The 22nd Week
What a survival job is
Usually, immigrants who arrive in Canada bring with them enough money to last approximately six months. However, there may come a time when the money runs out and the job that matches your qualifications cannot be found. What should you do? You have to look for any temporary job which will provide you with the means for existence for a while until you can get a job in your occupation. In Canada, such a job is called a survival job.
Where immigrants work
If you decide to go for a survival job, try to find a job close to your occupation. If your occupation is related to people, you can choose to care for children, the elderly or the disabled. If you worked in a restaurant trade, look for a job in shops, restaurants and cafes. Builders can work as workers at construction sites. If your profession is associated with mechanics, get a job as a temporary worker at a factory or plant.
Such jobs as child care, food delivery, working in a kitchen, restaurant or cafe, cleaning and security of shops and offices do not require a good level of English language.
Immigrants who are looking for a survival job often turn to Temporary Employment Agencies (TEA) for jobs which generally do not require Canadian education or Canadian work experience and employ immigrants with poor English.
How to work with two managers
The main difference in a job that was found by TEA is that you have two managers instead of one. Usually, your employer is the TEA which pays you a salary but in the workplace where you work, you have a supervisor who explains to you how and what to do and is obliged to acquaint you with the safety regulations.
How to protect your rights
If you think that during the temporary work your rights were violated, contact by phone 416-531-0778 TOFFE, which protects workers' rights. Look at the site: www.workersactioncentre.org.
Look for an English team
Many new immigrants find their first temporary job in the agencies that publish ads in ethnic newspapers. Usually, this job does not require knowledge of the English language; you can find it quickly and you'll be working with a team that speaks your language. However, this is acceptable only for the first job. When you get used to the language a little, find at least a temporarily job in an organization where they speak English; this will allow you to raise your level of spoken English, which is very important for your future. Do not fall for ads that state "Work at home"; most often these ads are placed in order to lure your money. Pay attention to the ads on the windows and doors of shops that state: "Help Wanted" or "Hiring Now".
How you can earn money by working for yourself
You can make money in Canada by working for yourself.
By opening the Classified section in your ethnic newspaper, you can find a lot of ads offering certain services. "An experienced teacher offers to teach children math”. "A good woman is looking for a babysitting job”. "Computer expert can install any program for you”. All these people have a small one-person business. This kind of business is widely developed in Canada; the number of people employed in these small businesses makes up about 15% of all workers.
A one-person business has much in common with the usual small business: you are the owner of this business; you organize and invest in this business; you look for customers and put profits in your pocket. You run the business at your own risk and are responsible for the results of your job. The difference is that in this business you are the owner, and at the same time, a sole employee - you have no workers.
So, if you're good at playing chess, you can organize a chess school; if you know how to draw, draw and exhibited paintings for sale; a seamstress can offer sewing and fashion design; an English teacher can give lessons at home.
Some types of businesses require licenses, so please consult the nearest small business support centre.
Pros and cons of a temporary job
The positive aspects of a survival job are that you earn money and gain Canadian job experience. The disadvantages are that when they start working and earning money, some immigrants are no longer so eager to find a job in their occupation and they do not have enough spare time to look for a permanent job. Therefore, many people think that a survival job is sort of a trap. While working temporarily, you have to remember that you do not have to give up your dream which is to pursue your career in your chosen path.
Therefore, when using the survival jobs, always leave time for studying and preparing to work in your occupation.