A cabin in Canada, surrounded by bears and moose? When you travel around Québec, you’ll see wonderful scenery with lakes, forests and cottages, but when living in Montréal, forget about the log cabin! When arriving in Québec, many immigrants hope to find a job that matches their skills and fulfills their dreams.
However, Québec is not a utopia, finding a job is not an easy thing, and you have to agree to make concessions and sometimes change careers to achieve your goals. It’s critical to avoid having too many preconceived ideas when you arrive so that you can face the reality of the Québec labour market.
I CAN LIVE IN QUÉBEC WITHOUT SPEAKING FRENCH OR ENGLISH
Québec is a Francophone province and you need to speak French in both your professional and social life. It is recommended that people who do not speak French take French courses before arriving in Québec, and, if needed, to continue with courses after settling in the province. In addition, depending on your business sector, your level of responsibility, and the type of company you work for, it may be essential to be proficient in English as well.
QUÉBEC IS THE SAME AS CANADA
This idea is incorrect. When it comes to politics, language and culture, there are many elements that set la Belle Province apart from the rest of the country. While Canadian and American mentalities are quite similar, Quebecers are not French-speaking Americans. There is a true Québec identity, related to Québec’s French roots, and pride in belonging to this identity. Not to mention that a certain number of Quebecers would like the province to be independent from Canada.
MY CREDENTIALS WILL BE RECOGNIZED
The education system and the credentials that recognize one’s studies are not the same in Québec as elsewhere. The titles of your diplomas and the universities or schools that awarded them to you are not meaningful to a recruiter in Québec. Also, it’s important to note that certain titles do not denote the same academic training.
I’M GOING TO FIND A JOB WITH THE SAME RESPONSIBILITIES AS THOSE I HAD BEFORE COMING TO QUÉBEC
When you arrive in Québec, you’ll undoubtedly have to make some concessions when it comes to the position you hope to hold. Be prepared to start from square one or to hold a lower-level position compared to what you had before; this could be the case for several years, as you work your way up through the ranks. This can be a very difficult experience for people who already have ten or fifteen years of professional experience, as they may get the impression that they will never be employed in accordance with their skills (nor have a salary matching their skills), or even that they will be bored in a position that offers fewer challenges.
I FOUND A JOB; NOW I CAN RELAX
Even if you’ve found a job for the long term, it doesn’t mean that everything should be taken for granted. It’s important to adopt the right attitudes in your new workplace. In Québec, teamwork is an important work value. Also, many newcomers are surprised to see that relationships between workers and their superiors are less formal and official than in other countries and that speaking directly to one’s superior is considered normal. However, this accessibility should not be confused with familiarity. Punctuality is also very important. It is customary for meetings to start on time. The same holds true for deadlines. You will obviously be expected to adhere to work schedules. Working overtime or staying late at work when nothing justifies it can be misinterpreted by your colleagues and considered a sign that you are poorly organized in carrying out your assignments.
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We're volunteers dedicated to provide information in helping new immigrants navigate the cultural and language differences for the Province of Québec.
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