MM2C Podcast by Ben Alagnam

SEARCH the Related FSW Canada Topics HERE!

22 February 2015

How I Got A Job in 5 days

Before we arrived in Canada, I was worried of not getting a job specially when I'm bringing my whole family (wife and 2 kids) with me.

I was thinking on getting any job that may be available upon our landing.

Aside from preparing my credentials and supporting documents for my employment, I also prepared my emotions and mindset for the coming interviews and job seeking.

Job Seeking in Toronto
We've landed in Canada...YES!!! The sight of flurries temporarily took away my troubled mind as we stepped out of the airport.  The ambient temperature at that time was 3degC.

My tropical blood was shocked!  The clothing that I wore, which I thought was fine initially, were not appropriate for that temperature, so I was shivering.

It was Friday night but my brain was telling me that it's Saturday morning.  This is because of a 12-hour time lag between Philippines and Ontario, Canada. 

There were lots of activities we've done during the weekend and the following Monday.  I will discuss this in details on my next posts.

It was Tuesday when our friend Garry convinced us to go with him on a job hunt.  I was not job hunting for 4 days because we're much occupied with other things.  Besides, it was not like Singapore where I need to find a job within 30 days before my Visit Pass will expire.  You can read my Singapore story at this link "How I found a job in 4 days!"

Me and my wife went with Garry to an agency.  My impression of an agency is that they always think about money and they will cheat you with the salary.  But I found out that I was wrong, they treated us well.

They gave us forms to fill in and informed us to wait for their call if ever a job is available.  I also gave them my resume for their future reference.

What's My First Job in Canada
We went home from the agency and go on with our activities.  It was afternoon and the sun was shining bright lighting up the red maple leaves laying at the grounds.  I heard my phone ringing and answered it immediately.
"Is this Ben?  My name is Mr. Agent and I'm calling from the Agency XYZ.  I want to know if you're interested in getting a job as an Assembler.  This job is quite easy and light.  That means that there is no heavy lifting and the only thing you carry are small parts.
I'm sure you'll like it."
Honestly, when I heard about the word "Assembler", I was thinking of someone sitting on a chair facing a conveyor line, picking up parts and gluing it together.

I imagined a production line with your co-worker, sitting beside you, is assembling the same parts, with the bell ringing, a signal for break time and lunches.
"Alright, how much is the salary and where is it located?"
"It's located at the northern part of Toronto and you'll be paid CND11.00/hr."
Having experienced with a Singapore dollar, the salary offered is lower than what I was taking home in Singapore.  But, if I base it in the Philippine wages, like my wife's, it's way too high.

I then mentally computed my future expenses like house rental, car, food...etc., it seems that I can also have savings if I work 8 hours per day, 5 days a week.

The offer is not bad at all!  Then I continued...
"Sure, I'll accept the offer". 
"That's good!  The name of the company is XYZ Co. and you have to go there tomorrow for an interview. You should look for Mr. Manager and bring your resume with you."
After the talk, I thanked him for his offer and immediately informed my wife about it.  She was happy knowing that we now have money to spend for our expenses.  Money is coming IN!

What Happened During the Interview? 
An immigrant newbie just got a job offer in Toronto, Canada.

As I hanged up the phone, I was thinking on how and what to wear for the interview?  I was not concerned about the questions in the interview because I know that the job is not that technical.

It's my first time to have an interview here in Canada and clueless on how to get to my destination and how to go inside the office.
Do I need to remove my coat, shoes and gloves? 
Where do I place my coat?   
Do they have cabinets for these things?
Yes, I know that these are just simple things, but it's a big deal for me.

The following day, I took the bus to XYZ Co. and found that I need to walk half kilometres from the bus stop to their place.

Walking along the pathway, I can see the grasses were still green, layered with red maple leaves.  The temperature was at +2degC but my body responds with a shiver.  Winter is coming indeed...

After a 500-meter walk, I finally arrived at the doorstep of the company.  When I opened the door, there's another door to enter the lobby.

It's a double door, which is installed for the purpose of insulation, so the cold air from the outside won't get in directly to the lobby and also to save the heat inside.

I was not getting used to double doors back in Philippines, Singapore and other tropical countries. Majority of companies have single doors.

As I entered the reception area, the receptionist asked me who am I looking for?  The way she speaks isn't what I was used to in Singapore or Philippines.

She speaks Canadian English and fast.  I barely understood what she's saying but I know that she's asking something.

