Preeti Pandey – An Indian trying to make a difference on Canadian soil!
Name: Preeti Pandey
Current Industry: Non-Profit
Country of Origin: India
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Journey in one word: Courageous
Sitting as pretty as her name is, Preeti Pandey of Indian heritage, specifically from Uttar Pradesh in Northern India, sits to share her courageous story of migration, discoveries and conquests with Dapo Bankole, Founder of The Immigrant Life.
Dapo saw Preeti in her raw form – ebullient, intelligent, and self-assured. Despite hailing from a land of agriculture, handicrafts, small businesses, and rural culture, Preeti, with her family, has traveled extensively throughout India and halfway around the world, sometimes for pleasure and sometimes for livelihood. Eventually, in 2020, they found a resting place here in Canada, in the face of the prevailing pandemic; after living in Singapore (South Asia) and Qatar (Middle East) for 5 years.
Preeti is a rare breed.
This woman has got so many insights about immigrant life and experience that you wouldn’t think she only just came to Canada! It is almost generic that many immigrants will wait in line to be served by the government and their host community and complain when things don’t pan out as they expected.
But not Preeti!
See the full episode below:
She does not possess a spec of the entitlement mentality. Her only complaint is not being able to mix very well with the locals, a situation mostly created by the pandemic and the accompanying restrictions.
In the somewhat short duration of time that Pandey has stayed in Canada, she can already speak like a pro on the dynamics of the job market in Canada, how you can put your life experience, personal skills, and volunteering activities to good use, and many more.
We share below some of her profound insights…
Her words for Intending Immigrants
● Firstly, and foremostly evaluate the life you have right now. Would it be worth leaving all of that to move to a new environment where you will have to start afresh? How will it affect you and the others who depend on you?
● Do your spadework early on. Where’s your destination spot? Make use of every available resource – Friends, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc. – to gather all the information you need to make an informed decision.
● Cast your net as far wide as you can. Learn all you can. Validate all you can. Determine the location that you think will work for you.
● Get your mindset ready for the transition and integration, just as the famous phrase ‘When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do’. Be prepared to learn and adapt to the new culture, attire, food, language, and whatever else contributes to making your assimilation a seamless one.
● Set aside a contingency plan in case something disrupts your original plan. For instance, if you don’t get your desired job role upon landing, will you be able to survive for the next 6 months on your own?
● Save a little more than required for the move. Surplus funds can save you from unexpected challenges and emergencies and prevent you from derailing from your original plan.
If you are a newly landed immigrant, here are some golden words for you from Preeti…
● You have only one option: Swim! In other words, make up your mind not to drown despite the challenges.
● Make the first move to connect and do what you can for others before expecting anything in return. For example, labor cost in this part of the world is expensive, and people have to do all their chores on their own. So, offer help to people if you see them struggling.
● Be rational! Focus on the positives and not the setbacks.
● Don’t rush into a mortgage the first year of landing. It is one financial commitment you won’t be able to live up to, without adequate planning and long-term considerations. Condominiums are more practical, cheaper, and easier to rent as a new immigrant.
● Volunteer for a social cause!
● Be ready to customize your resume for every single job you apply to. It’s not just difficult for a new immigrant to land a relevant job, it’s equally difficult for the locals too.
● Do self-audit to determine where you can leverage your experience and soft skills, particularly your communication, people management, and conflict resolution skills that matter a lot in the real world.
● To be relevant in life, you need to upscale. So, merge your life experience with the current skills that employers seek. Take up a new study program if needed. Raise the bar for yourself with the qualities you possess and that you can demonstrate.
● Spread the kindness.
Preeti may be a young immigrant, but that doesn’t define who she is.
Every person in the world has the capacity to give back in their own way. Sharing your immigration story with others can be your own way of giving back. She concludes her interview with these words:
“And I would keep on moving forward and doing things I can for people because that’s what being a human is all about.”
Profound, isn’t it?
What can YOU do?
Do YOU have a story to share?
Is YOUR story unique?
Do you have peculiar insights that can help the immigrant community? Do reach out. We will give you the platform to share.
Listen to the entire audio with Preeti below.
Written by Yinka Bakare