Dealing with unrealistic work expectations
Newcomers may have acquired erroneous and/or unrealistic expectations of the Canadian employment environment. Identifying and understanding these expectations and “de-bunking” them is an important part of the ongoing discussion and planning around employment.
These expectations will likely be revealed when talking through the various aspects of the employment plan, including topics such as licensing/accreditation requirements, compensation levels, climate factors, transportation issues, English proficiency requirements, vacation, employee and employer rights, and workplace culture both in Canada and in the country(ies) in which they have worked.
Some extreme examples of unrealistic expectations include:
- “In Canada, I will quickly be able to work in my field and be paid a salary commensurate with my skills and experience. Therefore, I should not take a job that does meet those criteria.”
- “It is easy to find work in Canada, There is work for everyone and if I don’t find work, the government will support me indefinitely.”
This area can be challenging to navigate with newcomers. It may take quite some time to see changes in their attitudes and expectations. It can be scary and disheartening for the newcomer to realize that the job search may actually be quite difficult and may not proceed as quickly as he or she would hope.
Regular meetings with the newcomer to discuss employment can allow new information and ideas to be heard, questioned, repeated and eventually accepted (or rejected).