Congratulations on finding a job, now here is how you keep it!

You were successful in securing work, which is a great accomplishment; however, you will also need to work hard at keeping the job because there are Canadian workplace expectations that you may not be familiar with and knowing these expectations will assist you with being successful in your new role. It is every person’s responsibility to make sure that they are successful in their workplace and although there are things that employers can do to help integrate their immigrant employees, each working individual needs to ensure that they are the best in their new role. It is not the responsibility of your employment counsellor, career coach, or case manager to make sure you are successful, but instead the responsibility lies on your shoulders! Below are some tips for you, which were created using feedback from clients, employers and with the help of DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

The Day before your First Day:

–        Re-visit the company’s website and familiarize yourself with both the company profile and your job description

–        Similar to when you prepare for your interview, make sure you are early on your first day. Know your commute and the transit schedule, or parking locations

–        Get a good night’s rest, so that you are ready for the big day ahead

The Morning of your First Day:

–        Have a good breakfast and pack a lunch in case there are no restaurants in the area where you can buy lunch

–        Dress appropriately and professionally. Your workplace may have a relaxed dress code, which is something you will discover later on, but for now do not assume you can come in wearing jeans and running shoes

–        Bring any important documents that you will need. For example: your drivers licence, Social Insurance Number, Care Card, void cheque for direct deposit of your paycheck

–        Do not bring any personal items on your first day like pictures of your family or plants that you are planning on putting in your office. There will be enough time to decorate your future office


–        Make sure to greet all staff with a smile and a positive attitude. It is good to let everyone know how happy you are to be there and that you are excited to be joining their team

–        Try and remember all the people you were introduced to, especially managers, team leads and department heads

The First Week:

–        Read new employee literature, which will be provided to you and ask questions about policies and procedures that are not clear to you

–        Know what to do about absences and who to call if you are sick or unable to come into the office

–        Make sure you know when and where to take your breaks. If you smoke, then ensure that you know where the designated smoking areas are located

–        When you take your lunch, then go to the lunchroom as you will get to know the other employees, but also important information about the company or your industry is often shared at lunch or during break time at the water cooler

–        Always ask questions if you are unsure. Your manager will expect you to have questions at the beginning and will start to wonder if you do not have any questions during your first week

The First Month:

–        Identify the differences between your new workplace and the workplace back in your home country. If these differences will affect your work, then try and resolve them as soon as possible by having a conversation with your manger/supervisor and seek a solution. Some of these differences can include communication styles, technical language, and cultural differences

–        Know who to go for what; who is responsible for photocopying, running mail, scheduling/booking meeting rooms etc.

–        Regularly meet with your supervisor/manager to ensure you are on the right track and ask for feedback on your performance so far. Accept feedback both positive and negative as it will only help you in the future

–        If you notice that you are struggling with English or the technical vocabulary that you are required to know in order to do your job, then do some research into upgrading courses/training and discuss options with your manager/supervisor

After 3 Months:

–        Most company’s have a probation period lasting anywhere from 3 – 6 months; use this time to become familiar with the workplace and your new role. Employers also use this time to see whether you are the right fit and whether you will successfully integrate into the company culture. Probation periods exist for a reason, so don’t feel bad if within the 3 months you notice that the job is not right for you because in the long term you want to be happy with your work and you want your manager to be happy with you and your contributions

–        Now that you are more familiar with your job and your new duties and responsibilities, you may want to focus on networking and joining associations that will help you gain more industry specific knowledge and help you meet other professionals in your field

–        Join the company’s social committed and/or participate in the social events as this is a great time to meet employees in other departments and learn more about the company culture

–        You may want to discuss professional development opportunities with your manager and see which areas of your work need improvement and how you might be able to take courses that will help you be more successful in your role. Most companies have education funds that can help pay for these types of courses and which you can take advantage of once  you successfully pass your probation period

Summary of things to avoid at your new workplace:

–        Workplace gossip/rumors

–        Doing personal business such as making personal calls during working hours

–        Going on inappropriate websites such as Facebook etc.

–        Talking on your cell phone, texting during working hours

–        Being Late

–        Dressing inappropriately

–        Asking for vacation/a raise during your probation period

–        Keeping to yourself

–        Drinking too much alcohol during company events

For more information and for more useful tips on Job Retention, please visit

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