Accounting is a regulated profession in Canada. You will need to learn the process of how to achieve the same status and work as an accountant here in your new home. However, you bring with you a wealth of transferable skills to the labour market here in accounting and bookkeeping.
Here are 5 suggestions to start learning as much as you can about the accounting profession here in Canada before you arrive.
1. Understand the Canadian Labour Market in accounting.
Research the labour market including the companies, the job descriptions and the professionals working in this field. You can find a goldmine of useful information on the JVS Career Voice blog on this topic https://jvstoronto.wordpress.com/?s=Newcomer. Other sites to learn what employers are looking for are www.monster.ca, www.indeed.com, www.eluta.com, www.simplyhired.com and www.glassdoor.com
2. Connect with the CPA Canada.
This fantastic sector-specific organization has plenty of information on the field, the process involved as well as they offer specialized programs for new immigrants looking to train and retrain, as well as get certified here in Canada.
3. Communication Communication Communication!
This is more than learning the language. This is about learning how to articulate your skills, experiences, projects, qualifications and strengths in English from your home country in a clear, concise and effective way for both current and future networking and for your job interviews and even when you start working. Sometimes, words are lost in translation with some languages. Be specific.
4. Secure a mentor.
CanPrep offers pre-arrival online mentoring service matching internationally-trained mentees with established professional mentors in similar occupational field. Contact your CanPrep Employment Cousellor to see if you qualify for this service.
5. Evaluate your credentials and degrees to boost your credibility and being competitive.
You would have already been required to evaluate your degree for immigration purposes by one of the accredited organizations. However, your professional body in Canada may have their own assessment process so you should check with them. The relevant accounting body in Canada is the CPA Canada.
6. Use social media to start building your professional network.
Since over 80 percent of the jobs (this number varies depending on the market. It can be higher or lower depending on demand at any particular time) in the labour market are “hidden” i.e. through connections, it is critical that new immigrants, or any job seeker for that matter, network as much as possible through social media, associations, trade shows, conferences, career fairs and employer events to learn from and mingle with professionals and successful professionals.
For more information on Networking and online networking tips, please refer to the CanPrep e-Learning modules on the topic.
Joanna Samuels, M.Ed., CMF, CTDP, RRP is a certified Life Skills Coach, and certified Personality Dimensions Facilitator who works at JVS Toronto as a job developer/job coach, and is a part-time instructor at George Brown College.