Boosting your career trajectory hinges on a well-rounded strategy for navigating the dynamic job market, and a primary avenue to achieve this is through proactive involvement with professionals from diverse industries.
Cultivating a strong and resilient professional network holds the potential to provide newcomers in Canada with a multitude of opportunities that stretch far beyond the initial phase of securing employment.
It also allows workers to gain insights into labour market dynamics, assimilate into Canadian workplace norms, and uncover unexplored career planning techniques.
Networking is promoted by career coaches worldwide for achieving success in most industries. This article lays out six simple networking strategies for newcomers to grow their business network and achieve career success as an immigrant in Canada.
1. Leverage Your Local Immigrant Support Organizations:
Canada’s local immigrant-serving organizations offer a wealth of resources and tools to newcomers to integrate in Canadian society, and their services often include networking opportunities.
For example, these institutions host workshops and seminars focused specifically on professional development.
Newcomers are taught the fundamentals of introducing themselves via Canadian tradition, making meaningful connections, and following up with potential contacts.
The organizations also offer networking events that bring together both aspiring and current workers. The informal setting they foster allows for a comfortable introduction to Canadian etiquette and business culture, which allows foreign professionals to form connections with local workers.
2. Use Social Media Effectively
Using online platforms for the purpose of professional networking is a must. LinkedIn is one of the most widely used professional networking services in Canada and allows skilled workers to showcase a holistic view of their worker profile.
It achieves this by allowing them to present their resume, previous work experience, honours or special commendations, and hard and soft skills to potential employers.
Displaying all these qualities on one page makes it easier for employers to contact workers for job opportunities in Canada, and LinkedIn’s job search engine allows skilled workers to find jobs suiting their role and profile.
3. Go Out and Volunteer
Volunteering is a natural medium for networking, as it brings together like-minded individuals together to work towards a common goal.
Moreover, volunteering can put you in touch with professionals in a particular industry. For example, volunteering at a local veterinary clinic would allow you to network with veterinary doctors and nurses, and could open job opportunities in that field.
Being in a setting where you are allowed to display your dedication and skill to potential employers is exactly what newcomers to Canada require, and volunteering presents the perfect opportunity for just that.
4. Attend Industry-Specific Events
An industry-specific networking event involves working professionals gathering in a casual social setting and sharing their insights regarding the industry they work in.
At these events, professionals also detail their own work profile and responsibilities, and make elevator pitches to other skilled workers in their industry to potentially foster a professional relationship.
Networking events are perfect for gaining valuable contacts that could be used to boost the job search process.
This is because employers are often looking for potential candidates to fill open roles at their companies when they attend these events, making them hot spots for both employees and employers.
5. Join a Professional Association
These organizations exist to promote a certain occupation, and most professions have their own associations.
Joining one of these bodies opens people up to networking opportunities and allows them to get in touch with the right employment information and job leads.
For newcomers to Canada, learning about the industry they want to work in is also paramount. Professional associations are extremely helpful, as they host guest speakers regularly, have online blogs, and let you network with industry leaders through seminars or live conferences.
6. Improve Both English and French
Solid communication skills are the key to effective networking. In Canada – which is a bilingual country – newcomers need to develop both their English and French skills.
The government offers classes for free to immigrants looking to improve their capability in both languages, and many universities and colleges also provide courses for the same end.
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