This video looks at the important but challenging process of adjusting career goals, and understanding what employers are looking for. The cultural challenge of ‘selling’ yourself is also addressed, as is the challenge of language gaps and the rewards of being mentored.
(To read along click here.)
Adjusting your career goals
The reality is that there is a lot of competition for jobs in Ontario. Think through what you have done, what you would like to do, and be open to investigating alternative career paths. For information on alternative careers, please visit the HealthForceOntario Access Centre or the Career Options e-Resource. The Human Resources department in any hospital would also be able to help you to discover the breadth and depth of the opportunities in a healthcare institution.
Part of your career goal adjustment may have to do with where you live. If you would be willing to live outside of a big city, there might be opportunities for you in more rural areas—either temporarily, to pay your dues—or longer-term, if you like it. Focus is good; flexibility is also needed.
Understanding what employers are looking for
- Job-related skills and knowledge
- Commitment to the job
- A willingness to learn — a “life-long learner”
- A team player
- A willingness to “think outside the box” and come with new ideas
- Someone who brings their whole self: experience, passion, excitement, and enthusiasm
In many cultures, any kind of self-promotion is regarded as boasting, and modesty is prized. It can be difficult to put yourself out there, which can hurt your chances to get a job.
One of the IEHPs in the video had a very important job interview, something that he had never been through in his home country. His colleagues assisted him in preparing: asking him practice questions, helping him understand the meaning behind the questions, and helping him structure his answers. He found that the teamwork in doing that helped build their workplace community.
Mastering your language skills
One of the main challenges for IEHPs are language gaps. Understanding the language is not a problem, but it takes time to be able to speak it correctly and use colloquial terms. Every profession and team has terms and short-forms used in the workplace; this can be difficult when you want to demonstrate your competence but don’t feel that you want to ask questions about what different acronyms mean. Any help you can get, even before you start your job, is worthwhile: if patients or their families have to try to understand terms that are culturally unfamiliar to them, misunderstandings can occur.
Getting into a mentoring relationship
A newcomer to an organization, and to Canada, can really benefit from having a mentor to guide them. Group mentoring can work really well when all those being mentored have similar needs, but group mentoring with an overlay of individual mentoring is a good combination.