newcomers mentor laptop
November 24, 2022

You’ve likely heard people talk about the importance of having a mentor. Mentors and mentees can build strong, mutually beneficial relationships that enable mentees to grow and mentors to strengthen their leadership skills. For newcomers, mentors are especially crucial in helping to navigate the settlement process, from reconnecting with your career to understanding the Canadian workplace culture. Mentors dedicate their time to act as a coach and teacher. Let’s look at eight benefits of having a mentor as a newcomer to Canada.  

Give You Advice 

Wouldn’t it be great to have an experienced professional to turn to when you have a question about furthering your career? This is one of the major benefits of having a mentor. Your mentor can help guide you down the right path as you embark on your career as a Canadian newcomer. The feedback they provide can be invaluable and help strengthen your abilities. Since they have had lots of experience, they can provide you with quality advice about how to best navigate a situation.  

Grow Your Network 

Having a network is important. It may take some time for newcomers to grow a network in Canada. However, having a mentor can give you a jump start on this. Mentors can introduce you to people who can help you by teaching you different things, providing feedback or sharing information with you that could lead to a job.  

Provide Accountability  

One of the biggest benefits of having a mentor is having an additional source of accountability for your goals. Mentors can help you track your progress and provide feedback for getting back on track if you find yourself taking longer than expected to achieve a goal. Additionally, mentors can use their experience to let you know if your goals are attainable or if you should consider other options.  

Give You Encouragement 

One of the greatest ways a mentor can help you is through encouragement. Making your way forward in a new place can be challenging at times. Mentors provide encouragement to let you know that you can succeed. Having a trusted mentor can help you build your confidence and provide you with methods for overcoming different challenges and obstacles you may encounter.  

Get to Know Local Business Culture  

One of the exciting yet challenging aspects of being a newcomer is learning about your new home. This may include things like new cultural expectations and new ways of doing things. Mentors are great for helping you learn about the business culture of different industries. Often, industries may have unspoken rules and expectations. Mentors can help you navigate these to better find your professional niche.  

Introduce You to Resources  

Another aspect of moving to a new area involves learning where to go when you need certain things and what organizations exist to help you meet your goals. As a newcomer in Canada, many things can help you on your professional path. You just need to know where to look. A mentor can help connect you with these valuable resources, which can greatly impact your ability to succeed and develop in your new home.  

Support Your Overall Growth 

Mentors tend to be very invested in the success of their mentees. Developing a relationship with a mentor means that you will have a strong ally and advocate. As such, mentors will often provide important feedback on how you can grow and improve. Since they come to know you personally, they are likely to be able to notice things that other people won’t. This can be very valuable when seeking personal growth.  

Important Source of Wisdom 

Mentors are much more experienced in a career area. If you are facing a difficult situation or a challenging problem, your mentor has likely had to navigate something like that at one point in their career. As such, they are likely to be able to provide advice or give you a new frame through which to approach the issue. In fact, one of the greatest things about being a mentor is helping others navigate their career paths. Mentors typically get great enjoyment out of helping someone succeed.  

Final Thoughts  

Having a mentor is generally a positive experience that can provide growth and many opportunities. Mentors are also great for helping connect you with valuable resources and assisting you with growing your network. Having a mentor as a newcomer can be even more beneficial as newcomers have a very specific experience. Getting a mentor could be one of the most positive professional decisions you can make.   

At Achēv, our Newcomer Services offer a wide range of services to help newcomers settle smoothly in Canada. Our Newcomer Information Centres are located across the Greater Toronto Area, including Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville. Contact us today to register for our free newcomer services. 

back-to-school-children
September 23, 2022

Back-to-school can be an exciting time for children in Canada. For parents, it’s often a time with a few added responsibilities to ensure that their children are ready to learn. With this in mind, we wanted to offer some back-to-school tips for newcomer parents. 

Check with Their School for Essential Items 

One of the time-honored traditions is back-to-school shopping. Different schools and grade levels will require students to be prepared with specific items. Be sure to check in with your children’s school to find out exactly what is needed. Many schools will provide parents with a list of required items. You should also check to see if you will need to provide lunch or any specialized clothing.  

Update Your Child’s School on Medical Conditions 

An important aspect of preparation for many parents is ensuring that the school has sufficient information about medical conditions and needs. If your child has any specific needs, such as specific medication to take or severe allergies, work with your school’s administration to help ensure that they are prepared should your child experience an urgent medical need during the school day.  

