I have never expected that my work with our pre-arrival clients would give me an opportunity to meet so many amazing people. And to learn about the countries they are coming from. While our clients learn from us how to arrive prepared here in Canada, I, myself, become enriched by what they share and bring with them. Once, I read a story about a country that was described as “the mosaic that meets the sky” and a city of “sapphire and gold”. Then one day a girl enrolled in the Job Search Strategies course that I facilitate online, and she was from that country, Uzbekistan. Here today Dilrabo Tursunova kindly answers our questions about her experience with the SOPA (Settlement Online Pre-Arrival) program. Dilrabo tells how SOPA helped her arrive prepared and find her dream job in Canada in a little over a month after her arrival.
Describe the work that you did before immigrating to Canada.
I am a development professional. I worked for an International Development Foundation back in Uzbekistan. I also have 3 years of experience in finance and administration in the non-profit sector.
Were there any concern you had in the prospect of moving to a new country. If so, what was your main concern?
I had plenty of concerns. From major concerns such as choosing a city to settle and housing, to other minor settlement concerns: which bank, mobile operator and insurance provider to choose. And some more. However, my main concern, which will not surprise anyone, was how to find a job in my field. Specifically, in the field of international development. As this field is very competitive, young professionals usually struggle to get their steps set in any other country not only in Canada. I had the same concern, although I have a Master’s Degree and substantial amount of professional work experience.
How did you come to know about SOPA and why did you choose SOPA among many other pre-arrival services?
It was a day among many other, I was waiting for my documents to be approved by IRCC. One of my friends posted about SOPA courses on Facebook, recommending them to the people immigrating to Canada. I checked out all five courses that SOPA offers. I really liked the way the courses were structured and delivered. I instantly decided to start taking them right after I was eligible to enroll.
What did you learn as a result of joining the SOPA program? Could you name at least three things that you have enjoyed or that have been helpful?
I became familiar with Canadian job market and learned how to make my resume look more ‘Canadian style’. I learned about interview skills through the job search strategies course. And through Professional Communication course I learned about Canadian work culture and values by improving my soft skills.
To sum up, I just got equipped with the right information and tools, and as a result when I arrived I was already job-ready. I knew where and how to start my job search and progress with it. And after a few weeks of my job search, I got a job offer from one of my desired organization. It’s one of the leading International non-profits in the humanitarian and development sector.
This course covers all the necessary information on the administrative / document procedure sides of the employment in Canada and Canadian taxation. As a result, I have learnt great deal of information in a structured way. I would be learning the same information doing my own internet research, however, it would have taken me considerably longer time than I actually spent on the course.Dilrabo on ‘Working in Canada’ course
What was the best thing about SOPA?
The best thing about SOPA is that it offers its courses before arrival. It is, indeed, a great opportunity that newcomers can arrive prepared. It helps smooth their settlement, and fasten their job search by having Canadian resume and other job search tools ready in hand. So they will get no surprises once they arrive and can integrate earlier to the economy and to the area they settle in.
Would you recommend SOPA? If so, why?
Definitely! I highly encourage newcomers to take SOPA courses before their arrival in Canada. If possible all five of them. They are designed in a right way as they provide tailored information depending on chosen province and delivered by professional facilitators who are always there to be of help and support.
Is there anything you would like to add?
What makes SOPA unique is it does not only help a newcomer to become job-ready or learn more about Canadian work environment but also boosts one’s confidence. If you have right skills, experience, education, driven with passion and know how to search for a job, and confident enough, nothing can stop you to find your dream job in Canada.
It was such a great learning journey with SOPA for the past months. I learned a Lot and the knowledge I gained has helped me and is still helping me as I integrate at my workplace and in Canadian society in general. SOPA and its team have very different value in my life. The team is the first Canadian people I could get to know (encouraging, supportive as every other Canadian) from a thousands miles away.Dilrabo
On the picture:
(left) Gemma Follini, Job Search Strategies Facilitator with SOPA Ontario
(right) Dilrabo Tursunova immigrated to Ontario, Canada from Uzbekistan. She found a job in her field in a little over a month after immigrating to Canada.
Immigrating to Canada? Arrive Prepared.