by Tetyana Khramova, Career Mentorship Program Director
The ERIEC team is always pleased to share with our blog viewer the success stories of our ‘internationally trained professionals’. Let me introduce to you Nozima Nurmukhamedova, a former mentee of the ERIEC Career Mentorship Program and one of our guest speakers at the Annual Global Talent Conference last February. Here is an excerpt taken from her presentation.
Who am I and why did I come to Canada?
My name is Nozima and I have come to Canada from Tajikistan. I had a great job, completed two Masters Degrees, and lived in a great house. I also left behind my family and an extended network. But I was not afraid to give up my “comfort zone” and move to Canada – like many of you present here today.
Contrary to the common myth that immigrants “lack certain technical and soft skills”, I would like to say that we all do depending on the situation and environment. As humans who begin a new life in a new place, we start to question everything and we begin to lose the most precious things we have – confidence and hope.
Big dreams, hard realities and learning to take baby steps
With an advanced degree, I have worked in various international settings and on big projects. I thought that finding a job would be easy here in Canada but this was not the case. Many of you will relate to my story (with the exception of my last name which is made up of 16 letters). Many of you can also relate to terms like “Lack of Canadian experience”, “Canadian certification and accreditation processes”, and the “Canadian work culture”… these terms were my new realities.
My first baby step was to reach out to my “community”, to connect and network with people. This was difficult for me as I just became even more homesick for Tajikistan.
I then started to look around for help. I had come to realize that there is not much available for internationally trained professionals. What I was looking for was more than just English skills and general help in job searching. This is actually a larger policy question that will face the Province of Alberta in the coming years – not just to attract educated people from abroad – but to ensure that Alberta is known for its adaptation and integration services, which, I believe, we truly lag behind in some cases.
I was then lucky to find the ERIEC Career Mentorship Program and be matched and introduced to my mentor Karen Link, who became a great influence on my life. She helped me to believe in myself, restore my confidence, and taught me to be persistent. We really worked hard together during the 4 months of the program. Did I get interviews? Yes, I got 5 interviews during the program period. One week I got three interviews! Did I get a job in my field? Yes, I did. I started the Career Mentorship program in September last year, and in December I was offered a position with Alberta Infrastructure.
What are the ingredients for success? Believe in yourself!
If you want success, you need to work hard and even harder and success will come to you. It was Pablo Picasso who said, “Action is the foundational key to all success”.
The ERIEC Mentorship program is doing a great job by matching great people with each other; I mean real professionals and great personalities. That’s why it took me 4 months to find my dream job! By the way, as a side note, my husband spent over 15 months to find his dream job!
I would like to thank again my mentor Karen Link for providing such exceptional support. I thank you ERIEC for doing such an awesome job. I hope your program will expand and even more professionals will benefit as will Edmonton and the Province of Alberta. And I am very thankful to Canada for giving us this opportunity and embracing diversity like no other country in the world!