When Emmanuel Olusuyi moved to Canada with a recognized degree and working experience to boot, he thought the struggle to get into his professional field would be a short one if not immediate. “I came with big hopes. I was going to that part of the world where everything is based on merit,” he says. Or so he thought.
He invested his early months researching possibilities, polishing his resume and reaching out to form connections that would help create a community for himself and his family. As with many other immigrants, the pressure to pay bills pushed him to take up any work that came his way and in his case that happened to be a security job. For someone who managed engineering projects he “stepped down” and took up jobs that did no justice to his knowledge and expertise. For the next five years he bumped around in temporary jobs from customer service to delivery driver to volunteering. He also became a construction worker. “I took that as a challenge to know my community,” he says.
In between he decided to move his family away from Calgary to Toronto where the cost of living was exponentially higher. He had to restart his search for jobs and find links to people all over again, and he ended up taking odd jobs such as janitorial staff, Uber driver, bridge volunteer and heavy-duty truck driver. “It is not always about what you know but who you know,” he says. It was through one of those connections that he got a call for a job in his field of expertise.
Emmanuel’s Canadian experience is vast and wide. His landing a proper job that commensurate with his education is the beginning of a new journey for him. Every immigrant who decides to leave behind a world that they are familiar and comfortable with, understands very well that they are embarking on a difficult path but perseverance is what keeps us on the track leading us to our goals.
Emmanuel shares that his belief system and values close to his heart kept him going during the difficult times. His experiences working those diverse jobs have enriched him and reshaped him.
“There are challenges everywhere. Inside you and from the outside and when you are able to win over the challenges from within those on the outside will be won,” he says philosophically.
His Canadian dream has only taken off.
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