Skip to toolbar
How I got my first job in Canada as an Immigrant.

How I got my first job in Canada as an Immigrant.

I started writing this post about how I got my job in Canada as a Nigerian Immigrant in less than two months without a job. Weird? well, it’s either faith or maybe I was just plain crazy. As I tap away on my phone, I’m sat in the subway on my way to a job fair. I figure it’ll be a good use of my time to start writing my experience in real-time so I don’t leave anything important out.

As would be expected, and is generally the norm, my first month in Canada was mostly spent settling into my new environment and house hunting. I wrote about my journey to Canadian Permanent Residence here and here, check it out if you are interested.

The anxiety kicked in….

With those pretty much out of the way, my focus shifted to getting a job. I knew it wouldn’t come easy but nothing prepared me for how different the job search process here is. For context, after my NYSC in a bank in Nigeria, I got a job immediately with little or no delay or effort so job applications were completely strange to me. It’s worth also pointing out that I worked in the bank for over six years, so this was my comfort zone. The reality of relocation came with a job hunt fear I wasn’t prepared for.

Nothing was going to happen by magic so I had to grow balls and face this hurdle head-on! I mean, LET’S GO!!! (Yes I had to pump myself up every day to keep at it).

The first thing I did was to work on my resume. (In Canada, it’s called a resume and it does differ from the CVs we are used to). I struggled with this a bit because I quickly learned the ACTUAL FIRST THING I needed to do was decide WHAT I wanted to do. I had to identify my role/job of interest and tailor my resume to suit that.

When you work in Nigeria, you’re a “Jack of all trades” – you’re the accountant, researcher, meeting room booker, minute taker, process improvement officer, etc. all at the same time! Yes, it is a lot and annoying but this vast skill set afforded me more options in my job search. I could decide to pursue a career in any of these (of course except meeting room booker or minute taker. Lol)

When you work in Nigeria, you’re a “Jack of all trades” – you’re the accountant, researcher, meeting room booker, minute taker, process improvement officer etc.

Before the job hunt…

I went back and forth, trying to decide what role to focus on. I spoke with friends, experienced colleagues, etc. Factors I considered to eventually narrow my choices were; my already existing skills, love, and passion for the role, potential income, and opportunities for growth.

With all my cards before me, backed up with prayer and advisory, I decided on the role. I researched and read up on it, looked at numerous resume samples, and then finally wrote mine. I shared with people already in that field and they reviewed, I reworked it to my taste and got to a comfortable point.

Right after that, I got familiar with it to explain every word on it. When the time came to face interviewers.

And the job hunt began…

Networking is everything in Canada so alongside applying for roles, I was registering for job fairs, signed up with recruiters, and reached out to friends for referrals.

I got my first job opportunity after attending a job fair event, it was an “on the spot” offer – basically a minimum wage contact center role. I was tempted to take it ‘to hold body’ while I looked for a better role. I knew I could do better and overcame the urge to take it. Thankfully, I turned them down hoping I hadn’t made a mistake but somehow trusting that better would come, It’ll just be a matter of time.

The second offer was a connection from one of my mentor’s protégés. (Talk about networking). He had helped with my resume and connected me to a guy he knew. This guy then informed me about a role and connected me to the recruiting firm.

Meeting the recruiter

I sent my resume to the firm immediately and got a mail the next day scheduling a 10 a.m phone interview. it went well and since the company was looking to fill the role urgently, the recruiter asked if I was ready to do the physical interview the same day. Of course, I was. I jumped at it and by 3 pm I was sat in the lobby waiting for my interviewer.

For some weird reasons, I was very confident. The interview went so well, the lady interviewer told me not to apply for other jobs as she was certain I had a huge chance of getting this one, I kept on thinking if the saying ‘Canadians are nice’ is the story behind this but my friend told me this was different. We laughed at her advice of not applying again, how will I stop applying without a job offer ABEG ABEG

Then the call came in….

Two days after, I got a phone call that I’d have to do three more interviews, with my potential direct supervisor, a director, and head of HR. They explained this as general company procedure as each interviewer had different things they were looking out for in potential staff.

On one hand, It struck me as an example of a good company culture and on the other, I worried about how many more interviews I’d need to go through for one role. Na Wa Oh!

Of course, I agreed, I mean my daily routine was to eat, sleep, apply for jobs and watch TV so I had nothing major taking up my time. Unfortunately, the interview dates were set at the time the “stay at home” order was effected in Canada. To my surprise though, they reached out a day earlier and rescheduled to three video interviews. I was a bit unhappy because I was ready with my fancy blazer to wow them.

The interview

On the day of the video interview, I woke up early, took a shower, and freshened up, still wore my blazer indoors, and spent some time testing my video and audio. The interviews lasted about 30minutes with each of them with ten minutes breaks in between.

Do you know how at the end of an interview you’re asked if you have questions? Well, always have your questions ready. I had prior to the day checked out their Linkedin profiles to put a face to them and get some information. One question I asked was if there was anything that will not make them move forward with me. The director responded saying COVID19 might cause a delay because onboarding staff online might not be the easiest, but they’ll figure it out. That gave me some confidence.

