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Canada & Immigration Blog (267)

The Expatriate Mind on LoonLounge - Fraser Institute gets it wrong on the value of immigrants

Posted on Jun. 13th 2011 by expatriatemind
views: 669, comments: 0
Academics. Sometimes they just get it wrong. According to a recent report in the National Post (http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Immigration+long+view/4800391/story.html), The Fraser Institute, in its just-released report on the impact of immigration in Canada, concludes that immigrants no longer represent a net economic gain to the country, and in fact, represent a cost of $25 billion per year to the Canadian economy.

But the National Post wisely points out the many flaws in the limited logic of the report's authors, as well as posing the question of how the recommendations of the authors for curing this deficit would play out if they were applied to native Canadians as well.

"What of the many people born in Canada who never pay any taxes, yet use our healthcare system? By the logic at play in the Fraser study, a stay-at home mother or elderly married woman who was born in Canada but never worked outside the home should also be regarded as a drain on our economy. In fact, if state benefits were tied to income taxes, 40% of Canadians would not receive them, because they don't pay any. Yet these Canadians generally contribute to society in other ways -by raising children, doing unpaid work inside households or as future taxpayers."

Read the article here - http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Immigration+long+view/4800391/story.html

Follow The Expatriate Mind at http://expatriatemind.blogspot.com

Canadian Think Tank Releases New Report on Canadian Immigration.

Posted on May. 17th 2011 by Labor Shortage
views: 1047, comments: 2
The Fraser Institute just released a major study on immigration in Canada. It is not good news if the report's proposals are implemented. This only a discussion paper. No worries.

You can download the report from the link below:

http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/immigration-and-the-canadian-welfare-state-2011.pdf

The Expatriate Mind on LoonLounge - He only arrived with one suitcase

Posted on May. 8th 2011 by expatriatemind
views: 598, comments: 0
One of the big issues I'm facing as I prepare to immigrate is what to bring into Canada with me to start and what to follow later. Upon landing, a new immigrant is required to present:

•Two (2) copies of a detailed list of all the personal or household items you are bringing with you
•Two (2) copies of a list of items that are arriving later and their money value

These must be items that you already own and not things you bought just prior to moving to Canada. You account for these items on Forms B4 and B4A.

So I've got my lists together now and I'm looking at them and the question comes - do I really need to take all this stuff? Where are we going to put it? Should I sell what I'm not taking? Will I want it later? These are not decisions free of stress. I'm finding most of what I really want to take with me isn't stuff like blenders and TV's and such - most of it is like my history - photos and archives and all that. The other stuff, if my love doesn't already have it for her (our) place, it would be fun to get it together, rather than have her inherit my old things.

So tonight I'm feeling like I'm leaving this land and I can't take much with me, so I'm asking myself, what's really important? It's a tough question. It's part of the adjustment.

You know how you read about the classic immigrants tale - "he only arrived with one suitcase...." Well, there's a reason for that. It's near impossible to bring your life with you. What you can pack in a suitcase may be all that fits. I'm going to have to pack carefully.

Follow The Expatriate Mind at: http://expatriatemind.blogspot.com/

The Expatriate Mind on Loon Lounge - Two things every immigrant needs

Posted on Mar. 23rd 2011 by expatriatemind
views: 1120, comments: 3
Now I know the title of this blog entry is a bit deceptive...and it's purposefully so. You may have chosen to read it because you're here on Loon Lounge looking for the inside scoop on Canadian immigration, and you're hoping to find a few hints that will assist you in jumping ahead.

Let's assume you've done your homework and you clearly meet the minimum qualifications to apply for immigrant status. Let's assume you have already, or are in the process of carefully gathering the materials that the CIC requests in order to evaluate your application.

Let's assume that if you have a complicated situation, that you have retained assistance with experience in immigration matters that can help you navigate the challenges of the process.

Assuming all that, what are two things that every potential immigrant needs?

The answer? Patience and persistence.

The one question I get asked all the time, and the question I asked all the time (until very recently, believe me), is "How long?" How long does it take to process this, or get an answer to that, or make a determination, or schedule an interview? How long. I can tell you the honest answer: No one knows. Sure, the CIC publishes average wait times for certain of their procedures, but in reality, your situation, my situation - they are not the same. They are different. And isn't it actually comforting in a way that they are. Because they are unique - they take the time they take. That's the way it is.

How do you cope with that waiting, always it seems, waiting? Patience. Like it or not, if you are committed to the immigration process, you have to have it.

