My role at TRIEC is Communications Specialist. I mainly work on digital marketing and email campaigns to build awareness of TRIEC Mentoring Partnership. This can include social media campaigns showcasing mentors, mentees and employer partners through highlights, blogs and video posts, as well as supporting community and employer partners with marketing toolkits to recruit mentors and mentees. My career journey to getting this role at TRIEC has not been a typical route.
I started my first career after graduating from university, working in education for eight years. I held many positions in research, policy, and curriculum and qualification development. I even went on to implement national programs locally at school board and college level.
I moved to Canada in 2012 from the UK. I found it very challenging to find work in education. After 6 months I landed a job working for an education non-profit. It was at an admin position that was less senior than my previous roles. It was an opportunity to be back in education again. Within a year I was promoted and worked there for over three years.
Little did I know, 2015 was the start of my entrepreneurial journey. I enrolled in a style course at George Brown College. I went on to complete a Certificate in Image Consulting. The tutor of the last course was impressed with my business plan and encouraged me to start a side hustle. I launched my Image Consulting business in October 2015 and my first clients were my colleagues.
I went full time in my business early 2016. I launched my website (charmainebryan.com), wrote a book called Stop Buying Clothes You Don’t Wear and set up my social media channels. I soon realized that I needed to focus my efforts on marketing and branding myself so that I could attract my ideal clients. I set out to learn digital, email marketing and social media campaigns. I tested out the different marketing techniques in my business – some worked and others didn’t.
At the end of 2017 I decided to get a part-time job. My next two roles were in non-profit arts organizations in fundraising positions. I continued working with clients on the side. By the end of 2019 the focus in my business had changed to personal branding and communications coaching, less on styling. After nearly three years I decided I wanted to go back to a full time position.
I didn’t have a focus in my job search and started working with a career coach. He helped me see that the skills and experience I used for marketing my own consulting business were transferable to working for an organization. I had information interviews with people who worked marketing and communications. After these discussions it made sense for me to look for roles within non-profit organizations as I already had experience in the sector.
When I saw the role advertised for TRIEC I felt aligned with the mission. Being an immigrant and finding it challenging to find work, I wanted to be part of the team to help build TRIEC’s brand for more immigrants to know about us and our work with our partners. I wish I had known about TRIEC Mentoring Partnership when I moved to Canada. I think it would have made a huge difference to have had the guidance of how the Canadian job market worked. I would like more immigrants to have this guidance from the get-go so they can start their Canadian work experience at the level they left within their home country.