Label Your Child’s Belongings  

Children tend to misplace items from time to time. Even if you have a very organized kid, it helps to label your child’s belongings as it will make it easier for your child to keep them organized and for teachers to identify them. Using stickers or even a label maker is an effective way to do this. A little extra effort can help reduce your need to replace lost items.  

Talk About Concerns Your Child Has 

It’s normal for any student to be concerned about returning to school, particularly if this involves transitioning to a new school. Be sure to encourage your child to speak to you about any of their worries when it comes to starting the new school year. Encouraging your child to be excited about school and learning can help create a positive learning environment. Meanwhile, ensuring that your child feels comfortable chatting with you about school issues is always an effective strategy for helping them be successful.  

Find Out About School Fees 

It’s fairly typical for schools to have small fees that parents need to prepare for as it gets closer to the start of the school year. This can include things like paying activity fees for your child or buying special equipment such as indoor shoes for sports. Checking for school fees is important and can keep you from being surprised later.  

Consider Being Involved with a Parent’s Organization  

Many schools have parent advisory councils or other organizations to support the school. These groups often fundraise or organize different programs and events for students. If you want to meet other parents, becoming involved in these organizations is a great way to do so. Getting involved can also help you learn more about the school. Typically, these organizations are happy to allow you to volunteer as much or as little of your time as possible.  

Talk About a Homework Routine 

Homework can be one of the more unpleasant aspects of school for some students. After all, many students are anxious to play after spending a day learning. However, you will find that discussing homework routines and goals with your child ahead of time can help with their expectations. Create rules appropriate for your child when it comes to completing their homework. For example, setting rules for things like TV and internet usage will help ensure your child has enough time to do homework.  

Consider Child Care After School 

Working families will need to consider childcare after school in many situations. If you are looking for childcare, consider asking other parents you know for recommendations. For older children, after-school community sports programs can also be great options. Regardless of what your kids do after school, chat with them about the importance of following rules and listening to supervising adults.  

Final Thoughts 

Back-to-school is always a very exciting time of the year as your children get ready to transition back into the learning environment. These eight tips for newcomer parents to Canada can help ensure that you and your children are well prepared for school.  

At Achēv, our Newcomer Services offer a wide range of services to help newcomers settle smoothly in Canada. Our Newcomer Information Centres are located across the Greater Toronto Area, including Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville. Contact us today to register for our free newcomer services. 

diverse college students
September 7, 2022

Moving to Canada involves many changes and transitions. For a lot of newcomers, one of these transitions is taking on post-secondary study. If you plan to enroll in college in Canada, we want to help you prepare for success. With this in mind, here are eight important tips for adult newcomers attending college in Canada.  

Find a Course Schedule that Works for You 

One of the biggest ways to set yourself up for success is to ensure that your class schedule works for your and your family’s needs. This includes making time for class around other responsibilities like work and family. Chat with your advisor about the various options available to make this possible. Fortunately, there are usually evening, weekend and online classes that can provide greater flexibility for you.  

Plan Your Week in Advance 

Perhaps the most important aspect of succeeding in college for adult learners is having strong time management skills. Plan your week in advance. A great method to do this is to block out the most important things first, which allows you to set up enough time for studying and coursework. It also lets you alter your schedule weekly, providing more study time before exams or less when you have other responsibilities.  

Build Relationships with Your Professors 

It’s fairly easy for people to forget that professors are people too. The reality is that most professors enjoy getting to know students and assisting them. Many instructors will happily share study tips or inform you about additional resources to help with your learning. Take advantage of office hours set by professors, and feel free to request feedback about how you can improve your work. Professors will generally be glad to invest their time helping students who are committed to learning.  

Get to Know Your Fellow Students 

Another important resource to ease your transition to post-secondary school in Canada is your peers. You should strive to get to know at least one person in each of your classes. This gives you someone to turn to if you have trouble understanding a concept or if you have an emergency and have to miss a class. Getting to know your classmates is also helpful for creating study groups or for courses requiring group projects. Expanding your social network helps give you a broader support system in your educational pursuits.  

Strive to Work Ahead 

Are you someone that tends to procrastinate? Many students struggle with procrastination in school. However, working ahead can make you much more productive and less stressed by not having to rush to meet deadlines. Try to set up your schedule in a way that gives you time to complete assignments at least a few days before the deadline. You will find yourself pleasantly surprised with how this helps reduce the stress of going to college. It will also provide you with leeway in case a situation pops up that delays your ability to complete an assignment.  

