So many highly skilled immigrants arrive here in Canada and find that their credentials are not recognized.
So the very first thing that you should do is submit your international credential to a recognized organization to be evaluated.
There are many legitimate organizations listed on the internet, such as:
• The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC), which is a unit of the Council of Canadian Ministers of Education
• World Education Services (WES).
• Comparative Educational Services (CES) at The University of Toronto.
• International Credentials Assessment Service (ICAS).
However, while waiting for your credential assessment you should also be looking into job opportunities.
Assuming that you have your immigrant status that allows you to work in Canada, it would be important for you to contact the associations that represent your professional field for advice and guidance or go to legitimate government sites for information.
Be wary of internet sites that attempt to sell you services.
Many immigrants have found success by taking entry level positions and working their way up.
Some have upgraded their credentials while working and gaining “Canadian experience” which is a frustrating barrier, but one that needs to be crossed.
While working at entry level jobs it is important to make your mark within that organization.
You need to be quickly recognized as eager, smart, hardworking and willing to serve your organization proudly.
It is also important to get to know the decision makers of your organization, learn your organization’s mission, vision and values and exemplify them.
If you are able to volunteer to do more than the scope of your job, do so. This will help you to keep polishing your skills.
And finally, find a mentor in your field – this is immensely helpful.
A mentor is someone whom you admire and trust.
A mentor is not your friend but someone who will give you honest feedback that will help you on your professional journey.
Sometimes, your boss can be a mentor, or can recommend one in your organization or in your field.
Sometimes, approaching someone whom you admire, directly and politely may result in a serendipitous mentor-mentee relationship.
Keep these relationships very professional and try not to cross the line of familiarity.
And all the while keep a lookout for positions inside and outside your organization to which you can apply.
– Dr Vicki Bismilla
• Dr Vicki Bismilla is a retired Superintendent of Schools and retired college Vice-President, Academic, and Chief Learning Officer.