Something else you will probably discover is that there are times where it pays to be the squeaky wheel. You know, the one that gets the grease. I can't tell you when you should call your lawyer, or the CIC office, or contact your MP about your application, but I can tell you from experience, that if it is done with tact and at an appropriate interval, it can help move you forward. It makes sense to be persistent in pursuit of your goals. If you communicate this persistence with care, the impression you give is a positive one: that you sincerely care about your application, because you sincerely want to make Canada your home. That's not a bad message to send.

So let me encourage you from experience - be patient, and be persistent. Developing these qualities will go a long way to making the sometimes difficult and complicated immigration process easier to bear.

The Expatriate Mind on LoonLounge - The beginning of the end?

Posted on Feb. 15th 2011 by expatriatemind
views: 1059, comments: 7
My Love and I heard from the CIC a few days ago. What we heard moved us to tears.

The days in your life when things change are rarely dramatic within themselves. They are just another day: work, chores, errands, meals. I was tending to my day when the phone call came and everything changed. Wonderfully changed.

We were informed that CIC has approved our (my) Permanent Residence application. After a couple routine (hopefully) final steps, we can expect that I will be a landed immigrant, reunited with my Love in Toronto! Those of you following this blog know how long we have waited for this day.

So starts what we hope will be the beginning of the end of a long immigration process. So starts what we hope will be the adventure of leaving the U.S. and relocating in Canada. We are excited and overjoyed with the possibilities.

I'm also excited to migrate this blog away from issues of the immigration process and onto the logistics of moving to and getting settled in Canada.

I hope you will remain with me as we start this new adventure. God willing, this is the beginning of the end. We won't be ending our prayers until I am standing on Canadian ground; until I am on the other side of that silver door at Pearson. But we have great faith, and God has been faithful to our prayers.

I'll continue to pray for all of you who are involved in this process, and wondering if you will be able to make it through. Have faith, have patience, believe.

Please pray for my love and I that the final steps go smoothly and quickly.

Thank you all for your support.

Follow The Expatriate Mind at http://expatriatemind.blogspot.com

What's Your USP?

Posted on Feb. 8th 2011 by wendymr
views: 1057, comments: 3
I’ve been told many times by job-seekers that the interview questions they find most difficult are the ones along these lines:

• Tell me about yourself

• Name your top strengths

• Why should I hire you?


Yet I am told by hiring managers that, really, these should be the easiest questions of all. Why? Because they offer you the opportunity to sell yourself: to show an employer exactly what you have to offer that makes you stand out.

Why do people find these questions hard? With the first question, people have told me that they’re not sure what the employer wants to hear (and some interviewees have even answered the question that way: What do you want to know?). They’re not sure what the employer is looking for here: their life history? Their education? Their work experience? Which? Or all three?

If you answered ‘work experience’, give yourself a pat on the back. That’s what the employer is interested in – but not just that. They want to know what makes you special. Why they should hire you over the half-dozen other people with similar qualifications.

(And if you’re wondering why employers aren’t interested in your education, it’s because this is mostly taken for granted. You’re expected to have education relevant to the job, but it’s what you’ve actually achieved that matters. This is why, in Canada, education is almost always at the end of a resume. It’s just not as important as your accomplishments in employment).

Consider the difference between these two answers:

“I have a bachelor’s degree in accounting and ten years’ experience as a company accountant. I worked in two different companies. My first job was as an assistant in a accounting consultancy company. and then I moved to another company as a senior in-house accountant, and then got promoted to accounting manager. I’ve now immigrated to Canada and I’m looking for a job in my field.”

“I’ve been a chartered accountant for ten years, after getting my bachelor’s degree and then my licence. I prefer to work as an in-house accountant rather than for a consultancy, although I worked for a consultancy company earlier in my career. I have a reputation for finding ways to save money – for example, last year I found out about a new program that would allow my company to claim particular expenditure against tax, and we cut our bill by $3 million as a result. I’ve now moved to Canada as the next stage in my career. I’ve put a lot of time into learning about the Canadian accounting and tax framework, and I’m currently looking for an opportunity to contribute to a well-established company where I can quickly show my strengths and build a career.”

Less than five minutes into the interview, who would you want to hire?

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses – and, yes, you’re likely to be asked about your weaknesses in an interview as well. But here I’m focusing on strengths. What are you REALLY good at? What is your USP? That’s your Unique Selling Point, by the way, a term used in marketing but every bit as important in job-searching. If you can’t tell an employer what makes you better than the competition, you’ve already ruled yourself out of the race.

So start thinking about your career. What are your successes? What have you done that makes you proudest? What do you think you do that makes you stand out from your co-workers? Everyone is better at some things than others, and it’s those things you’re really good at that employers want to know about when they ask you to tell them about yourself, or why they should hire you.