I told her that I'm in for an interview with Mr. Manager.  She made some calls and I waited at the lobby still wearing my coat.

The lobby felt warm so I unzipped my coat exposing the second layer of my sweater.  I wore three layers of clothing that day, a cotton shirt, a thick sweater with a hood and a thick coat. My shoes were still on but she didn't instructed me to remove it.

The Manager came and guided me to a small meeting area and we took a seat facing each other.
"Hi Ben, so you're from The Agency?"
"Yes, Manager"
In Canada, you don't say Sir and Ma'am, even if it's the owner of the company, you can just call them with their first name.   If he is John Smith, just call him John.

In Canada, employers and employees don't feel comfortable to be called Sir/Ma'am.  That's what the CIIP seminar had instructed us.

I handed him my resume and waited for him to finish reading.
"So, you're an Engineer and a new immigrant.  You have a lot of experience.  But the work that you'll be doing here is easy.  It sounds like you're just looking for something to do..."
 "Well, I understand, we've just arrived few days ago.  I need to find a job."
He was surprised that we've just recently landed and then asked me if how I felt about Canada.

The interview lasted for 30 minutes.  He then called the Supervisor to interview me as well.

At the end of the interview, he discussed something with the Supervisor and got back to me...
"Hi Ben, I'm glad to tell you that you are qualified with the job and you can start on Monday.   
Take your family around Toronto and enjoy your weekend.  See you next week then."
There were no contracts that I can sign with after that.  His words were my only evidence that I had found a job.

My first reaction was to thanked him with a big smile.  He lead me out of their company leaving me galloping with joy!

I just got my first ever job in Canada!!!

Is this information useful? Please tick the Like button below.
If you want me to post a certain topic,  you can leave a comment below or email me at

Enter your email address:

Delivered by BenAlagnam's FeedBurner



Sayuken said...

Hi Ben,

First of all, congratulations on the first job and that fast! It is one of those feelings that you feel awesome and blessed and would want to share to your entire family and the world.
I am also an inspiring applicant for Express Entry and PNP, an ECE like you and have been working as an IT here in Singapore for the past 3 years.
I have done tons of research but not yet decided on which of those two programs to pursue and which province me and my family would settle in because I want to get the best possible option.
I have read all your blog posts (and the snowy walk to office video) and would like to thank you for providing us whatever advice, big and small, as each of it gives us aspirants hope and a step closer to achieving our dreams in settling permanently in Canada. More power to your blogs and keep them coming.



Ben Alagnam said...

Thanks a lot Christian, words of those kind keeps me moving and blog more.

Skye&Snow Store said...

Thank you Ben for this helpful blog. Congratulations on your new job. I will be landing in Alberta or Manitoba the next few months as an immigrant and I am about to do the same which is work at any job possible to be able to support myself financially as I start my new life in Canada. I am thanking you in advance as I will be utilizing this great blogs of yours as I pursue my plans. Godspeed Ben and your family!

Ben Alagnam said...

You're Welcome Allan, always keep your options open.

John Lee said...

I just discovered your blog and it's very helpful because I'm also in a similar situation. I'm also a Pinoy (ECE grad), based in Singapore (working in IT), and just started applying for immigration to Canada. I'm really happy to see this blog. =)

By the way, I was wondering what happened to your first job? Did you eventually ask for a contract?


Ben Alagnam said...

I quit from my first and got a new job related to my field. If you work under an agency, you will have no contract, you can quit anytime.

Unknown said...

Hi Ben,

Stumbled upon your blog and loving the useful information you have included in it. I'm Singaporean in the process of applying for immigration to Canada.

If I may ask, based on your initial job (of CND 11/hr) and let's say your wife is not working at the time, would that be sufficient to support your family?

Also, should both of you be working, is there like a student care centre (like the ones in SG), where elementary school children can go to after school hours? And how much do they cost?

Look forward to hearing from you soon and keep up the good work, Ben.

Regards, Liz

Ben Alagnam said...

Hi Liz, Sorry for the late reply. Yes, you can bring your child to a "Day Care Center" where you have to pay around CAD$500-600 / month.

Surviving with a minimum salary is difficult. Apartments in Toronto is already around CAD$1,400 - $1,800 for a single bedroom. You can find basements for rent for less than CAD$1,000 but would be very difficult. I suggest you and wifey work and bring your kids to the center.

By the way, minimum wage in Ontario is CAD$14.00/ hr.

Please visit to join our community and go to the forums section if you have further questions. you can find useful tips there.

Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada