Skills development for Canadian Immigrants (Administrative Assistants)
Canadian employers put a high emphasis on soft skills, which are personal attributes that enhance your interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike your hard skills, you can apply your soft skills broadly.
Soft skills, such as communication, coordination, and sociability, are even more important for administrative assistants. That’s why identifying areas in your soft skills that need improvement is crucial. If your hard skills will get you an interview, most probably it is your soft skills that will get you the job and enable you to keep it afterwards.
Though not a must, but upgrading your education and skills through a bridging program or other courses and workshops may be an important part of your journey to become a successful administrative assistant in Canada.
Download Nick Noorani’s “9 Soft Skills No Immigrant Should Be Without!”
You may have strong technical skills, but often that is not enough to get a job or maintain it afterwards. As an administrative assistant you are expected to have excellent communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. You may need more training or skills upgrading, especially with regards to your soft skills.
Office administration requires strong communication skills, document management, note taking, presentation, proofreading, report compilation and writing, organizational ability, time management, and software expertise. Having strong skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages – English or French – is extremely important for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English or French will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you intend to live.
You may be eligible for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) classes through the school boards or settlement agencies. There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as Enhanced Language Training (ELT) and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT). If you are in Toronto, the Toronto District Board of School offers a fourteen-week Enhanced Language Training program focusing on Customer Service & Administration for immigrant women.
And if you already speak one of Canada’s two official languages at a high level, learning the other one is a good option, as it may offer you better employment opportunities.
Many immigrants take further education after coming to Canada. Some even want to change careers or enhance their careers with a Ph.D or MBA.
Click here for links to Universities and Colleges across Canada where you can find the courses and subjects that interest you.