This week’s spotlight speaks to families with children wondering how their kids will assimilate. Generally kids have it easier, We talk to Tosin, @tosintoshine who moved here with his family as a child and is now a Canadian Citizen. He is currently the Director of Org Change Management at a bank in Ontario.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Tosin, people call me Toshine. I’m a business consultant and play in the space of transformation, change management and strategic planning. I volunteer at a number of organizations and at church, and I am passionate about youth development.
What is your favourite thing about Canada?
My favourite thing about Canada is the diversity – people, food, climate, and thought. Being different is a good thing in Canada; it’s not perfect by any stretch, but it seems to be much better than most other places in the world.
Coming to Canada at a young age, Do you think it was easier to adapt?
It was different – I moved from Ife (Osun State) to Toronto. It was quite the change, especially since I was told I was going off to boarding school, not to Canada. As a 12-year-old, the things I was worried about were (1) people making fun of my accent (2) fighting people who made “your mama” jokes, because where I come from you didn’t disrespect someone’s mom, even if it is a joke (laughing face).
Seriously, I think it was easier for me, in that I had more time to adjust. I was allowed to take my time, whereas coming here as an adult, my parents had to have things partly figured out before we even landed, i.e. housing, school system, career path, network to tap into for help etc. It helped that my dad had been in the US for a while, so he already knew how things worked before we joined him and we all moved to Canada.
What advice would you give to new immigrants looking for work in Canada?
Be open. Have a plan and goals based on solid research but be flexible. The people I have seen do well, have generally identified their ideal career, then figured out the stepping stones they can use to get there whether that be education, volunteering, different (sometimes lesser) roles OR a combination of all. Focus on the end goal, but do things today that will set you up to get there - - and ensure that on that journey you stay driven/encouraged because it can be discouraging at times.
Build a network. Start to cultivate the habit of reaching out to people, joining associations or clubs, not necessarily to ask people for a job, but to focus on finding out what people do, where they do it, how they got to where they are (their stepping stones), and general advise they can give you based on your circumstances. This is the part of career growth that will always be true in Canada.
Read. Literally read tens and hundreds of job descriptions (not job titles, cause those are misleading) and see if you can see yourself in those roles, and if it’s not clear what the jobs are about, follow up with people during networking. At the end of the day, you’ll understand what you like and what you don’t want to go near.
So - Be Open. Network. Read.
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Disclaimer: Participants are not necessarily Todun Consulting Clients.