It has been almost six months since I started my journey to Canada. I am grateful that I was able to start smoothly. And it’s a must not to brag but to share the story so everyone benefits. I take credit to all the available resources online, the pre-arrival services and settlement agencies, valuable insights from fellow immigrants and Canadian-born individuals, and a lot of answered prayers.
I learned a lot of important lessons on how to start a life here. I’m still learning but there are things that I wanted to share which are summarized as follows:
Stay Connected. Expand your Network.
It’s a bit of “expected-surprise” that networking in Canada is really a fact. I heard a lot of stories prior to landing but I only absorbed the essence of it once I started living here. The people in Canada are very sociable and most of them have a “personal approach”. There’s a common saying that “No man is an island.” Indeed, you cannot really ignore that fact here. Everyone, regardless of race, age or any status, are equally important. Staying connected with people not just to win friends, but also put you into various perspectives and opportunities to help a lot of people. Most of the time these people give you a lot of opportunities, not just for work, but winning more friends and take new adventures and to help you eliminate homesickness. I may not experienced the networking on finding work but I was able to witness many individuals securing a job from it.
Always be positive towards others. Choose people wisely.
I also experienced hearing a lot of insights or even hearsays whether it is positive or negative. You cannot please everyone and some people may judge you before they even know or met you. So be neutral and know the person first before concluding. Staying positive, forgiving, simply ignoring those unnecessary things and never say anything negative are the lessons that I learned in choosing people wisely. Focusing on staying positive is contagious and healthy.
Choose people who vibrates positivity. Avoid the negative people.
Maintain your competitiveness and sense of urgency
I realized that Canada has endless opportunities if you continuously improve yourself. The playing field here is equal if you know how to adjust your game and improve. You can be satisfied and take the back seat but you can always tap new opportunities for yourself. One perfect example for everyone is to learn French. There’s a big opportunity in learning this language. The pay is good. Gaining new friends who knows the language also gave me a new perspective. I learned to understand both sides of the story. By the way, New Brunswick is a bilingual province.
There are tons of free courses or programs that are available. Learning a new skill is so easy here. You just need a motivation.
Help people but be consistent and unconditional
I’m now a volunteer of 4 associations in Canada. I guess it is a way of giving back. In our pre-arrival sessions, they always mention that volunteering is a work experience. However, when you are already settled here, the sense of helping people makes you feel that it is the utmost important part of being a volunteer. You can always help people on your own, but as I got immersed in those 4 associations, there are a lot of volunteering to do on so many types of people. Commitment and unconditional help is what makes this so important.
Utilize the newcomer resources by the government
I happily discovered that you can always find a way to discover good things as a newcomer. If you ask me, it’s wise to know the multicultural associations as a start. Eventually, you’ll see the newcomer resources such as free tuition on schooling, finding a work, getting discounts, to name a few.
Blend well with the culture
This country is multi-cultural and freely lets you bring your own culture. However, it’s best to also learn to integrate yourself with Canada’s culture. This is our new home. One thing I learned is not to speak your native tongue in front of other people. This makes it uncomfortable to some people. So, I’m now being sensitive on this one.
I learned to ask everyone every Monday and say, “How was your weekend?”. I also now offer to buy a coffee at Tim Horton’s. Sit on a bench in the park and listen to someone’s stories so as to make the person feel better.
While I’ve worked overseas before, my situation is not something on going home regularly due to higher airfare costs. Before I can always book a ticket because the countries that I’ve been to are near. I always miss my home country. Especially my family. I learned to divert my attention to many things here in Canada so as not to feel depress. I was not actually active on most social apps but to remain consistently connected with my family and friends, I tried doing it. I learned to play on Snapchat while talking to my little nephews and nieces, forward pictures to my family, purchasing gifts online and give them weekly updates.
Hardwork is easily seen here by the company management. You don’t need to wait for triple decades (sarcasm) to get promoted. They are really appreciative of your efforts and contributions. No barriers. No other factors. No “red tapes”. This is one of my favorite experiences in Canada.