23 August 2011

The Decision To Immigrate To Canada 2

A quick recap from my previous post regarding The Decision To Emigrate To Canada. I landed in April of 2011 which is the terminology used for a person who has successfully entered Canada as a permanent resident. I have been here four months now and I have found work, it is part time work but I am happy with what I have been offered. It is an excellent opportunity and has the potential to become more permanent in the future I think. I am thankful for this opportunity, I really am! However this is not strictly why I am writing this post.

The main reason for this post is that I believe here in Canada there are some companies that are uneducated with regards to what the permanent resident status actually means. For employers who maybe looking to hire a person who has permanent resident status and is reading this, may I direct you to the following link: About being a permanent resident of Canada. Further more a permanent resident has the option to become a Canadian citizen if the person in question has been living in Canada for at least 3 years.

Some people maybe thinking 'hang on Liam you have been in Canada for only four months and you have been employed.' Yes I know and again I stress that I am grateful for the opportunity. But I have evidence that maybe coincidental to support my thoughts on this.

In the months that I have been applying for various positions here in Canada I have changed the wording on my website and resume to slowly remove most references that suggest that I am originally from the UK. My cover letters for job openings changed from stating that I am originally from the UK to practically no reference that I am from the UK. Was it stupid of me to think companies may actually find that a person from a different country with different cultures, different approaches to design, art, creativity may actually be of interest? Perhaps even an interview or a meeting to talk and chat about possibilities? Was it really that stupid of me to think so positively about what I can offer a company with my experience in a different culture and country? Or is there something else going on here that is embroiled within some political issue? I am referring to illegal immigration!

Take a look at this article I found this doing a quick search on the web regarding Canadian immigration  which was written less than two weeks ago as of the time I post this. To be honest I actually see this situation getting worse for new people granted permanent residence in Canada. Since my initial application I have seen the immigration application process change, as of right now today if I were to apply I would probably be rejected.

But let me just bring this back to my own personal experience thus far regarding finding work here as a new permanent resident. I believe that companies receive lots of resume's and applications for employment opportunities in my field such as web design, graphic design, creative roles etc. Maybe one look at an opening line from a cover letter that states, 'I have recently moved from the UK to Canada on a permanent resident status' just smells of hassle and trouble. And maybe there is a mentality in certain cases that a person asks themselves 'why should we give an opportunity to a foreigner when we have locals here looking for work too?' I can understand this feeling and outlook because coming from the UK there are similar feelings towards Eastern European's coming to the UK looking for work. This is a whole other area that I could talk about but it has no bearing on what this blog is about. The main difference between the UK situation and the Canadian situation regarding immigration is that countries that are part of the European Union (EU) are allowed by European law to live and work anywhere within the EU.

Before anyone reads this and says that I am missing all other UK immigration issues in the UK, I know, I am just making a point.

I have also spoke to Canadian citizens on this topic and generally they are not aware that there is such a problem, but why would they? They are not in my situation. They are not the one's who have been slowly taking any reference to the fact that I am from the UK out of any professional correspondence regarding employment opportunities. Generally when I ask Canadian's about getting work here they all seem to encourage me and wish me well. So maybe it is just a case of educating employers with what a permanent resident can and can't do here in Canada.

To wrap this up for now my advice to anyone who is a NEW permanent resident here in Canada like myself and looking for employment would be to take as much reference out of your correspondence regarding your country of origins. I read this back and it kind of sickens me that I am suggesting this, but I have had more luck since taking this action myself.

To potential employers, I would consider diversity in the workplace and perhaps not shoot applications down so quick without first understanding the legality of what a Permanent Resident status means. Of course this does not apply to every company in Canada, in fact certain government jobs actually have a quota they have to take on. Call me pessimistic here but doesn't it seem convinient that government agencies have a quota for taking on minorities and immigrants and it is the government that sets immigration targets? I don't believe there is such an innitiative in the private sector, perhaps there should be.

This blog actually got longer than anticipated and I certainly don't want to suggest that I have experienced any negativity with regards to my UK origins here in Canada. For myself I would just like to bring awareness as to what a Permanent Resident status actually means here in Canada mainly to companies that may not have actually looked into it.

Visit my professional website at http://iamliamroberts.com