There will probably be different definitions of success for short-term, part-time, initial, and longer-term jobs (full-time, post-Month 13.) These should be discussed with the newcomer, with a goal of reaching an initial agreement and a plan to revisit goals from time to time, as the newcomer settles into life in Canada.

In defining success, it is very important for sponsors and volunteers to reconcile their own expectations of a newcomer finding work with those of the newcomer himself or herself. This issue may arise, not only when a family first arrives, but also as time elapses.

Of course, not every job will be “successful” on every level, but here are some criteria to consider in evaluating employment success for short-term work and longer-term work:

Short-term, part-time, pre-Month 13:

  • Does not interfere with or can be worked around English classes, if the newcomer is pursuing these.
  • Provides local, Canadian experience and references — ideally “above board”, not “under the table”.
  • Enables the newcomer to explore the appeal of working in specific work sectors (short-term, without committing to a full-time job).


  • Provides satisfactory compensation and benefits:
    • Adequate starting compensation;
    • Provides benefits coverage;
    • Offers a path to desired later compensation.
  • Yields experience that is relevant to the newcomer’s longer-term employment goals.
  • Improves English proficiency – general and sector-specific English:
    • Improves readiness to work, prior to Month 13;
    • Continues to improve English over time.
  • Enables skills acquisition:
    • On the job;
    • As part of an apprenticeship or bridge program;
    • At a community college or university.
  • Commuting time and expense are reasonable.
  • Provides a consistent work schedule:
    • Allows time with the family – fits well with schedules of spouse and children.
    • Predictable;
    • Complements plans for known seasonality and available off-season alternate employment or government employment insurance.
  • Provides opportunity for advancement with this employer or another.
  • Yields Canadian experience and local employment references.
  • Meets expectations for expected duration of first job.
  • Delivers enjoyment and satisfaction to the newcomer.
  • Allows for appropriate (accessible, affordable, safe) childcare arrangements.
  • Accommodates religious or cultural observances or preferences.
  • Offers potential to lead to an entrepreneurial/self-employment capability and opportunity, if this is a goal for the newcomer.