À l’échelle humaine : January 4, 2017

2016-2017 Issue 1

IMG_3981Can Local Credentials Help You Transition?

Immigrating is undoubtedly one of the most trying experiences of our lives, and the professional transition can be particularly overwhelming. Competition demands that job seekers meet ever-evolving employer expectations, and that includes the ability to adapt to the labour market in Canada.

As we have noted in our previous series on the 7-Step Career Roadmap, a certification from a local institution can give you a leg up in reaching your career goals. It can be an important asset in validating the knowledge and skillset you bring, as well as reassuring your prospective employer regarding your skills and ability to adapt in a new context. In fact, it can distinguish your candidacy tremendously from those of your peers. And do not underestimate the positive message that continuing your education sends to your professional network: school is moving you forward in your professional development, not backwards! Here are some of the advantages:

1. Brand Recognition
Make no mistake – the education, qualifications and work experience you earned prior to your move are valuable and credible. Yet local credentials can help when transitioning into a new labour market. Employers tend to favour local diplomas and experience because their perception of risk is heightened when they encounter the unknown. They want something familiar, a brand they can trust. Being able to include a respected local institution on your resume provides you with an instant boost of credibility.

2. Cultural Integration
Attending a local institution ensures you’ll be exposed to Canadian and Quebec cultures and communication styles in a professional setting, preparing you for the local job market. It gives you the ability to say, “I’ve been here for a while, I understand your expectations, and I’ve proven that I can adapt.” You can rest assured that both you and your employer will have more confidence in your ability to navigate the Canadian and Quebec workplace.

3. Upgrading Your Skills
Chances are that as a newcomer to Quebec you arrived with a wealth of experience and qualifications from abroad; local credentials will compliment this value proposition. The Quebec and Canadian culture encourages continuing education and lifelong learning, so by enhancing your skillset in a formal academic setting you are also demonstrating your cultural fit. And because the world is evolving at dizzying speed, professional development courses and certifications are a tremendous asset for any career – so put yourself ahead of the competition, not just alongside it!

4. Building a Local Network
They say that 80 per cent of the job market is hidden, where roles are filled before they’re even posted to the public. Many of those opportunities go to individuals who’ve been recommended by an associate, which is why building your professional network is crucial.

What better place to start than in a classroom, where you have access to an instructor with business experience, you’re surrounded by classmates with similar interests and aspirations, and you’re operating in an environment without pressure to perform? Take the time to initiate a mutually beneficial exchange and establish a connection. The higher you aim in your career, the more access you need to relevant connections and industry information.


Most of all, remember that you are a professional offering value, not a newcomer asking for a favour! Local credentials can help you enhance, believe, and defend the great value your rich, diversified, adaptable candidacy brings.

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