Over the coming months, hear stories right from our very own staff about why Career Edge and the work that they do is so important to them.
I came to Canada with my husband in 2019 with many hopes and dreams – like many newcomers. Before arriving, we heard so many stories about how difficult things are for newcomers. We were prepared to start from scratch and were determined to make it work as our new home.
We initially landed in New Brunswick, one small province in Atlantic Canada, where the government realized how important it is to bring immigrants in because of the aging population. While New Brunswick was so rich in nature – it had us breathe a sigh of fresh air after coming from the hustle and bustle of Cairo – it didn’t exactly welcome us as newcomers.
In my trials to pursue a career, I was treated like I didn’t exist. I faced many rejections and even explicit discrimination. I started to notice the pattern and see the lack of diversity in the workforce of people of colour (and especially veiled women like myself).
When I talked to locals, no one believed I had ambition or passion for what I do; they were even shocked that “I could speak English that well.” It wasn’t just for the lack of “Canadian Experience.” It was also about the colour of my skin and the way I dress. Many people decided I wasn’t an equal just by looking at me. That assumption hurt!
I started to get furious, so I pointed my passion toward volunteering, networking, and even joining political caucuses to speak up about immigrants’ problems and ways to solve them. At one point, I wished I had the power to change something instead of just talking about it.
But then, a couple of years later, my husband and I decided to end this, restart our lives all over again and move to Ontario in the hopes of finding a better life for ourselves.
I started my job search journey again, but this time I remembered a friend mentioning Career Edge and how they helped her start her career with RBC. And even though I was frustrated, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to apply for jobs on Career Edge’s job board.
I promptly got a call from one of the Talent team members (hello there Saradha) telling me that she thinks I’m a good fit for one of the jobs. Long story short, the employer didn’t end up hiring me. I was disappointed, but it wasn’t something I didn’t see before, so I moved on.
But then, when I least expected it, I got a few messages from Career Edge again. They said they were looking to hire a marketing person internally this time. I was so excited, but I didn’t want to get disappointed one more time.
This time I hit the jackpot. Someone took me seriously for the first time in 3 years since I moved to Canada. They respected my experience and believed I could add value (eyes on you, Jeff and Jumana).
After I got the job, it started to sit in. Nothing would have worked better for me. Haven’t gone through that experience, I wouldn’t have been so passionate about helping others who face the same challenges.
Today, I’m so grateful for where I am, where I have to see and interact with people like me – I get to do something I’m genuinely passionate about (I could be a bit annoying sometimes). I get to help people of colour and newcomers to Canada and witness their lives change for the better.
I’m truly thankful every day for being where I am today as Career Edge grows to be part of who I am as a person.