Go To Class 

This seems like common sense; however, it can be tempting to skip class now and then in order to get something else done. However, students who attend class regularly will feel more comfortable with the material and improve their overall learning. While there are always situations where you may not be able to attend class, such as getting sick, strive to go to class regularly to help optimize your success as a student.  

Understand the School’s Resources 

Almost every college and university has resources that help students. These include tutoring centres, career centres, and other offices dedicated to student support. Be sure to find out which resources are available at your institution. These are often covered during an orientation session. However, you can also visit the college’s website or speak with your academic advisor if you need to access these services. Tutoring, in particular, is an excellent service to help you better your understanding of concepts.  

Set Goals 

A great method to help you succeed in your studies is setting goals. Your goals should be specific and realistic. For example, a good goal may be to score 10 points higher on the next exam or to study chemistry for at least 30 minutes each day this week. Be sure that your goals are reasonable and attainable. This will help you to stay motivated.  

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to attending college in Canada as a newcomer, there are many things that you can do to help facilitate your success. Keep these tips in mind as you begin or resume your post-secondary studies.  

At Achēv, our Newcomer Services offer a wide range of services to help newcomers settle smoothly in Canada. Our Newcomer Information Centres are located across the Greater Toronto Area, including Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville. Contact us today to register for our free newcomer services. 

July 30, 2021

Achēv, in collaboration with Blue Branch, is excited to introduce the new Labour Mobility Program (LMP). Funded by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, this new initiative connects and facilitates entry-level career opportunities for newcomers in the construction/manufacturing sectors in Southwestern Ontario.

Entry-level positions with opportunities for advancement in construction/manufacturing

Southwestern Ontario cities have a high demand for positions to be filled in entry-level jobs. The Labour Mobility program aims to connect newcomers to Ontario within the last five years to employment opportunities within larger companies in designated cities. The program aims to achieve long-term advancement potential to the successful program participants. To learn more about the program’s eligibility criteria, please click here.

Concierge services and lodging provided to program participants

The Labour Mobility program helps support the transition into a new place of residence by providing subsidized living expenses for up to six months as participants settle into their new roles. Achēv, in partnership with Blue Branch, also provides personalized concierge services for additional support, including newcomer settlement and information support.

Explore a new city in Southwestern Ontario

Ontario is a large province with one of the highest population densities in the country. Southwestern Ontario cities can offer a high quality of life with the potential for career advancement. These cities offer parks and recreation, arts and culture, events, restaurants, and other local amenities.

The LMP program hosts regular information sessions.  To learn more about this exciting opportunity and to see upcoming sessions dates, please click here.

To apply for this program, email mlopes@achev.ca to begin.  

Professionals
May 17, 2021

Relocating to Canada is a dream come true for many immigrants. However, the dream can get somewhat deflated when they start to experience barriers/challenges with credential recognition and securing gainful employment.

The bar chart below includes some of the top barriers to employment, experienced by internationally trained individuals in 2019.

WES Chart 2019

Are you experiencing some of these barriers already? You have come to the right place. LET US HELP YOU overcome these barriers.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Loans Program can provide direction and clarity on your intended or alternate profession so that you can overcome barriers and become successful in your career path in Ontario.

Here are some frequently asked questions by newcomer professionals:

1. What is a credential evaluation? Which institutions provide this service?

Credential evaluation is the process of having your degrees, diplomas or skilled trades experience assessed and recognized in Canada. If you hold educational qualification(s) from outside of Canada, they can be submitted to one of the credential assessment service providers in Ontario as follows:

WES (World Education Service)

ICAS (International Credential Assessment Service of Canada)

2. I hold an international educational qualification for a regulated profession in Ontario. What is my next step?

If you hold an international educational qualification pertaining to a regulated profession in Ontario, the respective regulatory body in Ontario will assess your education, training and work experience.

For example, if you are an internationally trained nurse, your education from outside of Canada will be assessed by NNAS* and CNO**, instead of having it assessed by WES or ICAS.

*National Nursing Assessment Service (NNAS).

**CNO (College of Nurses in Ontario)

3. What are professional regulatory bodies?

Professional regulatory bodies in Ontario determine the education, training and license required to work in a particular profession in Ontario.  Please click on the link below to find the regulatory body that is associated with your profession: https://www.accesscentre.ca/regulatory-bodies-ontario/

4. How much does the credential assessment and recognition cost?

The credential assessment and recognition cost will vary depending on each profession. The FCR Loans program has developed career maps for regulated and non-regulated professions, which also includes the associated costs. Reach out to us to explore further.

