Everyone have their own reasons to relocate and since you have decided I would quote Mr. Ratan Tata here, who says “I don’t believe in taking right decision; I take decisions and then make them right”. At the outset, all your efforts are commendable and would urge those who haven’t got their first break to hang in there and keep striving.
I had no clue with respect to industry dynamics; employment opportunities; recruitment process and growth prospects when I came here. However, I also faced the issue of moving to the West for the first time, and it became quite challenging to understand their way of doing things. Briefly, I realized that work goes on at its own pace here and the sooner you agree to this, more balanced you become in your approach.
Nonetheless, I started my job quest with Acces Employment. Acces along with other government run employment service organization is a good start to make a ground base of knowledge and network, provided you don’t know anyone or very few people in the industry. However, they start with you from level 0 and as there are a mix of professions coming in you have to be sharp and quick to grasp all what is needed.
I started networking/coffee chats through varied platforms (LinkedIn, Eventbrite, Meet ups, French classes at YMCA and Dance classes at UofT). I got all sorts of advice starting from why did I move to Canada to it is a great market. But I expected to get a job interview out of the coffee chats and networking meetings. However, I believe my approach was incorrect. After a month of effort, I was guided by a professional in the industry not to aim for asking if they have an opportunity in their team but rather look for the information on their profile and let them be aware of how relevant your previous experience is to that. I followed this approach, and although it took significant time, but I landed up with a couple of interview calls. Although I was unable to crack any of them, I kept networking.
In routine, I used to look up at any Job opportunities in the Infrastructure Financing domain; with key words search such as Financial Modeling, Public private partnership, corporate finance, Oil & Gas or Energy finance, syndication etc. Doing that I realized I was able to shortlist only relevant opportunities. Post that I would use the designation at the opportunities page and find 1st /2nd connections on LinkedIn with same designation and connect with them. Sending them email for coffee chat requests with the help of “RocketReach” add on application on Chrome is another way to reach out to someone on LinkedIn.
I was also recommended the Career Edge website by a professional to start off with 3-6 month paid internships in my field and that was how I got my first break and since then have been working with RBC Capital Markets, Global credit team here in Toronto.
Couple of pointers for new comers – read news regularly which shall help you with topics for discussion during coffee chats; approach individual recruiters directly, that you see posting opportunities in your field of interest through cold calling and email requests; lastly, attend informal networking events such as YMCA free French classes or activities of your choice to keep yourself motivated. All the best and happy to connect anytime!