Traveling to Canada is a dream come true for many people. It is another identified land of opportunity and is considered as one of the best countries in the world. It has a diverse culture and is generally accepting of migrants who wish to establish a new life in its territory.
It is also one of the countries that asks people to migrate and become citizens to keep its economy and its populace growing. Here are some things that you have to remember when traveling or working to get a job in Canada. Try to remember these things to create a great first impression and create opportunities for you to advance in life.
Traveling to the True North: Dos and Don’ts in Canada
Here are some things you have to do when you get to Canada. Try to do these things and enjoy your time.
- Prepare for a different climate. Since Canada is quite near the Arctic region, some regions experience prolonged seasons of ice and snow. If you do go there, make sure that you are prepared for the cold. Bring with you thick outer jackets, some comfortable mitts, a woolen scarf (or any thick fabric), a knit cap (bonnet, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it) and some all-weather boots.
- Greet everyone you meet at work. The culture is different. Make sure you greet everyone as you acknowledge their presence. If you do not do so, you’re going to be seen as aloof and might not get along with the others as well as you should. A simple handshake, a nod and a smile and a hearty good morning would do wonders for you.
- Smile often. A great way to get around and be recognized is to smile often and be as approachable as possible. You can provide assistance at any point for any person. If you do not know what to do, you can direct them somewhere else to the right person who can probably help.
- Maintain eye contact. Don’t be shy to look the other person in the eye when you are communicating with him. Not only do Canadians prefer this, they would encourage it. It shows that you are sincere, polite and into the conversation.
- Come early to work. Arriving early for work is a great trait to have in Canada. It shows that you are a dedicated and competent worker who appreciates the workplace.
- Submit assigned tasks on time, every time. Do not be the reason for the backlog of work. Canadians appreciate punctuality in both attendance and in submitting their assigned tasks. They want to be as efficient as possible. So it is a good thing if you can adapt to this practice as well.
- Report to work regularly. Should you have something equally important to do, it would be good to contact the HR department ahead of time so they will be given notice and call temps if needed. Never ever leave your company work hanging and wondering if you’re going to show up.
- Keep your phones in silent mode whenever in a meeting. Basic courtesy for the speaker and your co-participants. Should you really have to take a call, ask permission to leave the premises and make the call quick. Do not entertain phone calls that are not deemed important. Personal calls are not encouraged during office hours.
- Be proactive. Be a good source of information whenever you are in a meeting. Be prepared to interact with other people. Make suggestions, be a voice that is appreciated and you will be appreciated and respected in turn.
- Participate in as many company events as possible. Not only does it show your dedication and commitment to your workplace, it does show that you are a team player that can be depended on at any given time.
Try to avoid doing these things as much as possible whenever you are in Canada or its different provinces and regions.
- Don’t put Canada in a box. The country has a rich and diverse culture that extends to its many provinces and regions. Do not make the mistake of thinking everyone will be the same all over. The culture of one province is different from another so be wary of cultural differences not only in terms of communication but also in the workplace.
- Never interrupt another person. Wait for your turn to speak. Let the other person have his time to shine, so to speak. Never speak out of turn as you will be given the chance to speak freely.
- Be a pessimist or paranoid. Never think that others are judging you behind your back. Most Canadians do not gossip and do not spread rumors. And even if they do, why would you let it affect your work?
- Don’t say yes when the instructions are not clear. Make sure you only accede if you truly understand the instructions. Even if they give you a second chance to understand the instructions, you’re holding up the efficiency. Speak when the instructions are not clear and you’ll be better accepted.
- Never be absent without notice. Extend the basic courtesy to inform your superiors or your co-workers if you cannot make it to work on a valid excuse. It is good human relations and makes you a good team player.
- Don’t abuse company resources. Never bring things home from the company if they do not give express consent that you can bring it home. Taking things from the office is frowned upon. Do not abuse any company resources as you are going to be accountable for it.
- Never create a scene. Ask for assistance. Ask for directions. Don’t blow tings out of proportion. Be a rational person who takes other people’s feelings and confidence into consideration. Don’t be hysterical in the workplace as it puts you in a bad light with your superiors. You’ll finds yourself cast out to sea if you do.
- Be too much of a workaholic. Dedication and making a good first impression is important but being too much of a workaholic is frowned upon in Canada. There has to be a work-life balance. Find time to relax, find some places to retire to after work. This would not only help you maintain cordial relationships with your co-workers but keep you going as well.
Canada is way different from the United States, the United Kingdom and France. It has its own identity and has a burgeoning culture. When you come to Canada, be prepared to face a different culture wherever you go. Be wary of these changes and adapt. You will soon be enjoying the perks of being in a country where individualism is celebrated and team spirit is encouraged.