Beginning a life in any country that’s new to you is full of challenges and adjustments.
But making such a move can feel less daunting if you’ve taken the time to prepare yourself mentally and have undertaken thorough research in key areas like employment, property and living costs.
To that end, this brief guide is designed to help you get to grips with the idea of working in Canada and covers some of the key things you need to know in order to kick-start your Canadian career.
- Canada Has Two Official Languages
Not uncommon knowledge about Canada, but a fact that is forgotten surprisingly often by tourists and expats: Canada has two official languages, English and French. English makes up just over half of the population’s native tongue, while French takes up over 21%. The grand majority of Canadians have some understanding of English while almost a third have an understanding of French.
Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that some understanding of one of these languages (or both) would be ideal for fully enjoying life in Canada. For work especially, there are certain highly populated cities which deal primarily with French. For example, Montreal is the second most populated municipality in Canada and is situated in Quebec, which is the province with the biggest French-focused population.
While it is likely you will have a comfortable time in Canada with only an understanding of English, having even a basic understanding of French can expand your social pool and make life there more fun.
- Graduates and New Skills are In Demand in Canada
For those who have a college or university degree, and especially those who earned these qualifications relatively recently, you may find yourself in high demand in Canada.
In Canada, it is common for employers to look for recent graduates, and according to statistics from Canadian Visa 93% of recent Canadian graduates find work in their chosen field within two years of graduating.
Those with tech skills or credentials relevant to the video games industry are in especially high demand in Canada, particularly in the nation’s biggest cities. Graduates looking for roles in IT, manufacturing and teaching are also highly employable. Check out our current job listings here and find the perfect career that suits you.
- You’ll Need to Sort Out Your Visa
As with moving to any country, the most vital and often most difficult aspect is being able to live in the country as a citizen. If you plan to live there long-term, it is of course important to plan for long-term living and accommodation and in many cases this means obtaining a citizenship visa as well as a place to live.
When it comes to skilled work visas, Canada works with a points system similar to that used in other major nations. The criteria for these points include education, languages, work experience, age, adaptability and whether or not you have employment arranged for you. Applicants need 67 out of a possible 100 points to be eligible.
The Canadian government’s official immigration website has a tool called Come to Canada, which potential immigrants can use to test for eligibility. For moving to Canada as a skilled worker, working towards eligibility for immigration is a vital step and one that will require time and care. You can also take the time to check out some of our trusted visa partners on the website.
- You Can Save Money When Transferring Your Wages Abroad
An important aspect of making the most of a move abroad is to have confidence that you’re getting the best return for your currency transfers. This is especially true if you plan to transfer wages back home on a regular basis or pay a foreign mortgage.
You may find you can make your currency transfers go further simply by turning to a leading currency broker rather than a bank. Many banks offer a limited number of transfer options, fail to secure you the most competitive exchange rate available and tag on transfer fees.
With a currency broker you can save time and money by arranging for your regular transfers to be carried out automatically on a pre-set date and relax in the knowledge that you’re making your money go further.
- Canada has a Different Work Culture
As you might expect, different countries and nations have different work ethics and cultures which can be part of the culture shock you experience after a move.
Some examples of differences in Canadian work culture include a very common usage of ‘Casual Friday’, that is to wear more casual clothes on Fridays. While not uncommon in other western countries, it is notably common in Canada.
Another example is lunch breaks, which are usually only half an hour long in Canada and employees usually bring packed lunches rather than eat at a cafeteria or go out for lunch. Many workers even eat at their desks while continuing to work.
Working weeks have more hours, but work contracts and schedules can be flexible. Even with some basic work factors switching around can make work culture feel very different, so don’t go in expecting to walk the walk right away – even if you talk the talk (English or French).
It’ll come as no surprise that preparing for work and life in a new country means researching, learning and adapting to many new things. However, while difficult, it can be made less confusing through careful planning.
We hope this series of basic steps has helped give you a bit of an idea of what things you need to consider.
Canada is known for its high quality of life, welcoming populace and stunning scenery, so don’t let the thought of some serious planning deter you from what could be a life-changing and enriching new work experience.