When we first arrived to Vancouver back in January we took about one week “off”. Basically we took the time to get to know the city, our surroundings and get to sight-see the city as much as we could in the snow & minus temperatures.
Before you arrive to Canada on an IEC Visa (to any Canadian city) you must have a minimum of $2,000 in your account to prove that you can support yourself for couple of weeks – this is mandated by the Government of Canada. In my opinion you need at least $6,000 per person to be comfortable in the city; so I don’t know which Government Body has decided on $2,000 because that will last you about 2 weeks (not including your accommodation).
Disclaimer: Anyone thinking of moving to Vancouver (which is not going to happen anytime soon as the borders are currently closed; there’s a global recession and USIT just went bust) or even thinking of visiting the city itself post COVID-19 needs to know that Vancouver is so extremely expensive. You’ll need a lot of liquidity here.
This is the reason why we only took a week off in the city, prior to starting our job search. We had a decent amount of money saved between the two of us (my husband wouldn’t open a joint account with me back in Ireland, I wonder why?) however when we saw how expensive the city is and our money was going down the drain like water we were like, RIGHT! time to job search. Its a pity actually that we didn’t know that before as this would have saved us a lot of stress. Partially I am happy we didn’t just blow all of our savings away at the beginning, because now in times of global uncertainty at least we have a cushion to fall back on.
Saving Tip: When/If you do come over to Vancouver (and I’m sure this can apply to other heavily foreigner populated cities in Canada) check out online forums as you can probably get a cheap AirBnB or a Sublet for couple of weeks before you get an apartment. This will allow you to get to know the city, figure out where you want to live and save you a ton of money! Get up to $75 off your first stay in AirBnB by using my referral – click here.
Anyway, coming to Canada from Ireland, from having a decent job, with a large financial institution where you had benefits, perks, social committees etc. I wanted to keep that up (obviously!) and get even MORE. Very ambitious I know, but you know what if you’re gonna dream then dream big ay?! Anyway, if you read my last post (if you didn’t go and read it first here, before continuing with this one) you will know that in Canada to get in the door of ANY company/position you either have to go through a recruiter (which I recently found out they take only 6 SECONDS to look at your CV, excuse me Resume before they move onto someone else; which literally is nothing!) or you have to have Canadian experience to be considered for any job, decent or not. So if I were you and I knew that prior to coming over I would have been reaching out to recruiters left, right and center before I came over! Some of the best recruiters in Vancouver (in my opinion) are Robert Half & Impact Recruitment. I had a very disappointing and unprofessional experience with Hays so I’d avoid them.
ANYWAY, going back to the very first point I was trying to make which isn’t really obvious, is that when we had a week off fun in Vancouver, we walked the streets and I was getting ideas as to who I wanted to work for and where. My mind has been set on West Georgia Street from the first day. West Georgia Street is like the IFSC in Dublin where all the big sharks have their massive tower offices & the financial institutions; the buildings are impressive, shiny and have concierge OR like a smaller version of Wall Street in New York; whichever comparison works for you. And I wanted in. I started Googling like mad all the companies that were located on that street, I would take down the names of companies that I’ve seen had offices there – I mean all companies, even ones that had nothing to do with my experience. I was determined & hooked. I even went as far as going onto Google Maps and taking down the names of all businesses that were showing up along West Georgia and searching their careers page.
People who were walking those streets were wearing expensive suits, carrying briefcases & Venti Starbucks Coffees. And I wanted to be part of the gang! I was completely obsessed with getting what I wanted.
Meanwhile online all I could find were OK jobs, not in the area I wanted to be in or just above minimum wage. Mind you minimum wage is like $12 an hour or so, so its not really THAT bad. But I wanted MORE.
Nobody was getting back to me for days. Days turned into weeks and I was getting desperate in our dirty sublet. We promised each other that if we found it difficult to get a job we wanted, we would take anything to get the money back in the bank account and that we would carry on looking for something better.
No one tells you that overall the recruitment in Vancouver (maybe Canada?) is so extremely slow. I mean in Ireland it takes about 4 weeks to be on-boarded by a decent company, between notice period, background checks etc etc but here its beyond a joke. First company to get back to me to say “thanks for your application but the position has already been filled” got back to me after 8 weeks. OUCH.
This is why I couldn’t believe it when I finally got a call to come in for an interview to a West Georgia Office 3 months after I had a conference call with the company back in Ireland…. !!
Stay Tuned for more,