Zoser was at the forefront of launching Egypt’s first online banking system for Citibank, and he’s worked at several other top financial institutions. But when political instability struck the country in 2011, he moved his family to Canada. He found support from employment service providers, including ACCES Employment, that gave him the Canadian experience and tools he needed to successfully reconnect with his profession. Now, he’s is ready to pay it forward and help other immigrants going through the same transition. Here are his thoughts on mentoring a newcomer professional.
Why Zoser beame a mentor:
I had a lot of friends coming to Canada from the middle east, especially from the IT field, so I shared what I learned about the main obstacles they may face and what companies are looking for. It was a good chance to share my experience, and I thought “why don’t I do it through The Mentoring Partnership?”
Zoser’s insights into Canadian employment culture:
Professionally, I.T. work is the same everywhere but knowing the right attitude that is valued makes a big difference. As a newcomer, you can have concerns about continuing your career in a new place and you have to be flexible, because this is a change. Giving newcomers those ‘small hands’ can mean the difference between them just getting a job and being a superstar.
Tips for fellow mentors of newcomers:
The program is all about sharing experiences. When you are mentoring a newcomer it’s important to understand their situation and remember how you were feeling at that stage. They are usually frustrated because they are looking for jobs on big general websites and not getting anywhere, because no one has told them yet about how and where to job search effectively. Also, lots of people find their value in what they do and from being able to support their family. But you shouldn’t feel like your value has decreased because you are looking for a job. As a mentor, you have to give your mentee the confidence that their value is still there and that they will be able to succeed.
How he’s benefited from mentoring newcomers:
Speaking to people from different backgrounds is always helpful. Even though I consider myself settled down it is still eye opening to listen to other people’s experiences – it gives you more insight and reminds you that Canada is a dynamic place where things are always changing.
What he’s found most rewarding about being a mentor:
You work with your mentee on their application and being prepared for the interview. It’s amazing when they tell me they’ve got an offer for a good job. It’s a major milestone in their life in Canada. I believe everybody has a good chance here.
Zoser participated in The Mentoring Partnership through ACCES Employment, first as a mentee and now as a mentor. To see a full list of service delivery partners across the GTA or to sign-up as a mentor visit mentoringpartnership.ca.
The Mentoring Partnership matches internationally trained newcomers with established Canadians in occupations-specific partnerships to learn about the Canadian job market. Partnerships run 24 hours over 4 months with 75% of mentees reporting finding work in their professional field within 12 months of completing the program.