Settlement Online Pre-Arrival Services (SOPA) provides free online facilitated and self-directed courses focusing on job search and communication skills to help prepare newcomers before they arrive in Canada.
A variety of online courses prepares landed visa holders to understand Canada’s labour market, along with information and strategies to apply for, find and maintain employment in Canada.
The SOPA program has worked with almost 600 people over the past four years, here are some client demographics:
Male: 54% Female: 46%
23% are ages 20-30 year
64% are ages 30-40 years
58% have Master’s Degrees
36% have Bachelor’s Degrees
Read on to learn about client experiences with the SOPA program.
Malvika found work just two weeks after her arrival. The position of Content Marketing Associate aligned with her skills and experience and she credited SOPA for her quick start!
“The SOPA courses I took made all the difference in finding employment in such a short time. SOPA is 100% responsible for my success and the courses are absolute “must-do” for anyone planning to move in Canada and with the guidance the SOPA team offered invaluable information toward my success in Canada.”
Malvika Kathpal, January 2019
Meenakshi secured employment as a Technical Recruiter at a big recruitment agency in Vancouver within a month of her arrival. Her new position is directly related to her previous occupation and she is happy to help her clients in placing technical resources for their projects.
Meenakshi shared her experience with SOPA:
“All the courses provided by SOPA are of great benefit in finding a job here and is a must thing to do. In my case, these courses helped me a lot in all the areas of getting a job offer like it helped me in preparing my resume, targeted resume, cover letter, targeted cover letter, how to make connections and network in Canadian market, landing information interviews, tapping the hidden job market, interview preparation, after interview “to-do” things and lot more.
I would suggest people who come to Canada to take advantage of SOPA services as much as they can because they are here to help you out. Do your homework while you are in your home country and be prepared before landing and trust me it will be a lot easier for you to settle in here and faster, if you come prepared. And be confident and motivated always.
I would say that SOPA courses are very organized and informative and the facilitator is very knowledgeable, responsive and proactive in helping out people in their job search. My success would not be possible without Soraya`s help. Thank you for helping me out in finding a job here in Canada in my field. I really appreciate the extended help and guidance that I got from your end. Again, I would like thank SOPA for the good work that you people are doing.”
Meenakshi Yadav, June 2018
“I am very thankful to MOSAIC, Planning for Canada Team and SOPA for the support they gave me in preparing for arrival in Canada.
It all started after getting my PR visa. I wanted to learn everything I needed to do before I stepped into the land of my dreams, Canada. My wife and I enrolled for the pre-arrival services with ‘Planning for Canada’ in the New Delhi branch.
When I was referred by Planning for Canada to the SOPA program I met (virtually) the two wonderful women, Linda and Rayhan.
Due to late enrollment, I could only opt for one of the soft skills programs, which is “Working With Others”. The program was so good and it prepared me for networking, work culture, expectations at work place, how to avoid Conflict at work etc. You know, it was an eye-opener for me because it was so different from what we normally have in India. I took all the sessions seriously and worked on Linda’s specific remarks for improvement.
And when I landed here, the practical phase of what I learned from “Planning for Canada” and SOPA was there. I got the bull right always! I was well aware of what to do and where and all because of the support I got by these organizations. The process of getting my Medical Card, Social Insurance Number, Child Care Benefits, Bank Account opening etc. was made so simple by the support provided to me by the team.
One of the supports Linda gave me was on how to build my resume. When I started applying for the jobs here, I knew how to go about it. To get an interview call for a newcomer is really tough especially in healthcare sector. But I got the call from my 2nd week in Canada onwards. My MOSAIC settlement and employment workers were helping me in preparation for the interview and network.
Remember, it is hard to get a good job without networking. And Bingo! Two of the companies I applied for selected me. All thanks to Planning for Canada and through them SOPA, as they prepared me for what to face, and excel before I stepped in here. My wife got a job within a week of her application. I am working full-time, my acknowledgment to all… especially Linda.
My advice to newcomers is enroll for the pre-arrival services ASAP to start to get things much easier than others.”
Dr. SUJIT PRADHAN, June 2019
“My name is Patricia and I am a Brand Development Strategist from Uganda by way of Rwanda. In 2016, I decided to make a career move and relocate to British Columbia, Canada. While preparing for this major life change, I did a lot of research on life in Canada and the best way to integrate. It was during that time that I found out about MOSAIC. Through MOSAIC, I was introduced to the Settlement Online Pre-arrival program. To this day, more than 4 months since I arrived, I believe this was one of the best decisions I made in my pre-arrival preparation.
Coming from a country were the official language is English, I was not too worried about being able to communicate once I moved, but at the same time, I was aware that there can be cultural differences and workplace communication styles were bound to have some differences from what I was accustomed to in the other countries where I had been working over the last 10 years.
I carefully researched the different programs and selected those that I felt best met my needs: Working with Others, Canadian Workplace Integration and Job Search Strategies. In planning my move, I left plenty of time between when I received my Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) and my landing date. By that time, I had read so many stories of disappointment from other new comers and I was determined that would not be my story.
So I took the courses and immediately started putting the lessons into practise even before I arrived. I improved how I communicated in my workplace, improved my ability to network in all sorts of situations,at the market, in a cab, online and in many other situations that I had not previously considered. I also started applying to jobs before I arrived and while I never heard back from the recruiters, I got into the practise of targeting my resume and cover letter and going for roles that I believed I was skilled to do.
I got bolder in my attempts and by the time my luggage was packed, I was ready for the new world. I have the good fortune of having additional skills as an artist, designer, web developer and creative writer. So I was confident that even if I didn’t get hired, I could start my own practice.
From the day I landed, I knew I was going to be alright. I had all the tools and an impeccable resume. I received my first offer in the first month, but decided to hang on for the right opportunity and that came in my seventh week, a management role at that. I was so overjoyed and immediately wrote to thank my SOPA advisor. I hope that one day I get to visit the MOSAIC office to personally thank the people that work behind the scenes to help newcomers feel at home when they arrive.”
Patricia Kobusingye, August 2018
Rianne Wagner is a professional with a BS in Business Economics and worked with the financial industry in the Philippines and the U.S.A. She relocated to BC in December 2018.
She found out about (SOPA) from an online forum and immediately obtained information and shortly after she enrolled with the Job Search Strategies course.
This course prepared her for job searching, preparing winning resumes and cover letters, how to market herself and prepare for interviews. She found the interview preparation experience and the feedback from her facilitator were the most helpful parts of the course.
Rianne arrived in Canada around Christmas and her intension was finding work quickly and shortly. She saw a help wanted sign on a window of a retail store and applied although she did not have retail experience. Rianne has a bubbly personality and was hired as a part-time sales associate despite her lack of experience and newly arrived status.
In her time off she continued looking for a job in her field, attending conferences, job fairs and networking activities.
Her facilitator provided her with a list of credit unions to apply to. Shortly afterwards, she had two interviews with different organizations. Just two months after arriving to Canada, she was hired by Coast Capital Savings as a Saving Member Banking Specialist.
Rianne’s own words:
“From all trainings I took before I landed, SOPA really gave me the proper mind set. I came here knowing that I might not get my target job right away but I will eventually get it if I persevere and keep working on it.
The SOPA team also gave me emotional support and made me to believe that it’s possible to find the best career. I would say 100%, my facilitator’s responses to my queries, and feedback on my assignments was extremely helpful. I don’t know if I could have edited my resume without my facilitator’s help and most of all she helped me to have a positive outlook.
Thanks again Linda and the team, I wouldn’t be able to make it without you.”
Rianne Wagner, February 2019