Raise Your Market Value First

Raise Your Market Value First
Tetyana Tsomko

What are two main ingredients that will act as leavening agents in the integration process? An expensive car, a big TV set, or a trip to Mexico may help the ego in the first year in a new country but definitely won’t be of any use to setting a solid base for the years to come. Instead, I would suggest investing time and money in the following two things: language improvement and professional expertise. You will raise your value on the job market first to be able to afford a comfortable lifestyle, with no stress, a little bit later.

No matter how knowledgeable you are in your domain, how friendly and flexible you are, you need to communicate all the time. For a job interview, you can put a nice suit on, have a great hairdo and intelligent eyes, but as soon as you open your mouth, it will be evident how eloquent you are. Companies are looking for people with well-developed soft skills, communication being one of those, as they understand that almost everything else can be learned on the job within the first 6 to 12 months. However, language acquisition and effective communication in the target language (usually third or fourth language for many immigrants) may take several years. Employers cannot give you that much time.

As per your specific professional domain, you may think you know it inside-out. You most probably do, but not in Canada. The norms, approaches, regulations, and methods differ from those in vigor in your country of origin. Look for ways to keep up with current local trends in your area by:

➼ Going through the RAC (Recognition of Acquired Competencies) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Evaluation) process.

➼ Taking some short courses or MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

➼ Completing a few professional certificates.

➼ Starting a master’s degree in a program you want to be (re-)specialized in. The wide range of choices will surprise you. By the way, student insurance is one of the best cost- and coverage-wise.

Add all these new acquisitions to your LinkedIn and CV. Employers are looking for lifelong learners who keep themselves up to date, whether you are an immigrant or a Canadian.

If you have no interest in working for somebody else, it would be critical for you to operate efficiently in your own business in English and/or French and continue to grow professionally and personally.

We may lose money, change town and country, our profession may disappear in the near future due to technology, but what we invest in ourselves will never vanish. On the contrary, the more we learn and improve, the more we get in return regarding money, satisfaction, and peace of mind.

Tetyana Tsomko