It’s little wonder that with a stable economy and healthy job market, Canada is attracting an increasing number of opportunity-seeking expats.
A land built on the backs of immigrant labour, Canada has a well-documented history of welcoming working expats into the country. Those with commendable industry experience and a degree of specialisation will find that there is no shortage of job opportunities.
Experts anticipate that the manpower associated with the local baby-boomer generation will be depleted in coming years, leaving Canada even more inclined to welcome highly skilled workers to help sustain its expanding, dynamic economy.
Job market in Canada
Though Canada is often brushed off as a country that thrives only because of its abundant natural resources, including strong forestry, fishing, oil and gas sectors, in actuality these industries are not nearly as important as the big business that has come to rule the manufacturing and service industries.
More explicitly, in Canada’s urban centres, expats may be able to find positions in the financial services-, real-estate- and communications industries, all of which have been growing in recent years.
All things considered, though, expats moving to Canada from the UK or the US should expect slightly lower wages, not to mention higher taxes. That said, it is important to note that Canada offers better healthcare and social benefits, while its cities have earned recognition as some of the best places to live in the world. So, a slightly lower income should not have a massive impact on a person’s quality of life.
Finding a job in Canada
Canada takes pride in its strong infrastructure and well-maintained support systems, so it comes as no surprise that there are multiple resources available to assist individuals in their job search.
Before starting the search, it’s important to recognise that the job market in Canada may not only be vastly different from what an expat may be used to, but that different provinces in Canada may demand different skill sets. For example, in Quebec, it may be expected that job seekers have some French language knowledge. It may also be necessary to make sure foreign qualifications are recognised in Canada before applying for a position, so research is key.
There's are a variety of internet job portals where expats can upload their resume and apply for jobs. Social networks, such as LinkedIn, and social media groups are also becoming increasingly valuable in the job search.
Lastly, expats shouldn’t underestimate the value of networking, and of taking advantage of organisations for newcomers and trade associations in each province.
Work culture in Canada
Canada's work culture is generally quite casual but abides by strong values. Punctuality, respect and teamwork are key. Most Canadian companies have a top-down structure, meaning that decisions are largely made by those in executive positions rather than the company as a whole.
When meeting and greeting, it's important to make direct eye contact and to give a strong handshake. Dress codes vary by industry, with sectors such as finance leaning more towards formal attire while creative industries are more casual.