5. I am ready to take the next step to get my career started. What should I do?

Reach out to the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans (FCR Loans) program at Achēv.

We assist internationally trained individuals with a low-interest financial loan, which can be used towards credential assessment and recognition costs. We also provide free career counselling and guidance, which can help you secure your ideal/dream job.

Get started today and connect with us via fcrloans@achev.ca

Business
April 20, 2021

Moving to a new country can be daunting. As a newcomer, it might take you some time to find your feet and get used to living in Canada. You might decide to open your own business to help support you and your family. With a proper plan, perseverance, and a little help, you can grow your business and become a success story. At Achēv, we’re on hand to help you with our newcomer services that will help you start your life in Ontario and build a future for you and your family. We’re sharing ten tips on how you can start a business as an immigrant to Canada.

 1. Find A Niche You’re Passionate About

Being your own boss is not easy. It’ll be a lot of long hours, and it can take years for you to reap the benefits of your hard work. You want to find something you’re passionate about and believe in. It could be a service that you offer the community or an innovative product that you think fills a gap in the market. You don’t have to settle on the first business idea that comes to mind. You want something that will make you want to get out of bed in the morning and drive your ambitions to grow your business. Once you’ve found your niche, you can take the first steps to start your business.

2. Plan, Plan, Plan

Before you can call yourself a business owner, you want to develop a plan for your company. You want to add as much detail as possible while still being flexible. Consider whether you want to work independently or if you’ll need to collaborate with other companies or freelancers to create your product or service. While you should always have one eye on the future, it’s a good idea to come up with a short-term plan to see you through the first few months of your business.

3. Look for Financial Support

It’s worth checking if you’re eligible for financial support as an immigrant. Different districts and NGOs have grants and loans available for you to access as a start-up business. These programs can provide the building blocks for your business and help you get off the ground in those crucial early weeks.

4. Utilize a Digital Strategy

Don’t overlook the power of social media and a digital presence. Once you have your business established, you want to launch a website and build a social media presence. It’s the future of marketing and will help you build brand awareness and attract new customers. You can run these platforms yourself or outsource them once you’ve got enough revenue coming into your business.

5. Get Familiar with Your Paperwork

As an immigrant entrepreneur, you might not be as familiar with the paperwork involved with your taxes or general business administration. You want to do your research and become familiar with the legal side of your business as early as possible. Getting ahead with your paperwork and staying on top of it means you won’t have a frantic dash just before filing your taxes.

You can usually find this information on government websites, or an accountant will be able to talk you through everything you need to establish your business. Don’t forget that you’ll have to register your business and make sure you fill in all the tax information.

6. Draw on Your Experience

As an immigrant, you’ll have a unique point of view that can make your business stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to draw on your life experience to help you make business decisions. There might be something that’s common practice in your country that we don’t do in Canada. You can bring these practices with you and create a more streamlined system.

 7. Find a Mentor

One piece of advice every business owner will give you is to find a mentor. Starting your own business can be a challenge, even more so as an immigrant. You can find a mentor through online programs or communities that bring together small business owners and entrepreneurs. You might be able to find your mentor within your local community. Having someone you can turn to for advice is invaluable, especially as a newcomer. There will always be people out there who want to share their experience and knowledge with you.

In partnership with TRIEC, Achēv offers free mentoring programs for new immigrants who are looking to advance their career with the help of a mentor.

8. Tell Your Story

You’re one of the biggest selling points of your business. As an immigrant, you’ll have a story to tell your audience. You can wave it into your brand story and make it part of what your business represents. In the competitive business world, it’s inspiring stories like yours that can set you apart from the mainstream competition.

9. Invest Back into Your Business

Depending on your business, you might want to take a few training courses every year to top up your skills. If you’re opening a beauty salon, investing in these courses can help you build your portfolio and diversify your business.

Investing in your business (and yourself!) is also about making sure you have the tools you need to set you up for success. While you don’t need the latest version of an iPhone or top-of-the-range software, you want to have the technology that will enable you to run your business smoothly. For the first few months – even years – of your business, you want to focus on reinvesting your money back into your business to invest in yourself, your product, or service.

10. Network Within Your Community

As a newcomer to Canada, it’s likely that you won’t have an established network to call on to support your new business. At Achēv, our immigrant services are available to help you find your feet and get started on your new life in Canada. You never know when you might come across someone who can help your business. Believing in yourself means you can put yourself out there and interact with people who might be interested in your company.

