We talked to Olayemi “Yemi” Olaleye, from Nigeria, about how SOPA helped him in his journey to getting his CPA accreditation in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Yemi first landed in Canada on the 21st of February, 2018 and made his final arrival on the 24th of September, 2018. Let’s read his story:
Q. How was your employment journey in Canada?
My preparation for employment in Canada began months before my final landing in the country. Following the advice received from the SOPA program I participated in, I researched the Canadian job market focusing on my field of practice back home, Accounting. The research led to my choice of Winnipeg as the city to settle in. Winnipeg has one of the most diverse economies in Canada, making it a good choice for young professionals interested in building careers across different industries. Back home, I had the opportunity to work for a few years in banking, oil & gas and consulting. I wanted a city that won’t restrict me to a particular industry.
One of the many important lessons I learned from the SOPA course I took, Job Search Strategies, was that getting professional accreditation helps in getting the right job in one’s targeted occupation. So, I commenced the process of getting my professional membership with CPA Canada a month before landing. The process was completed a few weeks after landing.
In addition to researching the job market and taking courses on job search strategies, another step I took before landing was connecting with professionals in my field who live and work in Manitoba via LinkedIn and other social media platforms. The advice they gave me was priceless.
I got my first job 9 weeks after landing.
Q. How did SOPA change your approach to seeking employment/licensure in Canada?
SOPA resources such as my Settlement Action Plan and the online courses helped me formulate a workable action plan on my job search. This helped me focus my job search on a few targeted organizations.
Q. How did our Canadian partner organizations help you in your settlement and career in Canada?
I completed the Manitoba Start and the Entry Program the month I landed. The program provided me with very useful information on the Province, the Canadian job market and networking opportunities, all of which have helped my settling down in Canada. I particularly liked the Interviewing workshop I participated in as part of the Entry Program.
Q. What strategies did you use to find a job in your field?
My main job search strategy was selecting a few target organizations and getting the right connections within these organizations to recommend me for suitable openings.
Q. Describe any challenges you faced in your job search process and the steps you took to overcome these obstacles.
The biggest challenge I faced in my job search process was my lack of Canadian work experience. I was able to bridge this gap by volunteering with a few non-profit organizations.
Q. Please provide any tips for other newcomers in terms of finding employment in Canada and/or seeking licensure.
Newcomers should take advantage of the numerous pre-landing and post-landing services funded by the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) like the Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) and other Canadian partner organizations. These services give a head start before your arrival in Canada.