Volunteering is not only a door to helping newcomers land a new job but can offer an invaluable experience in developing numerous skills and relationships in their new lives in Canada, said ISSofBC’s Silvia Di Blasio during the Canadian Immigrant Career, Education and Settlement Fair yesterday.
The fair, at the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, included dozens of exhibitor booths, clinics and presentations with the goal to inform and motivate new Canadians as they begin and continue their settlement journey.
ISSofBC staff set up a booth to promote the organization’s array of programs, hosted a resume clinic and presented on the benefits of volunteering.
“You get from it what you put into it,” said Di Blasio, Employment Counsellor/Facilitator for the Skills Connect for Immigrants program during her presentation called Strategic Volunteering Can Help You Gain Canadian Experience and the Job You Want.
She said volunteers can maximize their experience by taking a proactive approach to their position. She said newcomers can learn more English, build networks, get an understanding of the Canadian job market, build soft skills and make new friends which can all lead to employment down the road.
However, she said potential volunteers should do their research before making a commitment to any position.
“You want to avoid positions that have unclear boundaries or benefits as you may be underutilized or get burnt out.”
Di Blasio also explained that despite one’s professional background it’s important to remain humble yet assertive in order to get the most of the position.
This is the fourth fair the Canadian Immigrant and Scotiabank has hosted and the first time in Vancouver.
The Canadian Immigrant is an online and print resource for newcomers to help them to settle in Canada successfully.