In March 2010, I attended a conference sponsored by the Newcomer Centre of Peel in Mississauga, Ontario. Nick Noorani, Motivational Speaker, Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Immigrant Advocate was the guest speaker.
His 7 Success Secrets for Canadian Immigrants are:
1) Learn English – Many new immigrants speak English but they need to perfect their English to be well understand by English-speaking Canadians and to excel in the Canadian workplace. Although one may speak English in his/her native country, it may not be at the same level as Canadian born speakers or at the acceptable standards in the Canadian workplace. Be open to do what you can do to improve your English Speaking skills – take upgrading courses, join Toastmasters, listen to English-speaking talk stations including CBC radio and watch English news. Make friends with English-speaking people and try to speak as much as possible.
2) Stay Positive – Coming to Canada and finding work and integrating into a new society can be very challenging. The people who stay positive and look upon their new experiences in a positive light and a new adventure will be in a better situation. You will come across negative people in Canada as there are in every country – for every negative person you have in your life, you need to add a positive person. Surround yourself with positive people – there are many naysayers. These people are not going to help you. The positive people will help your attitude and your outlook.
3) Embrace Canada – You have made a big move to come to Canada – be a part of your new country and know as much as you can about it – whether it be news, sports or politics. This is your country now. Get involved in your community in Canada. Know about your sports teams – whether it is in basketball or hockey or others. Be able to talk at the water cooler about what is going on.
4) Have a Plan B – Everyone has his own skills and experience. One comes to Canada with the goals and hopes of working in a field that is similar to what you have done. To ensure that you are successful, one needs to have a Plan B and as some of the participants at the symposium said, you need to have a Plan C, D and E. Perhaps you may have another passion – it may be in a different career path or a second or third choice related to what you were originally chosen to do. Be open to the idea of taking another risk after doing your research first.
5) Stay Clear of ethnic – Silos – Immigrants who integrate into the Canadian workplace and Canadian life the best are those who make friends with people from all ethnic groups. Canada is a very multicultural country. Don’t limit yourself to be only with people from your native country or from your own language group. Be open to making friends with people from all religious and cultural groups.
6) Take risks – By deciding to come to Canada, you have taken one of the biggest risks in your life. For that you should be congratulated. To continue your road to success, you need to keep an open mind to new ideas and possibilities. This may be a new business venture or a possible job opportunity for you to consider.
7) Volunteer, mentor, network – The way to finding work and succeeding in Canada is being involved in the community, volunteering with different professional associations, charities and causes that are important to you. This will build your network and your friendships/relationships that will help you in ensuring your success in Canada in the present and future time.