After two hours, I was done and left it to God. I was told to expect feedback in three days.

The wait post interview….

A week after, no feedback, COVID19 took over, state of emergency. I felt so upset, I cried, prayed, had faith, lost faith. It was such an emotional rollercoaster.

Middle of the second week, I decided to reach out just so I can move on if they had made a choice that wasn’t me, so I could cease hoping. I mentioned that I’m doing other interviews and would love to get feedback so I can make informed decisions.

And the offer came in…

The next day, I had my offer in my mail!

GUYS I got a job less than two months after getting into Canada and less than a month of applying.

I was in shock mostly because the entire country is locked down, people are losing jobs, but despite of it all, even with no Canadian work experience, I GOT A JOB. I did that. I’m so proud of myself. I cried tears of joy. I’m still in shock writing this. And guess what? The pay is really really good.

Even with no Canadian work experience, I GOT A JOB in my field.

I get a lot of compliments about how smart I am but for reasons unknown, I never think I am that smart. I need to believe in myself more because everybody but I knew I was going to nail it. It’s not all me though, I know God went ahead and made a way.

They shipped a monitor and a laptop with all the necessary tools needed to resume. I started working remotely and It’s been great so far.

I’m so thankful to everyone that pushed me, helped me with my resume and interview preparations, referred and supported me.

I also need to mention that I got over 70 rejections too like I didn’t get to the physical interview stage at all and I was applying to like 25 jobs daily.

I got over 70 rejections but I never gave up.

Now that this phase is over, I can fully enjoy the city with my chest without feeling guilty like my priorities are not right.

Follow me on Instagram to see more fun content because it’s about to get real. Haha


I’ll be waiting in the comment section to answer any questions. Do say something. If you enjoyed this, please hit the share button below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog below so you don’t miss out on any post.

Love, Titi.

Share

103 thoughts on “How I got my first job in Canada as an Immigrant.

  1. Congratulations on your job.I have been following the blog since your relocation and I am so motivated.We are applying for PR soon so sharing your experience means a lot.We coming soon by his grace.

  2. I am so so happy for you Titi!!! Amazing. Amazing. I hope the job is a wonderful and fulfilling experience for you. It’s definitely a testament to your tenacity as well wow! You go girllll!

  3. Don’t know you, but really happy for you.
    As someone awaiting PPR, this was comforting to read. I do have a ton of questions and would be appreciate if we could speak privately.

  4. Congratulations Nikky!!!
    I love the ray of light this is- to you and to everyone looking for positive vibes in these times.
    I am so happy for you and wish you all the best- God’s Grace and Favour all around.

    Congratulations again!

  5. I needed this motivation as it’s almost 2 months since I moved to Canada too and job hunting !!My friend sent this link to me.
    Congratulations Titi!!! God really came through !
    Would love to connect with you on LinkedIn if you do not mind 🙂

  6. I’ve been following your journey and I’m so happy for you. I’m also waiting to hear good news soon (just moved as well). God is so good!!!

    1. Thank you Lola. Means a lot to me. Rooting for you, I hope you get your good news. Please don’t forget to share with me when you do. All the best.

  7. Oh I forgot to ask, can you please share if you wrote cover letters for all your job applications? Cos the process is loooonnggg. Lol!

    1. Tell me about it! I hate cover letters. I was lucky enough not to need one, but it’s pretty essential. I guess it depends on the application requirements.

  8. Thank you for sharing this. It feels like you were led to write this for me. Congratulations and God bless you

    1. Wow, congratulations Nikky. I am so happy I’m for you. Tapping into this grace. Let me start putting in the work too. Thanks for sharing

  9. The problem with this write-up is that you still have the Nigerian mentality.
    You didn’t give details of the role you got, the industry (if you won’t be specific about the organization), sample questions, salary range(I expect you wouldn’t want to be specific), so others coming might better prepare for the Life.
    You held so many details back.

    1. Whew M, The irony! You’re the one with the Nigerian mentality and entitlement. She doesn’t owe you full disclosure of her salary or any thing as a matter of fact. Less of this M. Let people post what and how they want.

      – U( since we’re going by alphabets)

  10. I’m overjoyed for you, Titi, and I have no doubt you’ll excel in this new job. Wishing you all the graces you need. Do stay safe over there.

    Chukwunaeme

  11. Absolutely beautiful to read. As someone planning to immigrate to Canada, I have the fear of not getting a good job in my field (I have a good job here in Nigeia). This post just changed my perception! Thanks for sharing

    Infact, my belief now is that I’ll get a job before moving!

    That said, do you mind sharing your Canadian resume please?

    1. Hey Yomi, I can relate to this because I was in a similar dilemma last year. You can definitely get a job as as long as you’re qualified and determined. Good luck with your application. And yeah – send me a message on Instagram or twitter (@nnikky) and we can figure out a way to get you some resume templates to adopt. All the best.

