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Spotlight on Success: Ramanuj Basu

Monday | March 26, 2018 | by Jodi Tingling

Canada immigrant success

Ramanuj Basu is an internationally educated lawyer from India who immigrated to Canada in pursuit of a fulfilling life and career. Ramanuj’s career pathway in Canada is a reflection of the drive, sacrifices, and energy it takes to be successful as an internationally educated professional.

In this spotlight on success article, we explore some factors that contributed to his career success in Canada.

Upgrading Education

Ramanuj was a lawyer in India and had over four years of experience when he decided to come to Canada and take a master’s program in international business law. I asked Ramanuj if his master’s program in Canada helped him with his job prospects here, to which his reply was, “this program gave me an introduction into the Canadian legal system and helped me build my professional network.”

According to a study conducted by TalentWorks, having a second degree improves your ability to be hired by 22 percent. Gaining additional education provides more opportunities to learn about your profession in Canada and helps to build contacts that increase your employment prospects and opportunities. For example, taking a course, program, or certification can help you learn the terminology and processes of your chosen field within the Canadian context. It also provides more networking opportunities in the field to help you advance your career in Canada.

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Seeking Support

I asked Ramanuj about support systems he had in place to help him pursue his career goals in Canada. He said without his wife’s support—who worked two jobs while he pursued his degree—it would not have been possible. He also had friends in Canada who were additional supports for him. They helped him and his wife settle once they moved to the country.

We also talked about employment services he accessed as a part of his job search once he completed his degree. He mentioned TRIEC’s Mentoring Partnership program. This program, he says, provided opportunities to network and meet with a mentor who helped coach and guide him on his career goals in Canada. In fact, he says, networking opportunities within this program enabled him to find his first job in Canada.

Having good support systems is an essential component to career success in Canada. Not only can good support systems help you focus on your goals, they can also help motivate and guide you toward a path you may not have originally considered. Accessing services such as mentoring supports, employment centers, and pre-arrival services can also provide guidance into navigating your profession in Canada.

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Navigating Employment Services in Canada

Being Flexible and Adaptable

Upon coming to Canada, Ramanuj discovered that the licensing process for practicing law was quite intensive and lengthy, as is most licensure processes in Canada. This process could have been a deterrent but, by being adaptable to his circumstances, he was able to make his situation work for him. Because quite a lot of work was required for Ramanuj to get back into his field in Canada, he decided to work for a bank during the day while he prepared for his requalification exams at night. His flexibility and adaptability enabled him to gain practical Canadian experience as well as build his networks while pursuing his profession in Canada.

Remaining flexible and adaptable is a great way to move ahead in your career. As Ramanuj says, “Although things will not always go according to plan, look past and persevere, and be flexible in your expectations.” This strategy has helped Ramanuj to get into his career as a lawyer despite the challenges he faced.

Ramanuj Basu

Conducting Research and Making a Plan

I asked Ramanuj if he could do it all again what he would do differently. He said he would have broadened his job search and looked not only at what Toronto had to offer but also within other cities. He would have considered Waterloo or even Ottawa; cities that may be smaller but have more sector-specific employment opportunities.

Ramanuj recommends that prior to coming into Canada, internationally educated professionals think about what they want to do when they come to the country. If in a licensed profession such as law, individuals may need to consider the time, energy, and costs associated with re-licensing in Canada.

Using transferrable skills to get into other employment opportunities can also be an effective strategy. He says to “work backwards,” ask yourself what you should start doing today to get to where you want to be. If you are an engineer, for example, research the provinces and cities where job prospects are high and then research the licensure process specific to the province so you understand the steps you need to take. Have a plan and adjust as you learn more information and explore your options.

The final piece of advice Ramanuj gave was to go through the process of starting your career in Canada only when you’re ready. “Take ownership of what you want to do, stick to it, persevere and it will work.” Ramanuj is currently working for a bank advising on international trade sanctions.

Jodi Tingling is a Program Manager at WES Global Talent Bridge Canada.