Future of Work Summit 2014



IRCI will be attending the Future of Work Summit 2014.  We are dedicated to staying ahead of the curve, to better serve you.Future of Work Summit 2014 - Social Media Ad

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Webinar – Advance your education and employment opportunities in Canada

Webinar – Saturday, March 22, 2014, 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Canada

Complimentary event for international students planning to study and work in Canada.

Hosted by Can Global Education with guests, Naomi Fowlie, Managing Partner, Integration Resources Canada, and Immigration Consultant, Vishal Modi.

Advance your education and employment opportunities in Canada. Acquire skills to make a smooth transition from student to professional in your chosen career.

Make sound decisions. Choose the college or university that fits your career objective, through to adopting a strategic approach towards landing employment. Learn how choices now will impact on your career goals. Can Global Education Consulting has developed a webinar that will help you.

Saturday, March 22, 2014, join Sushil Khatter, Naomi Fowlie and Vishal Modi as they guide your through the process. This is your opportunity to ask questions and obtain responses from individuals who are experienced and knowledgeable in their fields.

The webinar, hosted in Toronto, will take place on Saturday, March 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Canadian Eastern Standard Time.  There is no cost for this session. So that others, specifically students, can benefit, please email this information to your friends and groups.

 To participate, register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5796634454578657793  You will be sent the link and invitation code. Information and materials for the webinar can be found at www.canglobaleducation.com

 In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Naomi Fowlie in Ottawa 613-321-2483 or toll free in the U.S. and Canada at 1-877-344-2483, or send an email at naomi.fowlie@integrationresourcescanada.com

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Consider Human Rights Day and the power of Men

The fact that we have a dedicated Human Rights Day is reason to celebrate. It also reminds us that we have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure a secure future for our children. I am sure you know that we are that solution.
Please take some time to consider those who do not have the freedoms we share and consider giving back in some way.

We recognize that the inequalities and challenges faced by girls and women remain the most important Human Rights issue facing us as a human family.  The issues and how we respond as individuals serves as a mirror, and a measure of our empathy and integrity.  

For thirty percent of Women worldwide there first sexual experience is forced.  Now let’s bring that closer to home, how many women do you know that can walk alone at night without fear?

I am thankful for Human Rights Day and hope that this year greater numbers of men begin to realize the Women’s Rights are Human Rights.  The advancement or devolution  of those Rights is a direct and fundamental reflection on the state and actions of men today.  Not just the crazies, but men we know, good men, who do nothing despite the cost to our Wives, Mothers, Sisters and Daughters.  Let’s educate – please join the conversation.

Bruce Switzer

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Make your 2014 Community Mentoring Resolution Now

Make your 2014 Community Involvement Resolution Now.

 Have you thought about becoming a career transition mentor but have not known where to start, how to obtain training and who could use your help? Do you have a positive outlook, HR and/or management experience?  An In-TAC volunteer opportunity may be what you are looking for.

389335_624598707570022_1353190419_nThe In-TAC Employment Mentoring program, provides training for volunteers by Integration Resources Canada. This combined Career Coaching and Mentoring Program assists Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) land work commensurate with their level of education and experience. With an over 80% employment landing rate and 95% employee retention rate, the program is recognized for its very high success rate by IEPs and their employers. The key to this success is found in part through the commitment, professionalism and experiences that the volunteer mentors bring to the program. The program is unique in that all the volunteer Mentors and IEPs meet together throughout the 6 weeks. Once completed, matched mentors and IEPs work together.

 The next program, with 6 weeks of training starts Thursday, January 30, 2014. Training for 6 consecutive Thursdays takes place from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., Room 207, 240 Catherine Street, Ottawa.

 For information please contact me at 613-321-2483 or Sofia Prada at (613) 235-4875 ext.125.

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Rudi’s view of Mentoring

Rudi Askim is one of those volunteer mentors that keeps coming back and everyone is the wiser for his participation and experience. In many ways Rudi is one of my role models. I deeply appreciate his respect and willingness to share with everyone he meets and speaks with. Because of his experience with mentoring I asked him if he would be willing to write a short note about what the program means to him.