  12. It’s always beautiful seeing how a shared story can be a source of strength, a glimmer of hope, a trigger of faith for those who need it. Your experiences are just that – yours, and opening up to let others experience with you will always be good (of course for those with clean hearts). Anywayyy, if you see life as a book, you’ll appreciate that some chapters are longer than others, some will be humorous, others may be sad, but they all combine together to form an amazing masterpiece. God has got you on this journey, every step of the way, every chapter. Your role, just trust. Thank you for sharing this – we look forward to even more, as you deem necessary.

  13. This is a beautiful testimony Titi, It’s indeed a miracle, however I’ve learnt from your dedication, faith and smart strategies employed. May God bless you more

  14. Oh Titi!!! 🤗🤗
    I’m so happy for you! May God continue to bless you with many more wins. Thank you so much for sharing this, it was JUST what I needed to read. All the best in your new role!

  15. This was such a great read. I just recently got approved for my visa so now I’ve been trying to put myself into the head space of moving and also the inevitable job hunting. Which part of Canada did you settle in?

  16. Faith, hardwork, prayers, and to the Glory of God look where you are now! I’m so happy for you!
    I love this and I can relate so well, you won’t even believe it if I told you.
    This is like a push for me. Loved reading this, thank you!!!!

  17. I’m sooooo happy for you! Lol, like I know you in real life. I’m working on relocating too so this really inspires me. All the best at your new job and more wins! xx

  18. Wow. That was great. So happy for you. I pray this is my testimony too when the world opens up and l get to Canada. Currently job hunting in Lagos.

  19. Hello please what role did you apply for as I work in a bank in Nigeria and intend relocating to Canada by end of this year. Also are there any websites that you can point me to update my resume Canadian style?

    Congratulations this was a beautiful emotional story

  20. Congratulations. I was smiling all the way to the end because it feels really good. I attended a job interview that I thought went pretty well and I was super positive just before covid but I didn’t get the job. Somehow reading this feels like I achieved it. I’m so happy for you.

  21. It was very thoughtful of you to look up your interviewers on LinkedIn! #copyingthat

    Thanks for mentioning the 70 rejections part. Not many people would give a full story.

    Congratulations again!

  22. I saw your post on Twitter and hurriedly came down here to get the full gist.

    70 rejection letters?… and applying to 25 jobs daily?? Wow!

    Big congratulations to you. This has made my day.

  23. That was a great read Titi. Thanks for sharing. Do you mind sharing the field you decided to focus on? I am a banker too and is trying to figure my path.

  24. I’m so glad to read this. It gave me hope cos I was beginning to give up due to the number of rejections mail I’ve gotten as a new immigrant myself. Thank you. I wish you the best in your new job. Keep soaring!!! I hope to share my success story too very soon

  25. I saw your Tweet and hurriedly came down here to get the full gist.

    70 rejection letters? …and 25 job applications daily? Wow!

    Your story made my day brighter.

    Big congratulations to you, Tosin. 🎉🥂💃🏻

  26. Congratulations Titi.. I feel your Joy.. I honestly feel it and l read it in tears.. Its been 6 months of applying for jobs here in the states and l have lost counts of continuous rejections… I spent a month plus refining my cv that the cv gets commendation but i end with a rejection. Luckily i get a yes sometimes but the yes would come with a BUT.. Distance or pay ie lowest minimum wage. I have given up, trusted God and still trusting him but im getting to the point of redirecting my career into the health sector.. Its not easy to go back to school all over again but l fear a year will go by and i haven’t achieved anything… So honestly i feel your Joy.. Congratulations and thank you for putting a smile on my face.

  27. Hi! And Congratulations! But I have a question. I work in the banking industry in Nigeria, and I’d like to know if your new job is in that line? Or if your banking experience had anything to do with it?

  28. Congrats dear. How did i know the kind of job to stick to and tailor your resume to after working in a bank in different unit for like 5 years and studying English language.

  29. I found your IG post through a friends page and I’m glad I clicked. This message was for me really – I’m in between thoughts on making this PR move for a better opportunity for myself and I can totally relate with your experience. Thanks for sharing this, it was the confirmation I needed. Congratulations!

  30. This is really heart warming and uplifting, I too moved to Canada in the fall of 2018 and fell into the trap of a call sales agent role immediately just to keep head above water despite my job experience, I dd that for a year and currently trying to switch up my career from call agent by applying again because I know i am so much better than that. This blogpost just re motivated me to do my best and push harder. God will take care of the rest. Big congrats ti you

  31. I’m very pleased to read from you Titi. Congratulations on the job, but more importantly on your always vibrant disposition to life. Ciao

  32. Congratulations Titi!!! This is such a beautiful testimony!!! And well done for doing the work and not giving up

  33. This is my first time here and I absolutely love the way you write and with so much fluency. I’m currently in the pool sitting with 468 points . I would love love to ask some questions but privately please 🙈

  34. Congratulations. Thank you for sharing this. I am looking to move in December and getting a job as been my major anxiety even though I have not moved. This really helps to inspire and keep hope alive. I wish you God’s favor at your workplace

  35. Congratulations Titi. I am a newbie here and have “binge read” (for lack of a better word) your posts which have further reiterated what I have been dwelling on this past few days…Hardwork and Perseverance. Thank You so much and I pray this new Job be everything you’ve prayed and wished for! Love and Light. Following you on IG rightaway.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: