Simon (Qian) Wang came with his wife to Canada with dreams of making a home in beautiful British Columbia. With experience managing a manufacturing plant in China and a year’s training at BCIT in Business Administration under his belt, Simon still felt lost and uncertain about his career direction. He joined the Skills and Supports for Job Success Program in Coquitlam hoping to find his employment niche. This proved to be an auspicious move and the first among many steps that Simon would take to get to his prized job.
- Job search workshops
- Resume and cover letter preparation
- Interview skills training including mock interviews
- Labour market research, including accessing the hidden job market
- Tips on applying to jobs in person and on-line, including the art of contacting employers
Simon has many transferable skills in plant management. However, he found out soon enough that finding a job as a plant manager would be a daunting task. He felt lost. He had no idea what type of job he was qualified for and he was concerned about his level of English. His confidence when he first joined the Job Success program was quite low but he was determined to make a genuine effort to find a new job target, including an entry-level job. The rate of pay and the type of job were not important to him. What was important to Simon was simply, to have the opportunity to build his self-confidence.
A Job Success case manager helped Simon develop a new resume and cover letter for both his short-term goal and long-term goal. An employer relations specialist referred him to a seasonal employment opportunity as a customer service worker at a Halloween store. Accepting this entry-level job was a turning point for Simon. Although shy by nature and unsure about his spoken-English, Simon very quickly on impressed his management with his diligence and work ethic (he caught a shoplifter during his first week on the job!). Simon gained self-confidence and career ambition. With the tools and support he received from ISSofBC and the Job Success program, Simon had taken the first of many steps that would lead him eventually to a job that is dear to his heart.
Feeling more self-confident about being in the job market, Simon dared to examine his passion. He decided he wanted to work as a settlement practitioner and help others. Recognizing he did not have the required experience, Simon began volunteering at both ISSofBC’s Job Success program and SUCCESS’ immigrant program and accumulated knowledge about immigrant services. At the same time, he found work with an insurance company. A few unsuccessful job applications in immigrant services did not discourage Simon and he continued volunteering, chalking up those experiences as excellent opportunities to improve his job interview skills. His determination and persistence paid off: armed with a glowing reference from his volunteer job supervisor at the Job Success program, Simon got hired by SUCCESS as a settlement practitioner! Simon is now well on his way to achieving his life’s passion of helping other immigrants find their way in Canada.
“I almost lost myself until I found this fabulous program. I am so grateful for the Job Success program because not only did I get the essential employment skills from here, but I also built my confidence and figured out what I should do vocationally and what I wanted to be. I appreciate that I had the opportunity to join the Job Success program, and I hope the experience I shared will help people who are new immigrants and who feel challenged to find a job.”