Pangarap: So, Our Journey Begins
YOU HAVE COME TO A PROGRESSIVE AND DEVELOPED COUNTRY WHERE MORE THAN 80% OF HOUSEHOLDS ARE CONNECTED TO INTERNET. THE WORLD HAS NARROWED WITH INTERNET TECHNOLOGY. USE THE INTERNET TO YOUR BEST ADVANTAGE, BUT DO NOT THINK THAT IT IS THE BEST WAY TO FIND A JOB.
Technology has certainly conquered this part of the world. In Canada, statistics show that more than 80% of the population have access to the internet. More than 50% of those people use high-speed internet, and almost 50% are said to connect to internet at least three times a day.
I would say that an internet connection should form part of the basic logistics that you should have upon coming. Needless to say, this includes a laptop or a desktop PC, which you might have brought from home. Even if you haven’t, getting yourself a laptop or computer is a necessary investment that you owe yourself.
Whether you are alone or with your family, the best deals are the bundle deals of phone, internet and cable connections. Such bundled products are things you want to have anyway, and better sooner than later, because you need to speed up your search to get that job soon.
The choice between internet service providers is not an area that I will delve into. There are a lot of providers, all with promises of having the best connections. Price will always be a factor I know, but make sure that the low price is not directly proportional to a low quality of connection. In any case, to stay competitive, most companies will not slap any penalty if you decide to terminate your contract and will allow you to opt out seamlessly by just one phone call.
However, do not be distracted by your fascination with internet surfing or social media networking. Always remember that you intend to increase your chances of finding a job through the internet. That should be top-of-mind.
I remember being advised to consider the job search itself as your first job. Set up a corner in your home as your office and keep the things you will need there, or just within arm’s reach. The phone should be there, the computer, the notepads, the pencil, the printer, the USBs, practically everything you will need to be comfortable and efficient.
I have warned that any job seeker should not consider internet recruitment as the way to go for all employers, or the best employers. But as you are just starting out, with no connections or network to speak of, a whole gamut of information and potential jobs are there for you for the taking.
It is not necessarily true that there are actually no real jobs to be found on the internet. I should know. Two happy friends got their biggest breaks only by applying through the internet.
You will definitely need to get a high-speed internet connection. The internet makes it easy for you to try to find as many job opportunities as you can. The use of Internet may be convenient, but use it only as a take-off point to find the real jobs that are available and that you want.
Do You Need a Car?
A VERY EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM MAY MEAN THAT YOU DO NOT EVEN NEED A CAR. BUT GETTING A DRIVER’S LICENSE AND OWNING A CAR CAN ALSO GIVE YOU AN EDGE.
The question is pretty straightforward, but let me say that for many who can afford a car, the decision to buy one must still be well-thought-out. Buying one was one of the more costly mistakes that I made after immigrating.
Mistake No.1: I went looking for a nice car to buy even before I could get my driver’s license. Obviously, I underestimated the difficulty of passing those road tests and went on to take almost a full year to pass one. That left the car I had purchased to spend one year in the garage accumulating dust or ice, depending on the season.
Mistake No. 2: I got the car even before I found a job, only to realize how burdensome the cost of insurance and maintenance would be. Since I did not want to take that out from my own money, I ended up not insuring the car, although it took me six months to decide that, still hoping that I will pass my road test soon. And so the car continued to rest in the garage for another six months.
Can you afford a car? Of course, I knew I could afford to buy a car, but I opted to borrow instead because interest rates were very low at that time. So, Mistake No. 3: Borrowing and paying for interest for something that I could not use or decided not to use.
So why did I make the mistake of buying a car so soon? Probably, I had it in my heart to continue giving my kids the comfort that they had back home. If there was any personal consolation, I felt it was the only luxury I can afford to assuage my bruised ego of having to come over and have nothing, only to realize that none of these is necessary, at least for the time being. As one sensible friend said, one step at a time.
One thing you will learn trying to start a new life in an organized country like Canada is that there are no shortcuts to anything. If there are, they are more of exceptions and may be sheer strokes of luck. Thus, every major decision must be one careful step at a time.
But what does all this have to do with your job hunt? It’s to let you know that you do not need a car if you are applying for non-transportation related or non-mobility related jobs. But not getting the driver’s license? That seems so basic, and you will realize that some jobs require it. No matter how hard it takes to get one, just keep on trying. I had to take the test five times.
If the transportation system is efficient, you can actually consider never needing your own car. But every time I say that to my kids, they remind me to dream that one day we will need one again because one day we will have the luxury of going out for pleasure or to travel out of town for a much needed R&R. How true is it that all work and no play makes John a dull boy.
But my final verdict is that if you really do want to learn your way around your new place or discover a lot about it, do not immediately get a car even if you can afford it. My one year of commuting has made me grow a lot, exercise-wise and knowledge-wise.
Remind yourself that you are in a new country, and the old comforts back home may have to wait a while. Assess your need for efficient mobility while job hunting and whether it is necessary to get your own car. Some jobs may actually require a driver’s license and owning a car. Getting that driver’s license is a rational decision. Getting that car must be a careful, well-timed decision.
Nobody ever said that our journey, will be easy. But as I write and as you read, we share our strengths and we can hold to the promise that “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them,” Matthew 18:20.
Bolet is a marketing communications practitioner and dabbles in writing as a personal passion. She is author-publisher of the book: The Most Practical Immigrating and Job Hunting Survival Guide, proven simple steps to success without the fears and the doubts. The book is available in Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo, the Reading Room and other online bookshops worldwide, and in National Book Store and Power Books in the Philippines. Please check out https://www.amazon.com/author/boletarevalo.