Immigrants coming to Canada have to make networking a priority when they arrive. This is a wonderful way to learn about resources, get a support system in place, and find work. It can be scary when you are new to the culture around you and unsure of your place in it. With a desire to make a good life for yourself and your family, you can make it happen! Networking puts you on the right path from the start. It will help you secure employment faster and have ways to deal with any challenges that arise as you get settled in Canada.
Many immigrants don’t know too many people when they embark on this journey. They take a huge leap of faith it will all work out. Yet you don’t have to feel alone when you get to Canada. Not when there are wonderful networking systems in place. They are designed to assist immigrants so they don’t have to try to figure it all out on their own. It can be lonely if you don’t know anyone, and networking helps you make friends and get support as soon as you arrive in Canada.
Your mindset about networking is important. If you fear it or you get anxious about it, you may try to avoid it. Think about it as a way to be productive and get the results you desire. In fact, such networking is going to speed up your job search. You will have access to job listings and you can match them up with your skills. You can spend more time filling out applications and going to interviews this way.
Network through Events
While you shouldn’t just attend events in Canada to network, it is a prime opportunity to do so. It can help you expand your circle of friends. It can give you a place to ask questions, learn about job possibilities, and have some fun too! Many of these events are family-oriented and give you a chance to unwind. Others raise money or awareness for certain needs in the community you are now a part of. Your relationships can’t be a one-way street. You can’t expect people to help you find a job and give you information without anything in return. Do your part to get to know them and befriend them. Share information where you can, donate time when there is something that has to be completed, and help others with information you have. The exchange should be mutual for these relationships to be meaningful and have an opportunity to grow.
Networking should be the icing on the cake, not your agenda for attending an event. Make the first move by introducing yourself to others. Make eye contact, smile, and shake their hands. Small talk gets you a chance to visit with them a bit. Stay positive and don’t force the conversation.
Try to relax and just enjoy the moment. Many others at the event may be in your same situation, offer them support too. You may not have the information or job contacts they seek, but you can be a friend. You are in similar shoes and it can give you some common ground to talk about. You aren’t going to make deep relationships with everyone you network with, and that is fine. People should feel good around you and be happy if they see you again at future events.
Diversify your Networking Opportunities
Learn about all the events around the area you can. This information will help you diversify your networking opportunities. Go to workshops and job fairs. Go to meetup groups and share your input. Sign up for online forums as the social network online can help you in person too. Think about the type of job you want and ways you can get out there with such events to network.
When the events are interesting to you, the genuine enjoyment you have while there will be noticeable. Remind yourself of your skills, your interests, and even funny stories. They can help you naturally talk to others you meet at such events. As you start to navigate through an event, you will connect with the right people.
Coming to Canada also means new opportunities for hobbies and interests. This can open up the door to further networking. It is exciting to try something new. It can help you bond with others that have a passion for it too. Sometimes, these new interests also lead to job contacts. A conversation with someone may lead to them telling you they know someone looking to hire someone with your skills. Don’t underestimate where your information can come from.
People are often intertwined, and that is why networking works so well. If you are friendly, approachable, and have a positive mindset, people will like spending time around you. They won’t hesitate to refer you to others they think you could be a good match with either. These new interests give you new topics to discuss in those conversations with people.
Strive to show up early for any job fairs in the area. Dress for on the spot interviews and bring along several copies of your resume. While your goal at job fairs is to go through the booths and apply for possible jobs, don’t overlook the chance to network there! It is true, the other people there are competing for the jobs available. Yet they can have valuable information to share with you. It isn’t you against them.
When you talk to recruiters or business representatives, thank them for their time. Ask any questions you may have. When you give them your resume, ask for a business card. Call them in a few days and share with them it was great to meet them at the job fair. This is a great way to make sure your name and your resume stand apart from the rest of them.
Focus on your Best Contacts
It isn’t possible to follow up with everyone you meet when you go to events or network. Sometimes, the job lead isn’t going to pan out. It isn’t a job you want or you aren’t qualified for it. With other people, your personalities don’t click. Be mindful of who you keep company with. Avoid anyone that is negative all the time or talks poorly of others. That can reflect back on you if you associate with them.
When you get some good leads for jobs or resources, make it a point to follow up with them. Jot down some notes about what you talked about so you don’t forget when you reach out. It can all start to run together when you talk to lots of people, and you need a method to keep it straight. Don’t be shy about asking people you meet to join a social media group you are in or to come to a meetup event you know about. You can even invite them to join you for coffee at a local café.
Not everyone you contact is going to reply back, don’t let that deter you. Not all invitations you extend will be accepted. People often have their own schedules or reasons why they can’t do what you asked. You have to be confident when you network so people feel drawn to you.
Strive to make a good impression when you meet people. Thank them for job leads or other information. Especially if you got a job or other assistance because of what they shared with you. Your feedback can encourage them to continue to help others. Find the balance between pestering someone and reaching out to them. You can rub them the wrong way if you are bothersome.
How can you tell if they are Interested in you?
Paying close attention to the body language and words of others can help you tell if they are interested in you or not. This takes time, but it is a skill that is valuable to immigrants when they come to Canada. Issues including cultural differences and language barriers can make it a challenge to pick up on those cues at first.
Try to communicate in person when you can. It is easier to pick up on things that way than online. For example, you can’t get the tone from someone when you read a text or an email. You have an easier time doing so when you talk face to face. When you put yourself out there and communicate with others, you start to pick up on who is responding favourably and who isn’t.
Practice good listening skills so you aren’t making the conversation all about you. Take in the information they share. You can use those tidbits later on when you reconnect with them. Good listeners attract people too. They aren’t boasting about themselves. Instead, they make others feel comfortable around them. Your skills with networking will improve the more you do it!
Immigrants to Canada will find several professional organisations. Joining a few of them is a good idea as it opens up many networking opportunities. It also ensures you are connecting with people that share a similar background, interest, or work-related skills. Many of these professional organisations are free to join. Others have an annual membership fee. Always find out the cost and the benefits before you sign up.
Social Media Networking
The convenience of social media networking makes it appealing. You can go to forums any time that fits your schedule. You can ask questions, share information, and gather information. These are prime locations where people talk about trending topics, share connections about jobs, and make friends. Create an account on LinkedIn to use for your professional networking.
Facebook is another great social media resource you can use to network. Consider adding certain apps to your phone that can benefit you. Balance social media use though, it should never replace face to face or phone contact entirely. It should be an additional way to network, not the primary method.
Canada has some amazing universities, and several of them have programs specifically for immigrants. Continuing your education can help you secure the job you really want in this new country. Any time you invest in your education, you increase your prospects for a good paying job. Talk to the school staff about scholarships and financial aid you may qualify for.
Carve out time to commit to volunteer work or a mentorship. This is a wonderful way to meet new people. At the same time, it will give you a sense of personal fulfilment. Strive to volunteer or mentor in a field that is similar to what you wish to do for a profession. You can use that information on your resume to assist you when you apply for jobs in that field.
Networking Brings Value to Immigrants
There are plenty of jobs and opportunities for a great life in Canada. Immigrants come with dreams and inspirations. Networking helps bring value to their quest for a good place to reside and a wonderful job. Do all you can to learn new skills, learn the language, and diversify your skillset.
Networking helps you feel established in Canada, not like an outsider. You will develop wonderful friendships and great professional connections. You will find your place in Canada and be thankful for the chance to thrive. Networking helps it all fall into place for you. This is a great way to avoid common mistakes. You can be successful with the right information and through networking!