Hanna’s Employment Journey in Canada

Our client, Hanna, who immigrate to Winnipeg, Manitoba last year is here today to share her tips and advice on how to prepare for your job search in Canada. Hanna landed a job in her professional field 3 months after arriving in Canada. Thanks, Hanna, for sharing your story with us!

When did you arrive in Manitoba and where are you from?

Arrived in Winnipeg on May 10, 2017 from Kyiv, Ukraine

Why did you choose to immigrate and why MB?

We chose Canada because it is a safe country with a stable economy. We like Winnipeg because it is a middle sized city with friendly people and the perfect place for starting a family and raising children.

Who did you immigrated with?

I immigrated with my husband Oleksandr and our two-year old son Maksym.

What is your edicationa background?

My educational background is a Master’s Degree in Business Economics (Ukraine) and Certified Management Accountant Designation (US certified)

Profession in your home country?

I worked in financial planning and analysis at agricultural companies in Ukraine.

Targeted and current occupation in Canada?

My target was to find job with responsibilities that would match my previous experience and skills. And I did it. Now I work as Financial Analyst in Winnipeg.

How did you learn about the SOPA program and what services did you receive from SOPA?

I learned about SOPA through my internet search. I read good reviews on an immigration forum and decided to register. After an intake session, I took three courses:

  • Job Search Strategies
  • Soft Skills: Working with Others
  • Soft Skills: Professional Communication

What do you like about learning with SOPA? How did SOPA change your approach to seeking employment in Canada?

After registration with SOPA I received a personal plan of action with plenty of links for newcomers. While studying with SOPA you may plan your own schedule and time and that was important for me. Courses contain theoretical parts and tasks for homework, which were very useful and practical. I learned about the Canadian job market, workplace culture, soft skills, importance of the targeted resume and the cover letter.

Would you recommend SOPA to other pre-arrivals and newcomers?

Thanks to SOPA I arrived really prepared and knew my next steps after landing. I recommend all newcomers start their preparations as soon as possible and take all SOPA courses. In SOPA you will find the necessary knowledge and support of classmates in SOPA forums and facilitators. They will become your first friends here, at your new home.

Describe any challenges you faced in your job search process and the steps you took to overcome these obstacles. Include the pre-arrival and post-arrival strategies: i.e. online workshops, volunteering, networking and others.

I started job searching immediately after arrival in Winnipeg. I completed Entry Program, Alicia’s Rae Career Centre, visited job search events, applied online and through Linkedin, and contacted recruiters. I recommend that people apply all possible strategies in your job search: you never know what will work in your particular case.

Please share your employment journey (eg. finding job leads, networking, interview process and experiences) and how long did you find your first employment?

I started my first job in Canada three months after landing. In all, the process starting form resume application to job offer took one and half months. I found a job posting on indeed.ca website, went to website of the company and applied with a targeted resume and cover letter. I had three interviews for this position: one phone interview and two in person. I advise all newcomers to be prepared that the job search process and the interview itself takes time and even if you start applying for jobs immediately after arrival it can take up to two months to get a job offer.

Any tips for other newcomers in terms of finding employment in Canada?

Language, absence of Canadian experience and hidden job market are the main challenges for newcomers. But everything is possible with a good plan. It is a good idea to have short-term and long-term plans for your career in Canada. You should explore the Canadian job market, educational and licensing requirements for your profession, understand your transferable skills, learn the software that is used in Canada, and explore potential prospective companies and employers. Start to practice and improve your English in your home country. It will save you time and effort after arrival, otherwise you will spend the same amount of time on English classes in Canada.

What are you busy with now? May we know what your future plans are regarding your employment in MB?

I am happy working as a Financial Analyst and currently working towards my CPA Canada designation.


On the picture left to right front row: Echo Duan – Job Search Strategies Faciltator, Hanna – SOPA Manitoba Client, Milgaros Dacwag – Intake Counselor and Martin Blumrich – Soft Skills Facilitator is in the back row.