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Should I move to Canada to Try and Find a New Job? Mark Swartz, M.B.A. M.Ed.

About the Author

Mark Swartz, MBA, M.Ed., is Canada's Career Activist. His insights reach millions yearly as the Workopolis.com Career Advisor, as author of the best seller "Get Wired, You're Hired," also as a professional speaker and coach on career/work issues. A former Toronto Star careers columnist, Mark's advice is forthright and practical. For Canada's biggest directory of free career articles, and for personalized coaching, please visit www.CareerActivist.com.

Dear Mark,

We have been keeping an eye on the feedback that you have given to questions regarding career and work issues and hope that you would be able to give some guidance.

My husband and myself would like to immigrate to Canada with our 5 year old daughter and have tried every avenue to get into the country. We registered his resume on Workopolis in about February 2008 and to date there have been 94 viewings of his resume. (average about 12 viewings per month) Yet not one communication has been received from a Canadian employer. We have also sent several replies to the advertisements ourselves.

He is a Business Analyst/Consultant and numerous positions are posted for this occupation daily. Some ask for Degree's and others do not. (he does not have a university degree but has 20 years work experience of which 10 years is as a Business Analyst for one of South Africa's four major banks).

We would like to make Canada our home and have consulted with Immigration companies who indicate that a Job Offer would be the way to go. They indicate that it would be easier to find a position while in the country, yet you cannot immigrate to Canada with permanent/temporary residence status without a Job Offer, as per the points system. (we have family currently living in Manitoba -- they received a Job Offer from Canadian employer whilst still living in SA -- head hunted for his skills)

Do you have any advise as to how to get a job offer from a Canadian employer for someone like my husband considering that there has to be interest in his resume, based on the quantity of times it has been viewed.

Awaiting your valued feedback.

Regards (name withheld by request)

Dear Aspiring Immigrants,


I have assisted several people from overseas in securing employment here in Canada. It has never been a simple matter, and there are numerous barriers to overcome. Thus I can empathize with your frustration.

Unfortunately you are among the millions of others who would like to join the Canadian workforce from afar, who experience precisely what you do: no responses from employers whatsoever. It is simply a matter of economic reality here in our country - except for certain high demand occupations, there are already way too many unemployed and underemployed seeking jobs locally, including hundreds of thousands of previous immigrants who are struggling still to get hired in their proper fields of work. Plus there is an economic slowdown starting that is affecting almost everyone.

Your best bet is not to move here unless you have extensive financial resources to draw on, or with a job provided by your current employer at a branch in this country. Next best is to have former bosses or colleagues with connections here refer you to hiring managers they know. Third is to come here for a few months and attempt to find work - by planning this out in advance you can pre-schedule appointments and maximize the effectiveness of your trip (I helped one client from Dubai do exactly this).

Also you can look for work in cities where you are most needed, such as in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, though the commodity downturn will affect these regions too. And attempt to find work in organizations that have a strong need for your language and cultural skills.

Sorry for sounding bleak, I am just trying to be honest. Canada is still a land of opportunity if you have the exact skills needed, are willing to move only where the jobs are, and have a financial safety net in place - so long as you can get approved for immigration, of course. Otherwise it is potentially a nightmare for new arrivals who believe that our economy is bursting with jobs for everyone.

Sadly even in the best of times it is not.

All the best,
Mark

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