What eles can I say . . . Thank you for everything Rudi.
Bruce Switzer



Over the past three years, I’ve attended 5 sessions of the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre Mentorship program, facilitated by Bruce Switzer and Naomi Fowlie of Integration Resources Canada. Why have I done this? It’s not merely that I think that Bruce has nailed the job search thing through his emphasis on social process. The sessions are well designed, since both the mentors and the protégés are trained at the same time and both are challenged to display their job search skills.

When I retired from Algonquin seven years ago I wanted to find a volunteer activity that I would enjoy and which would make a contribution. Helping people with their job search became that. The reason, though, that I find the sessions so energizing is the fact that they refocus me on the essentials of the job search, at each session I meet interesting people and learn something new from Bruce and from the other participants.

Rudi Askim
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Mentoring Opportunity

Integration Resources Canada is launching a new Mentoring initiative in partnership with Tungasuvvingat Inuit for Inuit students beginning November 27,, 2013.

We are seeking volunteer mentors for six Thursday evenings with a break over the Christmas season.  This will be followed by your own mentoring partnership.

We provide professional career development and mentor training to all participants.

Empathy and a strategic orientation toward building community is an asset for those considering mentorship.

This is a mentee led program and promises to enrich the lives of all those that participate.

Applications from former mentors of IRCIs programs that worked with Internationally Educated Professionals are encouraged to apply.

For information contact Bruce Switzer:



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September Mentorship Training Opportunity!

New Flash!

Developing your own career, advancing your leadership skills or just want to give back to the community? The new Mentoring Program that explores labour market trends and helps Internationally Trained Professionals find work in their fields of expertise will be launching on September 26 2013. Through In-Tac and the Ottawa Chinese Community Centre we still have 6 spots still available for new or return mentors. We are proactive and like to have everything set well in advance.

If you or someone you know might be is interested in the program and what it offers, please contact Juliette Smith at: 613.235.4875 x.143 

The last two notes I recieved from mentors about the program said this:

“I am honoured and privileged to be still considered a mentor of the program. Will never cease to say it; your program was one of the best volunteer causes I have ever been involved with.”
“It was a privilege to attend the Mentorship program, It is a very innovative way to help newcomers achieve success in their careers, I found the sessions to be informative and engaging, Keep up the good work and stay in touch”
The last note I recieved from a Mentee said:

“Great news, finally I have signed the contract yesterday for a job in my field and I will begin next week, hopefully everything will go smooth and easy .

I want to thank you and Naomi for your patience and support and for the mentoring program. It is a great idea to connect new immigrants with Canadian Culture and I had a wonderful chance to know you and your team. I now know how to target companies and employers and get on my feet in a very hard place like Ottawa to find a job, and as you said; “keep going and look for something in your field ” 

Have a great day and if you need me you know that you can find me .” 
If I was to characterize the program in one word, and the impact that it has had on our team, the word ‘privilege’ is the first word that comes to mind. I look forward to seeing you in September. 
Bruce Switzer

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Sailing your career though rough waters!

The most important lesson to learn if you quit or are laid off.

I just received an email that was an honest self reflection of the circumstances surrounding a recent resignation.  I decided to respond with a bit of my own feedback regarding what to learn from the experience and what steps to take next.

I loved reading your email, especially . . . “I took all of it in my stride” . . . which spoke of your strength under duress.  I was also impressed by your honest self reflections in light of the challenges you have had to face?

I would like to offer a reflection of my own and please take into consideration that it is subjective.  It concerns your stated lessons learned.  The key lesson will be how do we move forward with our careers and prevent the same thing from happening again.  Let’s review your stated conclusions:

  • It does not pay to be conscientious and honest
  • Don’t bring work home
  • Don’t get too involved – just do the bare minimum – it’s just a job
  • Don’t trust easily – (which is hard for me as I am very trusting and open. – BIG mistake)
  • Don’t take your job too seriously (I took the job too seriously and tried to do everything under unrealistic expectations)

I read and understood the logic but wondered if there was a way to prevent this from happening again without sacrificing your enthusiasm to do good,  and without comprising your honesty?

