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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I have skills! So you'll hire me, right?

One of the biggest hurdles an immigrant faces is finding employment in their new home. Even more difficult is finding it in the field in which they may have worked in the past.

Canada is known in the US for having cabbies with MBA's and PhD's. Same thing probably goes on here, but our businesses seem to be more open to accepting or ignoring (to the benefit of the job seeker) the credentials of other countries, and - face it - we have no idea of what the rest of the world says about us because our media protects us from that!

That last sentence calls for an aside...do you need credentials in the US? I have worked here for close to 20 years now. I have a BA degree from a good school. Has ANY employer EVER verified this? Have they verified ANYTHING? No - not to my knowledge. Here in the States getting a job is about 1. what you know 2. who you know 3. what's your rate? The end. There are any number of interviews that I have been on where my ENROLLMENT in an MBA program is mistaken as HAVING an MBA degree - even though I'm very specific about not having completed the program yet.

If you have a work permit, or are eligible for one (a little harder since the tech bubble burst) and can talk the talk and have connections, you have as good a chance as any in getting a job in your field. Especially if you're cheap and the employer thinks they can take advantage of you...Ahhh...America.

I honestly don't know how much of a problem I'm going to have in Canada finding work in my field, although I've read the stories that it will not be easy...Still - I'm optimistic. Now I have also read a lot of critical reporting on how Canada has a immigration policy specifically trying to attract skilled workers - tech professionals like myself, for example - and then doesn't do anything to assist their assimilation into the workforce.

I also know that steps appear to be in the process of making non-Canadian credentials (especially for Doctors and other health care workers who are in demand) acceptable - or at least not making professionals obtain and entirely new education in Canada for what they already know and have practiced for years.

So I have hope. And I have skills! So you'll hire me, right?

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