Hiba moved from Lebanon to Vancouver, BC, in October 2022. Hiba has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, a master’s degree and ten years of quality and project management experience. She was enthusiastic but also anxious about kickstarting her career upon arrival. However, after two months of landing, she was delighted to get an opportunity to work in her occupation and launch her employment journey with BC TransLink.
While waiting for her PR approval, she started her research and connected with previous immigrants. As a result, she understood that Canada and Metro Vancouver specifically have employment opportunities. She thought that this was challenging but achievable. Therefore, she decided to plan as much as possible before moving. Connecting with SOPA about 3 months prior to landing was one of the preparation steps, and this must have been one of the best decisions she has ever taken!
Hiba expressed that SOPA’s services were invaluable, the workshops she attended introduced her to Canadian-style resumes, cover letters, marketing, networking, culture, licensing as well as effective communication skills. She also applied to Engineers and Geoscientists BC (EGBC) membership before coming to Canada and found it to be exceptionally informative and well-structured.
She was referred to post-arrival settlement organizations and mentoring services as well, while regularly checking in on her progress and status. The mock interview was one of the most important exercises she did with her employment specialist, which boosted her confidence. Working on her transferable skills and strengths also helped improve her skills in navigating the challenges of responding to behavioural and technical questions. She was overly impressed with the professionalism and dedication she received throughout the program including the continuous feedback, support and one-on-one meetings. After arrival in Vancouver, she had her resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile ready and was ready to start applying for jobs, attending hiring events and networking with professionals. Besides having rejections, she also had positive and responsive replies which eventually turned into opportunities, such as her employment with BC TransLink.
“Seeking guidance and connections is key, and you’d be surprised how the kindness and support you’ll get can alleviate your uncertainty and inspire you to appreciate the act of giving and paying it forward.”— Hiba, SOPA BC Client
Hiba hopes that her experience inspires and encourages others to seek SOPA’s help and be optimistic about their move. “Seeking guidance and connections is key, and you’d be surprised how the kindness and support you’ll get can alleviate your uncertainty and inspire you to appreciate the act of giving and paying it forward as well.
Such an achievement would not have been fulfilled without the help of SOPA and all the professional, helpful, and insightful people and I am grateful that I have crossed paths with them.
Note to newcomers: The journey has not been easy, and still is not, but eventually, the most beautiful adventures are usually the hardest, and what better place to experience it, other than beautiful British Columbia!”
Story prepared by SOPA British Columbia Team
What is SOPA?
Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) is an Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) funded program that delivers free pre-arrival services for job readiness, success and retention. Are you an internationally educated professional with an approved permanent residence application and relocating to Canada within the next 1-12 months?