Navigating New Beginnings: Alisha’s Inspirational Journey from the UK to Canada

Moving to a new country brings plenty of challenges, from adjusting to a different culture to navigating the job market in unfamiliar territory. Today, we share the inspiring journey of Alisha, a recent immigrant to Canada, who graciously shared her experience with us.

Before arriving in Canada

Alisha moved from the UK to Calgary, Alberta, in September 2023. Alisha’s professional journey is quite diverse, trained as a Nutritionist in the UK, she embarked on a career that led her through the fields of culinary arts and academic publishing. However, upon relocating to Canada with her husband, she sought a new path, aiming to venture into the domain of design. Alisha’s story is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of newcomers to Canada’s workforce.

Before their relocation, Alisha and her husband opted for support from Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) services. Recognizing the importance of acclimating to the Canadian job market, they sought guidance on resume preparation, interview techniques, and cultural nuances. Their decision to engage with SOPA proved pivotal in their transition to Canada.

Looking for a job after arrival

Upon arrival, Alisha faced the daunting task of securing employment in a new field. Utilizing the tools and strategies learned through SOPA, she meticulously crafted her resume and cover letters, tailored to Canadian standards. Embracing LinkedIn as a networking tool, Alisha reached out to hiring managers directly, showcasing her initiative and determination. Despite the challenges of entering a new field, Alisha’s perseverance paid off. Within 7 weeks, she secured a promising role, underscoring the effectiveness of her strategic approach and the value of SOPA’s guidance.

crop unrecognizable businesswoman typing on laptop at home
woman typing on laptop on

Reflecting on her journey, Alisha emphasizes the importance of personalization in job applications. By infusing her cover letters with personal anecdotes and showcasing her unique skills, she captured the attention of prospective employers.

What did Alisha learn from SOPA?

“I learnt the best way to write my resume in line with Canadian norms. In particular, emphasizing volunteering involvement, having a dedicated skills section at the start of my resume, removing any superfluous text that was not relevant to the job application, and having a very tailored opening summary statement that addresses the key points outlined in the job description. I also learnt the importance of LinkedIn and made the effort to really improve my profile.”

SOPA Employment Sessions outcomes:

Alisha found satisfaction in the assistance she obtained during the employment counselling sessions with Olja Stojanovic, SOPA Alberta Employment Specialist. She valued the advice provided and the customized strategy crafted for her career path in Canada.

“I made a lot of changes to my resume to really give myself the best chance of catching the eye of employers. I also made sure that my cover letters really stood out, and used bullet points at the advice of my counselor. Finally, following my counsellor’s advice, I updated my LinkedIn, making it more engaging for employers and making myself a nice profile photo and cover letter. I also made sure to ensure my skills section and experience covered everything relevant for the jobs I was applying for.”

Alisha’s recommendation for fellow newcomers:

  1.  Update LinkedIn, and message employers/connect with hiring managers directly. It shows initiative and I firmly believe that several of my job interviews (and maybe my job offer!) were because I reached out to the hiring team;
  2. Have a bullet point skills section in your resume to really efficiently showcase your skills;
  3. Make your cover letters UNIQUE! I found that being unusual and sharing personal anecdotes got me a lot more interest from employers. Sounds cliché I know, but being too generic was a downfall for me – if you tell a personal story it is really interesting and can appeal to hiring staff.

In addition to professional growth, Alisha and her husband have embraced the warmth and generosity of the Canadian community. The transition to Canada has been marked by newfound friendships and a vibrant lifestyle enriched by the country’s diverse culture.

Alisha and her husband enjoying Alberta’s nature

What has surprised Alisha most about Canada?

“The people! Honestly, everyone is SO KIND, and generous, and just wholeheartedly friendly in every interaction we have with everyone. I could ramble and praise this for hours but I won’t! We have made so many friends here despite only being here a few months – to put it in context, in the UK I found it hard to make friends no matter where I lived. Even after 2 years of living in one place I left not having any true friends there. For Calgary in particular, the weather is wild. But I love how sunny it is – I didn’t realize that Calgary received so much sun and it really is a huge boost to my mood. But we love the snow, and love living in such a changeable place as every day is so different!”

As Alisha looks ahead to her future in Canada, she remains grateful for the support of SOPA and the opportunities that lie ahead. Her journey serves as an inspiration to newcomers embarking on their own paths in a new land.

Story prepared by Olja Stojanovic | Employment Specialist SOPA Alberta

Approved to immigrate to Canada? Join 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.

Leave a Comment