Overview

Shadi Haghighidoost said goodbye to more than a decade’s experience in purchasing in Iran’s Oil and Gas industry when she immigrated to Canada in 2016. A year later, she was working in a comparable capacity at a BC Cleantech company. Shadi’s integration into the labour market took just over a year. Within that time, she applied herself fully into working towards her goal, including obtaining credential as a Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM). Making the most of services provided by ISSofBC’s employment and language departments helped her overcome other challenges and build her confidence, leading her to gaining her desired job.

Services Applied
  • LINC classes
  • Resume and Interview workshops
  • Funding support for credential evaluation and certification
  • MAPLE 2.0 internship experience
  • Mentorship

Challenges

Shadi was trained as a mining engineer but says she faced four main challenges trying to rebuild her career here: 1) Understanding the different styles of resumes in Canada; 2) Navigating the local hiring system and particularly, addressing behavioural questions in interviews; 3) Convincing employers that even without Canadian experience, she would fit in the workplace; and, 4) Overcoming the challenges of the language barrier. Shadi said she found it difficult at the beginning to express answers to interview questions using the right English professional words, even though she knew them immediately in Farsi. But through hard work, patient study and time, Shadi worked through these challenges.

Solutions

Resume and interview workshops through ISSofBC’s employment services helped Shadi to shape her resume into a Canadian form; interview training provided similar orientation. Shadi’s internship helped her to gain confidence that she had the skills needed in the Canadian labour market. By spending time in a Metro Vancouver workplace, she learned that she could adapt readily to local expectations. A mentorship experience helped her overcome the challenges that language presented; working with an advisor for two months provided her with targeted interview practice. With training, Shadi mastered the technical/professional language she needed to skillfully present her qualifications.

Outcome

A year after landing in Vancouver, Shadi responded to an online ad for a Purchasing Specialist at a fast-growing cleantech company and got the job! Her background in engineering proved valuable in understanding the materials she sourced. Since her employment in April, 2017, Shadi has been promoted to Strategic Sourcing Specialist and she’s looking forward to her company’s continued rapid growth. In October, 2017, Shadi participated in a panel at the Cleantech Conference sponsored jointly by ISSofBC and Vancouver Public Library, where she shared her experiences and provided advice to other newcomers. Now that she has settled into her Canadian life, Shadi is exploring her other passions, which include hiking and traveling!

“It’s very good that Canada has programs that help immigrants. When we have the opportunity to use these programs, it’s better to go for it and have a plan. If you start with a plan, it pushes you in the right direction. Talking with people, trying different things gave me the confidence that it’s not so different here.”