“Without the support of others, I wouldn’t have been able to find my first job and build my career here. I’m grateful to everyone who helped me to make those first steps and want to help other newcomers do the same.”
Originally from India, I spent several years in the Middle East. I came to Canada for my family. I have two young daughters and I wanted them to grow up in a place that offered them better learning opportunities and a balanced environment to shape their future.
My international advantage
Because Canada is so diverse, it helps when you have a global perspective and an appreciation for different cultures. In the Canadian workplace it’s increasingly important to have international experience. You integrate in the Canadian culture faster, but you also bring a different, yet relevant, outlook to the team.
What I learned from my mentor
I learned about banking and various players in the industry in Canada. My mentor also provided helpful constructive criticism on my resume. I also learned that networking is key. The more people you know in your profession, the better. People in your networks can guide you in your job search and career development, help you understand the industry, and give you an insider’s perspective.
My job search experience
At first, my job search was unfocused and as a result ineffective. Like many others before me, I was using the traditional means of job search: browsing the internet. You know you need help, but often you don’t know who to turn to. The good thing in Canada is that the government funds useful programs available through non-profit organizations and immigrant service agencies. For example, I came across ACCES Employment that runs a program for internationally trained financial services professionals. I gained useful job search support from this program and learned about mentoring.
ACCES Employment was conducting partner in a CGI career fair. I was encouraged to participate, went through a series of interviews (including a preliminary interview at the job fair) and subsequently was offered a position relevant to my experience and skills.
My mentoring experience so far
Mentoring has provided valuable learning. I’ve learned about the importance of setting expectations between mentee and mentor. Together we have developed short-term and long-term career goals, so that we can focus on areas where there are some gaps. For example, we quickly realized that we needed to re-examine job search strategies. We have also looked at opportunities to transform my mentee’s resume to spark employers’ interest and ultimately get responses from them. Now we are working on converting interviews into job offers.
Harshal Dalal is a CRM Senior Manager, Marketplace Services, Deloitte Canada.