If you ever felt certain you had the right skills but were lost as to how to get a job in your field, you have a sense of how Parvinder Kaur felt when she arrived in Windsor. It was a four hour drive from Toronto and a long way from where she had expected to end up as far as her career was concerned.
She had accepted a full-time job using her strong accounting background and was thrilled to have a solid employment within days of settling in Canada – a place she refers to as “this beautiful country”.
Her husband was also offered a job in Windsor. The couple decided it was a good opportunity. It was also a loss for Parvinder, and although she had no idea how she might reach her goals she was willing to try.
“Regardless of my economic situation, I always wanted to contribute to my family,” she explains.
After spending days going to a variety of private colleges and looking at the cost of educational options it was clear to Parvinder and her husband that there was no way they could afford thousands of dollars to help her enter her sector here. They decided to see if there were any settlement services that offered programs to overcome the obstacles preventing her from accessing the job market, including not having a professional network and Canadian work experience.
At Women’s Enterprise Skills Training (WEST), Parvinder found a menu of services and professional support from settlement counselling to how to get her language skills assessed, a course that provides Enhanced Language Training for Finance, and a volunteer placement working in her field at an esteemed local non-profit organization. It was the placement which proved to be the key element that moved her life towards economic stability.
“I enhanced my skills, along with, my confidence in myself,” says Parvinder.
Working in partnership with the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County, Women’s Enterprise Skills Training (WEST) provided a placement experience in the financial operations office. Parvinder’s crowning moment was still to come. It was the day she offered a full-time position as a Junior Financial Analyst at The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County.
“Dedication and determination can help you achieve your goals,” explains Parvinder and adds that accessing community resources and volunteerism can make the difference between arriving where you want to be or not.
This project is supported by the Pilot Fund for Gender Equality, a collaboration between Community Foundations of Canada and the Equality Fund, with support from the Government of Canada. We thank the Windsor Essex Community Foundation for this opportunity.