I, Usharani Rathinam, had earned Ph.D. in Development Studies from Reading University, United Kingdom. I came to Canada, as a postdoctoral fellow in 2015 with a status of a worker. I worked at Western University for a year. After my contract ended, I applied for permanent residency, and it was approved. Meanwhile, I applied many postdoctoral fellowships all over Canada and had done a few interviews. I was successful in one of my interviews at Brandon University; however, my work permit application was not successful. I landed in Canada as an immigrant in December 2017 with a lot of hope to establish my dream profession in Toronto. Having highly qualified and with many years of experience both internationally and in Canada, I struggled eight months to land on my first entry-level job in Toronto. Applying for jobs has become a full-time employment for me these eight months. I applied for several researcher positions; at universities, municipalities and NGO's in and around Toronto. I used my saving for my living, and on top of my financial exigencies, I had to deal with lots of job rejection emails. However, I motivated myself to apply for many jobs as much as I can.
Besides, I enrolled myself in employment service agencies, and got trained on how to write a successful cover letter and resume to specific job postings, and also learned the techniques to give a successful interview in Canadian standards. The employment services I have attended was very generic, and it didn’t serve the purpose of getting me a job, though, it gave me a sense of Canadian job market competitiveness and work culture. One of the challenges I faced was, although I was aware of the services provided by employment agencies, I felt that I lacked lots of information that is specific to my area of expertise such as membership in associations, appropriate training that fits my previous work experience and qualification etc. Another challenge I faced was networking. It was a very hard experience to get networked with professionals, especially while looking for an employment. However, I was able to make some connections with the help of IRSN, which served as a platform to get connected with other researchers of diverse background.
Having applied for 60 – 80 jobs, I was called for six interviews, and I was successful in two interviews. I am currently working as a Research Assistant for the Canadian Centre for Accreditation. I am a researcher in the Accreditation Standards Development team. My role is to provide a comprehensive report for each organizational standard by reviewing the emerging best practices and code of ethics published in the academic literature, Government of Canada reports, Think Tank standards and guidelines, legislative reports and other accreditation company's standards. In addition to administrative tasks and regular meetings, I am also delivering surveys, designing questionnaires, and analyzing quality update data.
The reason for my success I believe is that self-motivation, getting appropriate training and information and networking with appropriate professionals. I also quickly adapted to how the organization works in Canada with respect to its standards, practice, work culture and ethics. I had also trained myself to be an effective communicator both verbally and written, as I found effective communication as an essential criterion within a Canadian work ambiance. I wish you all good luck to be successful in your career endeavors.