Thursday, December 15, 2011

My first job in Canada or start of Canadian experience

So, looks like it is a time of writing how I managed to find my first job in Canada. After one and half month of unemployment now I am financial analyst at Alberta Health Services. Actually I started looking for a job from 25th of November. When I was in Azerbaijan I promised not to work for at least two months after moving to Canada. However, I could not keep my promise. At that time my spouse warned me that I won't be able to stay too long without working. Looks like she was right...

For easy following I have divided my job hunting here into several steps:

Step 1: Before moving preparations
I believe that it is the most important step in job hunting in new country. You should be aware which qualifications is needed there and try to adjust you skills under the needs of new market. For me as an accountant it was important to became certified in Canada. In Canada there are three type of certication for accountants; CA, CGA and CMA. However, costs of the certifications was too high. Therefore, I started looking for alternative ways. I decided to get US CPA license as the costs may be compensated by E&Y. Of course, having great US financial authority in the world US CPA license might also assist me in being recognized as an accountant in Canada. So, I talked to partner of our department in E&Y and started my CPA preparation in early summer of 2010. As you are already aware from my previous postings I passed the final exam in May, 2011. After taking ethic course and applying to Alaska's Board of Accountancy I was licensed in November 03, 2011. And this date was the end of the first step.

Step 2: Job Hunting techniques
Before the immigration I read a lot from blogs how to search a job in Canada. Most of them was suggesting networking. It means have contacts with the right people it is easier to be referred and employed. Most of the bloggers writing that sending resume through internet does not help. However, taking into account that I was not in rush for a work I started applying for a job through internet. Tried, and etc. And guess what happened... I was invited to six interview during two weeks. Most of them were seriously interested in my experience. In some cases I was invited to take some exams and have next level of the interview. However, in most cases lack of Canadian experience blocked my way. At the end of the two weeks I had ongoing serious discussions with two companies, a local public accounting firm and local recruiter Accountemp which is subsidiary of Robert Half Recruiting Company. The hardest one was the latter. I have been asked to take online exam on financial analyses, financial accounting, excel knowledge and typing. And a week after exams and interview I was an offer to be employed by Accountemps for assignment to Alberta Health Services as financial analyst.

Step 3. Interview
I believe that one of the major roles in getting employed is your behavior during interview. I am going to be honest and say that skills gained in E&Y helped me a lot during the interviews. Under skills I mean dressing, talking, behavior during the interview. In most cases I was asked who I managed to have such good business English being educated and employed in Azerbaijan. Again thanks to E&Y...

As a summary I would like to indicate that there is no exact rule in job hunting. Efficiency of the technique depends on how you were ready for the immigration. If you are aware of needs of the local market and is prepared any rule may be efficient!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meeting with my famous blogger-mmw

Today I am going to write here how we met with my famous blogger mmw here in Edmonton.

So, on November 30, 2011 I was waked up by cries of my daughter. As usually she was getting up early in the morning. Unwillingly I watched to my phone, it was almost 8 am. I have also noticed that I received an e-mail from Michael Maltsev, also known as mmw from his blog at He and his spouse Sveta immigrated to Calgary from Belarus in June, 2009. Potential immigrants can learn a lot from his blog, as I did. In his e-mail he was writing that he is going to be in Edmonton on November 30th and if I am available we can meet with him at 10 am at South part of Edmonton. As me he used to work as an accountant in home country. So we have some intersections, both are accountant and both immigrated to Calgary. Therefore, I was really exited that I have a chance to meet with him. I sent him a confirmation e-mail and was at Costco at 10 as agreed. Taking into account that he was being late we agreed to meet closest Tim Horton (this local cafe).

After waiting couple of meeting Michael entered to the cafe. So, I could not imagine that my words written in his blog may realize. I wrote him that "for sure we will meet in Canada". It happened. As I predicted Michael very interesting and polite person. I learned a lot from him regarding local accountancy jobs, how to adopt to the local life, where to find famous fish "seledka" and lots of interesting things. Was also able to take his photo.

Great thanks to him for meeting and tons of useful information!!!