large country)
- When would you like to start work in Canada?
- Have you considered how long the hiring process might take?
- When might you consider moving your family over?
Larry will reflect on these questions and do some research on Canada, the labour market and his chosen position and industry before making his final decision to conduct his job search in Canada. Now that he knows what questions to consider, he is in a much better position to educate and inform himself about the needs of the Canadian labour market.
Another candidate, a personable young digital professional from eastern Europe contacted me via Linkedin and wrote.
“Hello Maureen…I’m a digital project manager currently living in eastern Europe. I’m looking for an opportunity to work abroad (in Canada). I’ve found it challenging so far …Can you please offer some advice about how to get a job in Canada? …Thank you in advance!”
Make sure you have the required documentation
Have you investigated the administration required to work in Canada? (i.e. work permit?)
Are all of your current qualifications and certification recognized in Canada?
Decide where you want to go
With respect to your job search; do you have one geographic location in mind? Toronto? Montreal? Vancouver? Halifax? Start with one city. Research the industry/opportunity there.
Is there a good market for someone with your expertise?
Who are the companies in that city that might hire people with your skill set?
Can you leverage some of the work you’ve done with big name companies to their subsidiaries within Canada?
Connect with others who can give you advice or tips
Examine your contacts. Have you worked with someone who has easily integrated into the Canadian market? If so, what did they do?
Do people in your network know of people who live in Canada (the specific city to which you are interested in relocating)?
Can your connections introduce you to people in your industry there?
Have a Plan
Once you have a good handle on the city, the industry and the local labour market, the next stage is implementation…I hope this is enough to get you started in the right direction.
“Maureen, thank you for your kindness…aside from your very practical advice, the fact that you took time to answer me is encouraging.”
If you’re thinking about working in Canada, here are a few resources for you to consider:
- Work in Canada (Getting Started)
- Working in Canada
- Applying to Work in Canada
- Foreign Credentials Referral Office
- National Occupation Classification 2011 …and their tutorial
- How to apply for a work permit in Canada
- Hire Foreign Workers (it’s your job to make hiring you simple, so stay informed!)
Related Categories: Career Clarity, Client Questions & Answers, Job Search
About The Author
Maureen McCann is an award-winning career coach, master resume writer, and master certified interview, employment, and career strategist whose clients include C-level executives, managers, and professionals in all industries including the Canadian banking, oil and gas, healthcare, IT, and government sectors.