As Lionel Laroche, of MultiCultural Business Solutions explained in his keynote address to a room full of internationally trained professionals (ITP) on November 26/14 understanding the nuances of Canadian workplace culture are crucial to one's career success in Canada.
As an immigrant to Canada from France, Laroche found himself in the position of being passed over for promotion because he didn't interact well with his colleagues.
He possessed the technical skills to be highly successful in his career, but a lack of soft skills was holding him back, a common problem for many ITP.
Laroche’s address, "Succeeding Professionally in Canada", emphasized key points to help ITP make the most of their new careers in Canada.
Laroche's key points for workplace success:
· Understand that soft skills, such as interacting well with your colleagues, are highly rated in Canadian workplaces
· Have your technical skills assessed by people in your profession and your soft skills by counselors/career practitioners, as well as people in your profession
· ITPs need to learn the unwritten rules of Canadian organizations and follow them; and Canadians need to explain the rules and give feedback
· Develop a very specific 30-second elevator pitch about who you are professionally
· Use LinkedIn, professional associations, and people that you already know to increase your network
· Be well prepared for networking meetings by reading trade magazines, carrying out web-based research, and be clear as to what your objective is for your networking meeting
· When attending a networking meeting or information interview be on time, stay positive and take notes
The Global Hamilton conference also included a trade fair staffed by local language, training, employment, and settlement services staff; and three brief workshops.
The workshops focused on the following topics:
- Understanding how the Canadian corporate culture works, presented by the City of Hamilton Career Development Centre
- What is an e-portfolio and why do I need it?, presented by Mohawk College
- Strategies for Successful interviews: A panel discussion with Hamilton Immigrant Mentoring Partnership employers
WPH thanks all who attended and who made the conference a success!