In an ironic twist of fate for a risk manager, Jennyfer Pacelo’s immigration papers were fast tracked after the devastating floods in the Philippines left her car submerged, her house destroyed and no family to turn to. In April 2010, Jennyfer was reunited with her family in Canada.
While attending a job search workshop at ACCES Employment Services, Jennyfer learned about an American Express Canada Technologies hiring event for project managers, a field she had worked in previously. She was hired a few months later.
Jennyfer realized that while she was getting her work done, her evaluations weren’t entirely glowing. Jennyfer signed up for Achieving Success in the Workplace. “Right away I felt as though I wasn’t alone,” says Jennyfer. “The immigrants in my class were all experiencing similar challenges around the nuances of feedback.”
Jennyfer can now pinpoint what responses she needs to flesh out during a performance review. “I know about constructive criticism,” explains Jennyfer. “We were taught that too, but Filipino managers are more blunt. Now I know how and when to push a manager to be more direct with me.”
The workshop also boosted her morale. “I’m now communicating more with my colleagues,” says Jennyfer. “I’m building my interpersonal skills and asking for help when I need it.”
The onus to adapt isn’t on Jennyfer alone. American Express Canada has sent staff to TRIEC’s integration workshops to ensure that both immigrant employees and managers are equally informed and committed to new approaches to integration.