An Indian-born Chaitali worked as a Software Quality Analyst for six years after completing a Master’s Degree in Computer Applications in 2015. She decided to immigrate to Canada with her husband in 2020.
They relocated as Permanent Residents in Toronto, a tough change for a well-settled Indian couple. “We landed in March 2020, just one week before the international borders were closed due to the current pandemic situation” -they remember- “Since then it has been quite a journey for us. While the beautiful sky and the snow amazed us, the increasing news about layoffs and job application rejections dreaded us. The pandemic hit us badly, as it did everyone in the world. However, the struggle was on.”
A few months after their arrival, Chaitali joined YMCA for employment counselling and her counsellor sent her an email about a Cybersecurity foundation course offered by CultureLink. “I attended the information session and I found it very helpful. Therefore, I registered for the 8-week virtual training program, where the first week was focused on Canadian Career Development and the remaining 7 weeks were dedicated to Cybersecurity technical training. Every Friday we got an opportunity to meet an industry expert who specialized in the Cybersecurity domain. I joined the course hoping to build my professional networks. I also found the curriculum quite related to my work profile.” explains Chaitali.
She continues, “During training, we also attended networking sessions. Before such events, we learned how to present ourselves by having our resumes updated and confidently introducing ourselves. For this, we used to join an hour before the event. We practiced asking questions in different scenarios, including interacting with a prospective employer during the networking session. It was my first networking learning opportunity in Canada. I found it extremely valuable as I got a chance to speak with a hiring manager.”
Building a network takes time and effort, that is why we work hard to make it easier for new Canadians to meet people who can help their job search. Every connection counts, although for some individuals, like Chaitali, being in the right place in the right time happens sooner rather than later:
“A day or two later, I received a message from one of the HR officers who attended the networking session, about an open position for a Quality Analyst. I immediately sent my resume and a series of calls and interviews began. A handful of calls later, I was shortlisted for the role and offered the position. All this happened while I was still attending the course. After 8 months of rigorous job search, I was able to land a job in my field here in Canada, thanks to CultureLink.
I started my job in November. My husband, who is a software developer joined the same course in February 2021 and secured a job during the first week. While his story is different than mine, I’d say CultureLink has been our lucky charm! This year, I hope we will be able to meet the CultureLink team in person to thank them for the wonderful job they’re doing for all the newcomers.
In addition, to all of you who are reading this, I highly recommend you to join this course and explore other services offered by CultureLink to help newcomers settle in Canada.”