Finding a Fulfilling and Meaningful Job: Adriyana Stoyanova
Like many Newcomers to Canada, Adriyana is an educated person. She has a Bachelor degree with Honours in Business Administration. However, transferring skills to a new home country can be challenging with many employers looking for recent experience in Canada. For a newcomer to Canada, this can present a difficult situation. Simply coming to Canada from another country will bring cultural challenges, differences in workplace expectations and even various extracurricular certifications or licenses that may not be required in a person's native country.
When Adriyana came to Canada in 2017, she found Canadians kind and helpful to her and her children. It was a great first impression of her new country. However, after arriving and beginning the process of settling in, she began to discover barriers challenging her family's ability to stabilize. One of the biggest challenges she faced was finding suitable, meaningful employment. This challenge was exacerbated by the need for a driver's license. In her home country, she was not required to have her license as there were other convenient means of transportation she could easily make use of. In Prince Edward Island, with its smaller cities and the fact it is Canada's last remaining rural province, not having a driver's license is a significant impediment to employment.
This barrier, however, was more easily overcome than other barriers she faced in finding employment. The biggest barrier Adriyana faced was the expectation for relevant Canadian experience for jobs she was qualified for. Despite being a successful employee in her home country with lots of experience, she did not have relevant experience in Canada. She found this limited her options. After unsuccessful attempts in finding employment, Adriyana despaired she would have to settle for work in areas she would not find meaningful or fulfilling. She feared she would not be able to make good use of her skills and education.
"When I first met Adriyana in the winter of 2018 she felt discouraged," explains Michelle Hood, Employment Counsellor with the PEI Association of Newcomers to Canada, "She was thinking she would have to settle for employment outside her desired career since she was having difficulty finding a job in her field. I worked with Adriyana to help her connect with the Career Bridges program which would help her gain the valuable experience she needed to find a fulfilling and meaningful job."
After the 12-week program and interning for five weeks with the Royal Canadian Legion Command in office administration, Adriyana gained relevant Canadian experience, strong local work reference, and a deepened confidence in her skills. At her graduation, Michelle helped facilitate a connection with SkillsPEI where Adriyana learned of an upcoming competition with them that was looking for candidates with her training, skills and new experience.
"I applied on the job in July 2018," says Adriyana, "I was successful and began working on a casual basis in administration. A few short months later, in October, I began working fulltime hours working in the apprenticeship department. Here I perform a number of administrative tasks related to apprenticeship training applications, block training, GED and more." Adriyana states she is thoroughly enjoying her work with the 'amazing team' she is a part of at SkillsPEI. She hopes to continue working with the provincial government and help others become established in their own careers in a similar manner that she was helped.