Small Talk Works!

One day, shortly after arriving in Edmonton from The Philippines, Ria and her son insisted on taking the bus to a museum instead of waiting for her uncle to drive them. She wanted to be more independent in getting around the city after-all. While at the bus stop, she asked a gentleman if they were on the correct route. He confirmed and started chatting with Ria. Familiar with the Canadian culture and small talk, from SOPA’s Soft Skills: Professional Communication course, Ria chatted with the gentleman and told him that she is a nurse. She also remembered advice from her Job Search Strategies facilitator to always bring a notebook with her. So when the gentleman told her he knew of a job opportunity in her field, she took out her notebook and jotted down all the details.

After applying for a healthcare aide position and attending her first ever job interview in Canada, Ria was offered the job, just 2 months after arriving.

“I found this job opportunity because of what I learned from SOPA courses! This conversation on a bus stop showed me that small talk and networking are very important in Canada.” Ria

Ria adds: “I’ve applied all the strategies I learned with SOPA, from making a Canadian resume to being confident in the job interview.”

Her settlement in Edmonton with her 14-year-old son is going smoothly. Within a few months of their arrival, they were able to get their own apartment and Ria began working towards an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certificate. Her short-term career goal is to become a registered EMR, while in the longer term she hopes to work as a nurse, specializing in psychiatrics. Ria’s son is on the honour roll and he plays on the school’s varsity basketball team.

“We’re doing really well and adjusting so fast within the Canadian culture and society, and this is mainly because SOPA prepared us so well.” – Ria

– Rubirose Ong

Cultural Communication Facilitator

SOPA Alberta Team