Maneli Siadati understands how her clients in the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program feel, because she was once a skilled immigrant herself.
“I still remember those days. I’d worked for the British government for 10 years, but at interviews I’d still get asked for Canadian work experience. My clients have all done lots of great things in their home countries, but it can be difficult to communicate that to Canadian employers.”
Job searching can be discouraging, but Siadati empowers her clients to stay positive — not just to raise their spirits, but also because it will help them get a job.
“I used to work in HR. Especially for leadership positions. You want to hire someone who is confident,” she says. “Now when I practice job interviews with clients we work on everything: where to look (especially in Zoom interviews), how to keep your hands and posture, and to smile even when you’re nervous!”
Start small, and stay motivated
Siadati encourages her clients to set short and long term career goals to create a clear path to career success. For client Kulwinder Mann, she suggested visiting construction sites near his home to network and gather information.
“He resisted at first because it was out of his comfort zone, but I said, ‘You’ve immigrated to another country, you already left your comfort zone!’ During his first informational interview they offered him a job, and after a few months he was promoted to Construction Projects Manager.”
“Resume and interview workshops through ISSofBC’s employment services helped me to shape my resume into a Canadian form. My mentor Maneli Siadati helped me to overcome challenges and provided me confidence. Her guidance provided me a chance to get a job as per my dream,” Mann says.
Individualized career action plan
With each new client, Siadati creates an individualized career action plan to help them reach their goals.
- Assessment, research and planning: Understanding the client’s qualifications and which job requirements they’ll need to work on.
- Recertification: Most clients using Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants have a lot of education, but may need to localize to show their understanding of Canadian standards. The program can help identify useful courses, and also help pay course fees.
- Resume and interview skills: Clients will reformat their resume and cover letter to appeal to Canadian employers, and practice job interviews.
“Career Path is the best help a new immigrant can get in BC,” says one of Siadati’s clients who is now employed by a BC Health Authority. “Maneli Siadati helped me with advice and virtual classes to build my CV to Canadian standards. Giving me an action plan was a very systematic way to approach the job search.”
Pathways to success
Ibukun Asiyanbi used the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program to network, develop his resume, practice job interviews and help pay for Canadian certifications. After months of dedication, he secured work as a Business Analyst with eHealth Saskatchewan.
“My mentors at ISSofBC saw something I didn’t see and believed in me. They equipped me with the necessary skills to improve my abilities, which worked. I will forever be grateful to them,” he says.
Rozita was seeking a planner role in supply chain management. During her search she realized most job descriptions required APICS-CPIM certification, and used Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants for financial assistance with the course.
“I appreciate it and I’m thankful for this opportunity,” says Rozita, who now works as a Purchaser Material Planner in Vancouver.
To learn more about the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program, register for a free, online info session, held every Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Learn more at issbc.org/ask or visit the Surrey Welcome Centre, 301-10334 152A St. Have a question? Call 604-375-2105 or email email@example.com.
“I really enjoy my job,” Siadati says. “I believe in the power of work — I know how meaningful a career is when starting a new life in Canada.”