Don’t be afraid to carry a few business cards around with you – you’ll never know when you’ll need them! Take advantage of newcomer events in your community where you can meet other immigrant entrepreneurs who are starting on their business journey.

Do you need support on launching your business as an immigrant to Ontario? Reach out to our friendly and multilingual newcomer services team at Achēv and we’ll help you achieve your career and business goals. We have five Newcomer Information Centres across the Greater Toronto Area. We also offer our services virtually for newcomers who are outside of the Greater Toronto Area. Contact us today!

Job Search - Achēv
April 16, 2021

One of the biggest questions for newcomers to Canada is how to find a job. At Achēv, we work with many immigrants who arrive in Ontario and have questions about how to best navigate the job search process. Knowing that this is a huge need in the community, here are six job search strategies aimed at helping new immigrants in Canada.

1. Update Your Resume

 Perhaps the most important document of the job search process is your resume. This is where you tell your story about past accomplishments. Resumes can look quite different in different areas of the globe. Thus, it is important to ensure that your resume follows a traditional Canadian style. Depending upon your experience, you will usually do either a chronological or functional style.

Effective resumes will also focus on telling both what you did in positions as well as how you succeeded. Highlight some positive outcomes and ways that you specifically contributed to an organization to allow yourself to stand out. Newcomers to Ontario can take advantage of Achēv’s immigrant services throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario to have their resumes reviewed.

2. Network on LinkedIn

 If you don’t currently have a profile on LinkedIn, joining the social network is important for your job search. The site has over 55 million companies on it and 14 million open jobs. It is also quite popular with both job seekers and recruiters, with 87% of recruiters noting that they regularly use LinkedIn to attract talent.

When using LinkedIn, it is important to have a professional, high-quality profile. This should include a professional-looking headshot as your profile photo as well as a complete profile that provides all of your information about your education and job experience. Connect with friends and former colleagues on LinkedIn and begin networking by following companies, commenting on their posts, and even connecting with new people. When sending a connection request, it is polite to send them a message noting why you want to connect.

3. Engage in Informational Interviews

 One thing that newcomers can do to help build their network and get noticed is to do some informational interviews. If there is an organization that you would like to work for, identify someone in the area you are interested in such as a potential supervisor and request to chat with them about the company. This can be done by inviting them to coffee or even virtually via video chat.

When preparing for an informational interview, you should ensure that you spend time reading news about the company and perusing their website. This will help guide the questions you ask. The point of an informational interview is to learn about a company’s culture as well as skills and experiences that will help you prepare for a role in the organization one day. It also may help you get a referral for a job in the future.

4. Volunteer in the Community

 This may seem like an odd recommendation for job seekers. After all, wouldn’t you want to focus on sending out resumes and preparing for interviews? Certainly, you want to take the time to do that. However, networking is incredibly important for finding jobs. Immigrants typically do not have existing Canadian networks of contact in their field. However, all immigrants can begin building their personal social networks by volunteering in their communities.

This is a long-term approach. By volunteering, you will meet others including people that may have connections within your profession. This is also a good way to learn about different resources in the community. Again, this won’t land you a job quickly; however, it can be an effective strategy for beginning to make important connections. It will also simply help you meet others.

5. Attend a Workshop

 One of the best ways to strengthen your job search is to attend workshops. There are a wide variety of newcomer services that focus on providing knowledge and training related to employment. For example, Achēv provides a wide array of events and workshops for immigrants to Canada. Our immigrant services are happy to help newcomers gain the job search skills needed to succeed in Ontario.

6. Browse Job Boards

 There are a variety of places where you can see different current openings. For example, Job Bank provides a searchable listing of openings that can help newcomers find jobs all over Canada. Meanwhile, this job board provides information about openings specifically in the Greater Toronto Area. Job boards can be important ways to discover jobs and begin getting your foot in the door as a newcomer in Canada. Other excellent ways to find openings include LinkedIn and postings on the websites of large companies.

Final Thoughts

Immigrating to Canada brings with it a number of important tasks. One of the most critical is finding employment. It is perfectly normal for a newcomer to Canada to have many questions about how to find a job. Fortunately, organizations such as Achēv provides a wide range of immigrant services to help you achieve your employment goals. Following these six tips is a great way to start a successful job search.

If you’re a newcomer in the Greater Toronto Area and need help with your job search, please contact our Newcomer Information Centres or Employment Centres located across the Greater Toronto Area. If you’re outside of the Greater Toronto Area, please contact Newcomer Information Centre Online.

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