I consult with people on  daily basis who have worked in less than perfect environments.  Sometimes it’s unfair working conditions or dishonesty, but  usually leadership or ineffective management is at the heart of the problem.

Typically I ask clients to provide me a list of all the things that are important to them, what are there work place preferences.  The more exhaustive the list, the better it works to ensure their next job will provide them with what they need to be happy.  This could include management style, work/life balance, degree of accountability, Leadership development, honesty, trust, collaboration, travel time to work and so on.  Clients prioritize the list from most to least important.  Trade-offs are to be expected but some preferences are non-negotiable. For many it is family comes first.  Not all employers recognize this.

Once done clients research to find companies that address their most fundamental preferences. If done with a resolve for results, the candidates can avoid bad working experiences and environments. Most come to realize that they can get what they want just by seeking a career fit, based on their preferences, and competencies.

It usually takes a bad experience for this strategy to really sink in with most people.  I have asked a room of 30 people, “Who has had a bad manager that caused you to leave a job” and 28 hands go up.  I then ask what they were thinking by accepting the job in the first place? This places accountability firmly back into their capable hands.  They realized that they took the job in good faith without really understanding what they were walking into.  Research makes all the difference on the outcomes. With research you have control.  Without research, you are betting that the tooth-fairy may have some influence.

I know you well enough to imagine that if you became less conscientious, less honest, less committed and more apathetic about your work you would not recognize yourself.  These are qualities I admire about you and from my view are the foundation of your genius.

You now have the opportunity to zero in on a career that provides you with the kind of challenge and stimulation you really want.  Having clear personal preferences followed by research can make the difference between a decent life and a great life.  The approach does not guarantee the next job will be the perfect, but it does map the best route and provides guidance when making strategic decisions.  It is a unique journey with you at the helm of the ship.

I look forward to speaking with you.



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The Canadian Environmental Sector – ECO.CA – may be able to fast track your career!

Environmental Internships and Wage Subsidies

Our internship program is in full force for summer 2013

Get on board as an employer or a recent graduate. This internship program provides environmental employers with a wage-subsidy of up to $12,000 to connect new graduates with environment industry employment.

The Environmental Sector Council is one of the most proactive councils in Canada and for good reason. Their predicted growth rate means they need you. This represents a great opportunity for students and professionals.

The sector is constantly looking for ways to encourage you to join them, regardless of what sector you currently work in. This is a growth sector. If you are a strategic thinker, I would encourage you to do a bit of background research into what they offer.


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Simple and reliable advice on behavioural questions

Recently I received an email asking how to answer the following behavioural question.

Q.  How will I (the hiring manager) be able to know when you are stressed?

A.  I have a personal need to be performing at my best and to contribute to success of any organization I have worked with.  The only time I have ever been stressed is when my skills have been underemployed.

Be prepared to give an example if asked for one.

The above answer illustrates you have a strong work ethic that is measured by positive contributions to the organization.  It also serves notice to the Hiring Manager that you expect work at a job that utilizes your skill.

With all behaviour questions you want to provide insight about your strength to the organization.

Here is another popular behavioural question and sample answer:

Q.  What is your biggest weakness?

A.   I am very goal oriented but when I have fallen behind in a project I am managing, I get stressed.  In the past I would transfer that tension onto my staff.  I have since learned that going back to the original plan is an effective way to identify where problems may have arisen (such as unforeseen delays in the supply-chain).  This has allowed me to be realistic, learn from the experience, and recalibrate the plan while still maintaining a high level of team spirit.

Not only are you telling the hiring manager you are a critical thinker, you are also demonstrating that you know yourself and are able to address challenges.

Your objective at any interviews it to ensure the hiring manger understands what you top strengths and contributions are.  I advise you to write four or five of your strengths down, and then ask a friend or coach to ask your behaviour questions.  Be sure your answers include one of those strengths.  The result is the hiring manger will walk away understanding what you bring to their organization.  Always (and I stress this) tell the truth, otherwise you may find telling the hiring manager what they want to hear will backfires on you if you are selected for the job.

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