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My mentor did a great job of  providing me basic understanding of job search process

When Majid Kazmi came to Canada in 2012, he brought with him years of experience as a banking professional in Pakistan. “Thanks to my mentors, I was quickly able to figure out what it takes to be successful in the very competitive job market of Toronto,” he says. “My mentor did a great job providing me the basic understanding of the job search process and the hiring criteria relevant for my role.” Majid today works as a Business Consultant  for Channel Strategy, and Retail and Business Banking at CIBC.

He has tried to contribute to new immigrants’ successes through various forums. He helped establish the CIBC International Professionals Network (IPN) and was appointed its first co-chair. Majid has documented his networking experience in an article, entitled “10 Tips to Smart Networking that Worked for Me”, which gives advice to newcomers.

Becoming a mentor was an obvious choice for Majid. “I wanted to pay it forward. Not doing that just didn’t feel right to me.”  Mentoring is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the experience of other newcomers and learn about diverse cultures, he says. “The experience of learning from the personal stories broadens the horizons of my personal growth, and helps me become a more empathetic and perceptive leader.”

What has Majid gained from being a mentor? “Long lasting relationships that could be mutually beneficial in months and years to come.” He has also gained an understanding of different perspectives about the employment market. “Knowing that all mentees do not go through the exact same challenges has helped me appreciate the distinct aspects of each mentee’s experience and the variety of opportunities and solutions that exist.” And more importantly, being a mentor allows Majid to inspire others to make a difference in the lives of newcomers by becoming mentors themselves.

The satisfaction of being mentor comes when mentees succeed, Majid says. “The shining mentoring moment for me was when a mentee received two interview calls in one day and both eventually converted into job offers.”

Motivation and positive energy are some of his many take-aways from his mentoring experience. “Being successful in your career essentially takes the same skills as finding a job in a new country”, he says. “The Mentoring Partnership has taught me the importance of being driven by my goals and being persistent in doing all that it takes to achieve those goals”.

“My motivation came from within but was intensified by the overwhelmingly positive response I received from my mentors.  Every time I am faced with challenges, it is this positivity that helps me refocus on what I can do to maintain the momentum”, he adds. It was this positive energy that became my biggest learning from the mentoring experience.

As a mentee turned mentor, Majid has some sound advice for mentees. Since the time commitment in a mentoring relationship is limited, it is crucial for mentees to make the most of it. “They should ask the right questions. This comes from an understanding of one’s short-term professional goals and long-term career aspirations.”

“A mentee can only get a mentor’s support to design effective strategies to target relevant jobs, if he or she has a well-defined career objective and knows who his prospective employers are. Also, have your mentor help you research and learn more about your field here in Canada”, he says.  “The mentor can then channel the mentee’s efforts in the right direction based on his goals and strengths.”

“The mentee should make the most of the mentor’s past learning and seriously consider the tools and resources that the mentor suggests”, he advises.


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