1. Have realistic expectations- Most immigrants I have met expect to land a job immediately in Australia at the same level they were at in their home country. I tell them to be realistic and to think about how long it took in their home country to get the position they had before they immigrated. • Understand your strengths and weaknesses I’m talking about language proficiency, soft skills and corporate etiquette. It is important to note that many immigrants come to Australia with a 90:10 ratio of technical skills to soft skills. Australian employers, however, want 40 per cent technical skills and 60 per cent soft skills. Unfortunately, many immigrants can’t seem to accept this reality.
2. Embrace change – I have met hundreds, even thousands of immigrants, and what amazes me is their reluctance to use their geographic change to create other changes. They need to learn that worked ‘back home’ will probably not work here.
3. Do not become a victim- The honeymoon period for immigrants lasts a few weeks and they typically spend it sending resume after resume in response to job postings. Many of them may also go to a settlement centre and learn about Australian resume writing and networking. While they are going through this, they look at their shrinking bank balances and the fear sets in. That fear leads to anger and, in a short period of time, immigrants get into a ‘victim’ mentality and become full of anger for a system that doesn’t recognise immigrant questions.
4. Move out of ethnic silos- Unable to deal with the newness of interacting with Australians, many immigrants gravitate towards their own communities where they feel secure in their language and culture. These ethnic silos hold immigrants back and prevent integration with the larger populace. More importantly, it disallows immigrants the ability to work in a multicultural environment.
5. Create new networks – When immigrants migrate, networks in their new country are primarily relatives they knew back home. Most immigrants tend to be unfamiliar with the concept of networking, but without it, they are missing out on key information and potential opportunities.
6. Australia is different It is important for immigrants to recognise that Australia is not the United Kingdom and it is different from their home country. They must understand that what worked in their home country will possibly not work in Australia. In this issue, we have various articles written by career experts providing strategies and tips to help migrant professionals overcome unemployment in Australia.
Twelve years ago, my mentor shared these wise words with me when I could not find headway in my career. “Don’t wish things were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.” I have hung onto these words until today, and my personal and professional life have never been the same. I hope you find something inside this issue that will be a catalyst for greatness in your career.