Ready to land or just landed in Canada? Here’s what you need to know

Having a positive mindset and a willingness to embrace change play a key role in how an immigrant’s journey will unfold in Canada, say two recent newcomers to Canada as they share their experiences and offer tips based on their own personal journey.

Ryan Thomas, 31, a marketing executive from Mumbai, India, arrived in Toronto, Canada in October 2020, during a pandemic, and few weeks before the arrival of winter.

He was unnerved by both. But he found that there was an upside to staying at home during the lockdown.

“I believe there’s a certain amount of unlearning that’s needed in order to succeed here as a new immigrant,” said Thomas. “Even though I landed here during the pandemic, I think it was a bit of a blessing because I was able to research the Canadian job market, observe the linguistic and cultural differences, update my resume, and explore my neighbourhood.”

When Thomas and his wife Tanya did a soft landing in 2019. Impressed by Toronto’s cultural diversity and the opportunities that existed in Canada, the couple decided to move here permanently.

A marketing professional with some eight years of experience, Thomas has worked with several well-known international brands in India but making a dent in the Canadian market requires patience, and fair bit of optimism, he noted.

“Even though the first few months (in Canada) were challenging, we don’t regret our decision to come to Canada,” Thomas said adding the 14th draft (and hopefully the final version) of his resume appears to be yielding results. “I have decided not to look back and dwell on the fact that I was well-established in my career and enjoyed a comfortable life in Mumbai or that now I have to start over again in a new country.”

Not unlike Thomas, the pandemic did not deter Warren Dias, 23.

Dias arrived in Canada from the U.K. in November, 2020 on a common-law visa.

Dias, a mechanical engineer and a professional athlete, said the process of acquiring a visa and subsequent work permit was hassle-free and surprisingly swift. Once here though, Dias realized settling in a new country and acclimatizing to the weather are minor challenges compared to searching for a job during a pandemic. It’s early days yet. Dias has several options. For starters, he’s a certified physical trainer, and has an impressive list of academic achievements, certifications and transferable skills.

“Having the right attitude, discipline, and a clear set of goals are important when you’re a newcomer,” Dias said. “As a professional athlete that has competed—and won— several titles, I believe success is inevitable when you put in the hard work.”

Even though Thomas and Dias each came to Canada from a different part of the world they each have several common experiences and lessons for prospective newcomers. Thomas and Dias’ five tips for newcomers include:

  • Get to know Canada, not just the country’s labour market but the its history, people, sports teams, weather and people
  • If it’s possible, visit the country before you immigrate
  • Be willing to adapt, adjust, and accept that things may not be easy at first
  • Network, network, and network
  • Don’t give up when things don’t go according to a plan, there’s always another option

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