Remember, also, that it’s YOU they’re considering hiring, not the team you work with, or used to work with. This means that a job interview is the place where you have unlimited permission to say I, not we. If you keep talking about your past experience as a group effort, the employer has no way of knowing how much of it was your contribution and how much was other people’s work.

Make a list – your top five strengths and achievements. What have you most often been praised for? What do clients or customers or managers or co-workers like about you? What makes you able to succeed where others might fail?

Your USP could be one – or more – of the following:

• You save money
• You save time
• You create new processes that make people’s work easier
• You bring in new customers
• You’re innovative and invent new products/services/ideas
• You find solutions for problems
• You have excellent attention to detail and never let potential problems turn into real ones
• You can sell anything to anyone
• Your designs/other creative work have won awards
• You can build good working relationships with even the most difficult people
• Your projects have always come in on time and under budget

...and so on and so on.

Remember, though, that you need to follow up these strengths with EXAMPLES. So along with this list think of times when you have excelled, and be prepared to tell your story – in summary in your answer to the ‘tell me about yourself’ question, and in more detail later in the interview. This is most effectively done in this format:

“I took on a new opportunity three years ago, as sales manager for a brand-new product which we believed was better than the competition, although the market was already crowded. I developed a strategy to promote it to existing customers and to win new customers. I cold-called, visited customers to demonstrate the product, offered free samples and also special discounts for large orders. Within a year, we were outselling the competition and making almost twice the profit on the product we expected. All that, and my marketing costs came in under budget.”

Here, I described the SITUATION: launching a new product in a crowded market. The ACTION: developing a sales strategy and what it was. The RESULT: the product became the market leader, earning higher profits than expected.

In a real situation, you would likely give more details about your strategy and the results, but for this example here you can see how a story can be told simply and effectively to demonstrate achievements.

And you can see why an employer would want to know more about a candidate with this track record!

Finding a job really is about selling. The ‘product’ you are selling is yourself, and you are the sales representative. In order to make the successful sale, you have to convince the employer of your strengths and unique qualities – and you’re the one who can make or break the sale, depending on how well you know yourself and can get this across to an employer.

Once you’ve identified what makes you stand out, use that information. Turn it into your ‘elevator speech’ or your ’30-second commercial’. Imagine you’re on an elevator ride with someone who has the power to hire you – or at least offer you a job interview. What can you tell them about yourself in 30 seconds to achieve that outcome?

You can also use that ‘pitch’ at networking meetings, as the profile statement at the top of your resume, and even on your LinkedIn profile. See this profile as an example of one which does that very well: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/socialmediacoach

Under the person’s name, you’ll see his USP:
***Social Media Coach | Helping businesses develop successful social media strategies to grow and prosper.***

At one glance, you know what he does – and that he does it successfully. That’s his USP. What’s yours?

Scientifically proved: Why First Impressions are so Important

Posted on Feb. 7th 2011 by wendymr
views: 1894, comments: 2
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

We've all heard this, but have we stopped to think about what it means, and why it's so important? It's important because the first impression we make on people we meet - whether in person or online - LASTS. If you make a great first impression, people will remember that and remember you and have a good and positive image of you. If you make a poor first impression, the opposite will apply.

Recent research by psychologists at the University of Western Ontario have looked into this to discover why those first impressions are so persistent: http://communications.uwo.ca/com/western_news/stories/research_discovers_why_first_impressions_are_so_persistent_20110118447278/

They found that even if someone does manage to make a better impression on a second or subsequent meeting, that impression won't last because it's only seen to apply to the 'context' in which it's made. So if that bad first impression is in a meeting, and the better second impression is on the phone, the conclusion will be that you are okay to talk with by telephone, but in every other context you're best avoided.

What does this mean? Get it right first time! Whether you're making initial contact by email, by telephone or on an internet forum, or face to face, that very first impression is going to be what people remember about you, no matter what you do after that to try to change their opinion.

What do you think? What kind of things can we all do to make a better first impression?

The Expatriate Mind on LoonLounge - Settlement groups mount campaign to restore funding

Posted on Feb. 6th 2011 by expatriatemind
views: 467, comments: 1
33 Ontario organizations delivering language, employment and integration programs to immigrants will lose all of their funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada by April 1. These organizations currently serve over 10,000 new Canadians. A total of $22 million in cuts is being made to settlement programs within Toronto this year.

“The Conservative funding cuts are an attack on the economic and social success of the Toronto area that depends on our ability to integrate new Canadians,” said Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy.

Read the entire article:
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/929508--settlement-groups-mount-campaign-to-restore-funding

Sign the online petition:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rewind-The-Cuts/167062950006411?ref=ts

Follow The Expatriate Mind at: http://expatriatemind.blogspot.com
 
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