My name is Syed Ajaz, and I am from Pakistan. In 2013, I came to Canada to pursue better prospects for myself. I knew beforehand that it would not be easy to find a job especially with my educational background and work experience in the area of healthcare services. With this in mind, I started applying well in advance. Even with over 10 years of experience in healthcare services project management, I knew that I might have to restart my career and perhaps accept an entry level position.
I spent the first few months in Canada searching for a job in my own field. I received help from different organizations who assist in developing resumes and provide advice on job search strategies. I applied and submitted my resumes to a number of different positions but without much success. I did get a few phone calls and was recommended to work on getting some courses in other professional areas or supplement my existing education and experience with courses.
After a while, I got a job as a medical transcriptionist with a renowned company based out in Toronto and I started working from home. This raised my confidence level and I started applying for other positions again at the same time and was offered a supervisory position in a clothing retail store. Both these jobs helped me a lot to gain the “Canadian work experience” which everyone was talking about ever since day one of my arrival in Canada. Even though the experience was not in my professional field, the day-to-day interaction with people was a wonderful experience for me.
In addition, I applied to the ERIEC’s Career Mentorship Program, which I came to know during some of my web search. I was accepted in the program in September 2013, and I was matched with an excellent mentor from the healthcare sector in November. Being accepted and getting to know wonderful people who are there to guide you at ERIEC was a wonderful experience. Not only did my mentor provide me with a lot of guidance about the Canadian workplace culture, especially in healthcare management, the mentor helped me a lot with my resume, interview skills and networking strategies. We had several mock interviews and discussions, which were very helpful. My mentor also introduced me to various healthcare professionals and sent me to various networking events.
During the mentorship program, there were number of workshops and events organized by ERIEC. These workshops and events were conducted by some excellent people in the industry and all of these resulted in building up my confidence and gave me a new direction and new approach in my job search. I submitted more resumes, and I started to receive phone calls and invitations for interviews. Finally, I received a job offer!
I am very pleased and grateful for the help I have received from ERIEC and my mentor. I would certainly suggest to my fellow immigrants this excellent platform of ERIEC Career Mentorship. Actually, I have referred some people to this excellent program already.