Navigating your new life in Canada during COVID-19: A guide for newcomers
As a newcomer to Canada, you face a unique set of challenges. Here are some suggestions to consider as you’re settling into your new home.
Jul 03 20203 minute read
As a newcomer to Canada, you face a unique set of challenges, and it may seem like the COVID-19 pandemic has added another barrier to achieving your desired lifestyle, employment and financial goals. You may be just starting to make new connections or seeking a job during this economic downturn. Both of these things are harder now, but not impossible.
We’re here to help you during these challenging times. Here are some suggestions to consider as you navigate settling into your new home.
Maximize available resources
There are many government and private settlement agencies that support newcomers to Canada. Many of their services are free of charge. They can help you with finding a job and also provide you with guidance and connections for language training, housing, government programs, as well as health and community services. These organizations have rapidly adapted to changing circumstances by moving online, and many will provide one-on-one consulting and virtual information sessions.
Employment is undoubtedly a top priority for newcomers, and the pandemic has increased challenges for job seekers. But the fundamentals of searching for work still remain, and an important piece is networking. How does networking work? Networking is when you meet people to build relationships and learn more about the characteristics of their industry, company and profession. It’s a widely accepted form of building your connections. Here are 3 tips to get started:
Start with circle of friends, family or former colleagues. They are best aware of your skills and can help you connect with people in their network who may be working in roles or industries you’re interested in.
Use professional networking sites like LinkedIn. When connecting with someone, start with a short message on why you want to connect. Highlight their accomplishments or work that impressed you, ask for relevant information about your target profession or field, and ask if they would be interested in connecting. Remember that the pandemic has affected us all, so requesting a phone call or a video chat is the new normal.
Ask the person you initially connect with if they have suggestions for other people with whom they think you should meet. It takes time, but it’s often a “friend of a friend” who eventually knows of a role or opportunity.
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