Pavit Kaur was working in the IT sector in India for many years leading major system development projects, before she decided to move to Canada in April 2018. She joined TRIEC Mentoring Partnership in February 2019, after facing many challenges in the job market. She is now working as a system administrator and is looking forward to become a mentor herself.
- Let’s start our interview by hearing about your professional background.
I have moved to Canada in April 2018, after working on computer application systems for more than a decade in India. I gained advanced project coordination skills with technical expertise in AS400 (iSeries) – a computer system for business use. I have led and facilitated many computer systems projects for different multinational corporations, and I also have a master’s degree in computer applications from India.
In Canada, I wasn’t able to find a job in my field for more than a year. But I finally managed to secure a job in my area of expertise after completing TRIEC Mentoring Partnership. I’m currently working as a system administrator on a project with Canadian Tire.
- Can you share when and how you became involved in TRIEC Mentoring Partnership as a mentee? And which agency you worked with?
I was searching for jobs for a long time after I moved to Canada with my family, but I had no luck. In February 2019, months after I arrived, my landlord suggested me to contact Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre. He was an immigrant himself, who found the services of Dixie Bloor very helpful in his settlement journey, so he suggested that they can help me to connect with job opportunities. After meeting with my coach at Dixie Bloor, I learned about and signed up to TRIEC Mentoring Partnership.
- What kind of challenges did you face when looking for a job as a newcomer?
I experienced a great deal of challenges when I was looking for a job. I think it was the competition in the job market and lack of Canadian experience that prevented me from landing in a job. I wasn’t getting many calls for interviews. And if I did, employers were looking for previous experience in Canada – and they told me during the interviews that I needed this experience to be hired. I was also getting comments about being overqualified for many of the positions that I applied for – all of this led me to being really depressed.
I thought coming with lots of experience with multinational corporations and the corporate culture would help – I was expecting the job market to be more open to international talent. And I saw many job posts that fit my profile – so the demand was definitely there, but I wasn’t getting hired.
Facing these challenges, but without any job experience here, I wasn’t sure where to start. I was also trying to adjust to a new country with my family and my daughter, while job search was a whole task by itself. I needed a clear pathway about how to search for the right job.
- Can you tell us more about how mentoring helped you with finding your first job in Canada?
After Dixie Bloor connected me to TRIEC Mentoring Partnership, I was matched with a mentor. She helped me to understand what kind of possibilities there are in the job market. My aspiration was to become a project coordinator and to leverage my previous experience in a technical role in my field.
My mentor accordingly supported me to realize what my strengths are, and what are the gaps. She provided really useful feedback on my resume and I gained a fresh outlook to job search. Her insights on how to market my skills and experience were useful, and also helped me to build my confidence.
- Can you give us an example of how you’ve put your learning from the program into practice?
My mentor suggested me to be precise in the job search – apply to the companies which open positions that match my skills and competencies well. I would say one learning is being selective and applying to positions where my experience and expertise would be most relevant.
- Any last words?
TRIEC Mentoring Partnership has been an incredible help in my professional journey in Canada. I’m definitely going to recommend it to the newcomers.
Eventually, I also want to become a mentor myself and be part of this network, so that when I meet a newcomer, I can guide them about where to find the right job posts, how to apply to them and what are the right courses of action.
Interested in changing the lives of immigrant professionals like Pavit? Apply to become a mentor now: http://www.mentoringpartnership.ca/join-us/become-a-mentor/