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It's little wonder that more and more expats are considering working in Canada, with its stable economy and healthy job market.
A land built with the picks and shovels of immigrant labour, Canada has a history of welcoming foreign expats into the country. Those with commendable industry experience and a degree of specialisation will find that there are a fair few job opportunities.
Job market in Canada
Though Canada is often brushed off as a country that thrives only because of its abundant natural resources, including strong forestry, fishing, oil and gas sectors, in actuality these industries are not nearly as important as the big business that has come to rule the manufacturing and service industries.
More explicitly, in Canada’s urban centres, expats may be able to find positions in the financial services, real-estate and communications industries, all of which have been growing continuously over recent years.
All things considered, though, expats moving to Canada from the UK or the US should expect lower wages, not to mention the fact that a great deal of an expat's monthly salary will go towards taxes in Canada. However, it is important to note that Canada’s urban centres are consistently voted among the best places to live in the world, so a slightly lower income should not really affect a person's quality of life.
Finding a job in Canada
Canada takes pride in its strong infrastructure and well-maintained systems of support, and so it comes as no surprise that there are a variety of resources available aimed at helping individuals find a job.
Before starting the search though, it’s important to recognise that the job market in Canada may not only be very different from that in one's home country, but different provinces in Canada may demand different skill sets. For example, in Quebec, it may be expected that job seekers have some French language knowledge. It may also be necessary to make sure foreign qualifications are recognised in Canada before applying for a position.
There's a variety of internet job portals where expats can upload their resume and apply for jobs. Local newspaper classifieds can also be a good source of leads.
When it comes to the job search in Canada, expats should not underestimate the value of networking, and of taking advantage of organisations for newcomers and trade associations in each province.
Work culture in Canada
Canada's work culture is generally fairly casual but abides by strong values. Punctuality, respect and teamwork are key. Most Canadian companies have a top-down structure, meaning that decisions are largely made by those in higher-up positions rather than the company as a whole.
When meeting and greeting, it's important to make direct eye contact and to give a strong handshake. Dress codes vary by industry, with sectors such as finance tending towards more formal attire and creative industries such as media being more casual.
►See Culture Shock in Canada to learn more about what to expect of day-to-day life in this vast country
Are you an expat living in Canada?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Canada. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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