“Not having your community can feel isolating and with rejections during a job search, it’s easy to feel dejected. It’s important to have cheerleaders in your life who will constantly remind you of what you have achieved and what you can do in the future.”
These are the words of Shreeya Shakya, a former IT Program Manager who moved from Nepal to B.C. during the pandemic. Shakya came across the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC) upon relocating and found the cheerleader she was looking for.
“I worked with Bita Firouzian as my case manager virtually during the pandemic”, she says. “In our first few interactions, I could see Bita was committed to helping newcomers. She reviewed my resume, gave me actionable suggestions and also ran a practice interview with me.”
Firouzian’s mentorship was part of the ISSofBC’s Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program; a free support program for skilled job seekers who have been in Canada for 10 years or less and are struggling to land a job or career comparable to their previous occupation. Many skilled workers who arrive in Canada are forced to work in lower-paying jobs because their education, training, or credentials are not recognized upon relocating. This can be disheartening, particularly, for those who have invested time, money, energy, and resources into building a meaningful career and who are coming to Canada for a better life.
As part of the Career Paths program, ISSofBC offers one-on-one personalized support in addition to services such as settlement support, career and employment programs, English classes, refugee services, employer matching, and mentorship programs. Funding can even be provided for clients’ training, re-credentialing, and necessary licensing.
Career Paths however offers more than just services, they aim to offer genuine support to their clients, no matter what their situation or where they’re from.
“Bita gave me immense confidence in my interviews – a job search is a grueling process for anyone,” says Shakya. “When I hit rock bottom I reached out to Bita and she responded back in the kindest supportive way. I found a cheerleader in her and couldn’t have been more grateful.”