Information Makes All the Difference

An excited Philip Akpoesiri Mike-Ifeta moved to Edmonton, Canada, with his family on December 21st, 2017. In Nigeria, he had worked in the banking and financial services industry and had developed extensive experience in retail, small business, insurance, pension, asset management and customer service.

His decision to move to Canada was stirred by a desire to “avail our children a better opportunity at education and life in general.”

Settling into Edmonton was not a problem. Philip had an elder brother who lived there with his family. That made Edmonton a natural destination of choice. What was paramount on Philip’s mind however was getting employment in good time. Fortunately for him, he had equipped himself with all the job search information he could find before arriving in Canada. The strategies he learned in his quest for information would come to make a difference in his search for a dream job that would match his skills, experience and aspirations.

“Information is power you know; it was information that helped us get through the immigration application process successfully and we believed that getting additional information would aid us in settling down in Canada quickly. We attended an International Organization for Migration (IOM) session in Nigeria and also looked for pre-arrival agencies online. There is tons of helpful information online, and many good agencies that offer free advice and courses to immigrants. It was a worthwhile experience as we got the much-needed information that eventually proved to be very useful,” Philip explained. 

Philip’s job search took all of two months. “I signed on to the popular job site, and set up mail alerts for jobs that matched my skill set and I kept the resumes going out for every and any role that matched my skills.”

By the end of the second month he was invited to interview with TD Bank for a customer service role. Philip’s interview with the bank proved to be an immensely successful one as the outcome exceeded his own modest expectations. He got hired for a relationship and asset management (banking and finance) role instead following what was inevitably a remarkable interview!

“The recruiter called back promptly and ahead of the scheduled feedback window to congratulate me stating that the interview panel was very impressed and had recommended that I be hired for a full-time financial services representative role immediately!” Philip enthused.

“Two magical things happened in that instant – I got a full-time higher level role than I applied for and got a role that would have otherwise required me to possess the Investment Funds in Canada Certification (IFC) which I didn’t have. TD paid for the exam and registered me with the province as part of my Certified Advisor Program with the bank,” he added.

He advises immigrants whose job search is taking longer than anticipated to, “keep trying, keep the applications going, seek information, look for settlement agencies, network, pray and have faith, believe in yourself, and it will definitely happen.”