One of the main priorities for newcomers to Canada is securing good employment as soon as possible so you can stop digging through the money you brought with you in the move over.
However, securing said employment isn’t exactly a walk in the park and could turn into the most horrendous experience you ever had.
I was fortunate enough to secure a position within a few weeks of landing. However, this didn’t happen in a vacuum.
I will share a few things that can make a huge difference as well as additional ways to network effectively as a newcomer to Canada:-
What Networking Isn’t?
Networking isn’t meeting someone and then telling them within 5 minutes you’re looking for a job.
Networking isn’t meeting someone and asking where they work and if they’re hiring.
Networking isn’t meeting a new person and then immediately asking them for a favor like you’re BFFs.
Networking isn’t meeting someone, not following up, and then pulling their business card out to ask for a favor 3 months later.
Networking isn’t meeting someone who doesn’t have a big job title and immediately thinking they can’t help you with anything. So wrong on so many levels.
Networking isn’t connecting with someone you went to school with 500 years ago and immediately thinking that guarantees you some kind of favor.
Networking isn’t awkwardly interrupting a conversation just so you can introduce yourself to someone.
Networking isn’t connecting with someone on social media and then immediately sending a private message asking for a job.
Networking isn’t getting someone’s business card and then immediately start chasing them on the phone or via email asking for a job.
This might seem obvious but you’d be shocked by how many people actually believe all of the above is some form of networking.
I know all you can think about is a job while the money is disappearing from your bank account but networking isn’t about finding a job.
Why is networking important? Networking is about building connections and showing genuine interest in other people.
8 Crucial Networking Tips for Newcomers to Canada
1. Have a Business Card Ready
Have a business card at the ready even if you don’t have a job yet. It should have your basic information and contact details.
You can create a business card for free on Canva HERE if you’re creatively inclined otherwise you can hire someone on Fiverr to do it for you.
Below is the template of the business card I created and printed when I arrived in Canada (front and back). Personal details have been replaced with generic information.
You can create a free website on WordPress. I may create a detailed tutorial on how to put together a professional website for career and networking purposes.
However, it takes a lot of time to create a tutorial so will only do this if enough people are interested in it.
To garner this interest, I’ve created a survey available at the end of this article. Please weigh in the survey at the end of this article.
2. Develop an Elevator Pitch
This is just a little about yourself you can use it as an introduction when meeting people. There’s no need to turn it into a dirge.
It should be delivered in less than 5 minutes but don’t become robotic with it so it sounds like a rehearsal.
3. Shake Firmly
Always shake a person firmly was one of the things my dad taught me when I was like 10.
A limp handshake says so much about a person such as – you’re not interested in the person you’re meeting, you don’t really care, you’re not trustworthy, etc.
A firm handshake with direct eye contact indicates you mean business, you’re a genuine person and you treat everyone you meet as important.
With a firm handshake, both palms touch each other and your thumb is wrapped around the other person’s like below:-
Additionally, don’t deliver a firm handshake and then hold onto a person’s hand. That’s just weird and communicates desperation. Please unhand people within a few seconds.
4. Dress Appropriately
For the love of God, don’t wear jeans and a t-shirt to a business networking event. You will look and feel absurd and out of place.
This is also another great way to look like you don’t care. You don’t have to wear a million dollar suit. Business casual works well for networking events.
5. Don’t Try to Meet Everybody in the Room
This is disingenuous and makes you come across like you’re on an assembly line. Take the time to talk to people and get to know them beyond exchanging business cards.
Of course, also don’t tie up people exclusively for an hour. They’re there to meet other people too.
Let the process flow naturally. Don’t be robotic and don’t sound rehearsed.
6. Ask Genuine Questions and Have Genuine Conversations
I repeat again, networking is about building connections and showing genuine interest in other people.
Ask genuine questions beyond name and what they do. Parlay the conversation into other topics. Learn the art of conversation.
For instance, I don’t know a lick about basketball beyond the basics from playing for a few months a long time ago and who the popular players are.
However, when the Toronto Raptors stood on the cusp of making NBA history, I went and educated myself fast on the Raptors and basketball.
Why? So I could join in conversations because that’s what everyone was talking about. As you know by now, they won. Go Raptors! 🙂
Besides, knowledge of something you didn’t know before can’t kill you. I actually got pretty wound up about it too by the time they were on Game 5. Lol.
7. Always Follow Up
Follow up with new contacts you make but not to ask for a job or ask if they’re hiring or telling them you’re running out of money and will take any job as long as there’s a salary attached.
Ask to meet for a coffee to talk about the industry or something else related to your common interests or just tell them you enjoyed your conversation and you hope to meet up again soon.
8. Read These Books
Sometimes, despite knowing these things, effective networking still doesn’t come to some people naturally.
This is where reading books like below can help you train yourself to become an effective networker though nothing quite beats practice:-
You don’t have to buy all of them but if there’s one I would recommend, it’s definitely How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
You can also listen to all of them and more for free with an Audible membership. Check out how to join Audible HERE.
With the above-mentioned tips in mind, you’re well on your way to becoming a networking boss. Now, where are the best places to practice your networking skills?
Keep an eye out for the next article on the best places to network as a newcomer to Canada.
Let me know if you have any questions about networking in the comments section. And don’t forget to complete the survey below!