Kristine is a 7th Generation Canadian immigrant with Scottish roots (remember that part of Scot culture that has to do with kilts?) Christine sits comfortably as both a Canadian and an immigrant. With such a vantage position, she is able to closely and critically watch both worlds and offer invaluable insights that we all can benefit from.
In this episode, our guest Kristine shares her observations about immigrants. She sees that most new immigrants take on this insurmountable challenge of trying to be perfect and accepted wholly in their new community. This endeavour for perfection could be the biggest impediment for an immigrant. She shares a discovery from her present reading project by Bernie Brown, “The Gift of Imperfection” :
“Perfectionism prevents you from trying to find out if you’re capable of doing something. Stop trying to be perfect!”
Here are some of her observations that will help you understand what the immigrant journey is actually like and how you can succeed in your new workplace.
- When you immigrate, your qualifications don’t directly translate.
- Your previous work experience is not the same as Canadian experience
- When someone says do you have Canadian experience? It actually means “Have you figured out the culture?” (That is, how things are done here)
- Culture is a major issue at the workplace in Canada (ever considered that culture is so complicated?)
And she offers some advice too.
- Never promise what you cannot deliver. If you can’t do a thing, say so.
- Be willing to be vulnerable by asking questions when in doubt, such as : “I’m curious…” “Can you help me understand…” “Am I missing something?”
- Learn by watching others
- Be curious and confident.
For the non immigrants, she advises :
- Recognize the diversity by extending more grace to immigrants
- Reach out and offer to help.
Christine says — “ If you play yourself too low, you’re gonna get stuck there!”
“Bring it all with you – those things from your culture, your personality and all that makes you unique and then match it up to whatever is going on at the site where you are”
If you are a new immigrant you will find yourself in the conversation. If you are a settled immigrant, you will relate to the issues. If you are a Canadian, you can learn how to extend welcome to new citizens of this country.
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