Build your network and make contacts. Developing a good network is really important for immigrants especially if you want to survive in Canada.
Harman Arora is a Real Estate Professional at Century 21 Coastal Realty Ltd.
Simran Kaur Arora is a Senior Advisor at Khalsa Credit Union Bank
Amayra Arora is 17 months old
Harman Arora moved to Canada with his wife Simran Kaur in 2017 to live with family. Harman’s brother was settled in British Columbia already, so the couple decided to migrate to be closer to their family. Talking about their first impressions of the country, Harman says that Canada is a “land of opportunity where everyone is treated equally, a land which welcomes immigrants, students and workers from all over the world, and where you don’t feel like you are in a foreign nation. On this I am addressing our Punjabi community which holds such a strong influence and makes you feel really proud of being part of the community.”
On settling in Canada, Harman and Simran faced a few challenges that many immigrants face. One of them was finding a suitable job. “We would not say it was troublesome but it wasn’t easy either,” states Harman. The first month they kept applying for all the jobs, they took their time and were open to all opportunities. “We compared our situation and thought that things were pretty smooth back in India as we never worked for someone else but helped our families in their business. Basically the difficulty was to get an answer from our inner soul on what we actually want to do,” shares Harman. Eventually Harman decided to become an entrepreneur and purchased a food retail franchise business, whereas Simran stepped into the banking industry as she has previous experience in finance and accounting helping her father in his money-lending business back in India. Harman also got into the real estate sector. Another challenge, Harman jokingly says, was getting a driver’s license. “We appeared twice before we were issued the licence. You feel like you are disabled when you cannot drive your own vehicle that is parked in your garage.”
One thing that the couple love about Canada is the “country’s belief in multiculturalism where all citizens have the freedom to preserve, enhance and share their cultural heritage which the government and Canadian society welcomes with respect. Also, BC’s outdoor activities like camping, parks and lakes.” They don’t really dislike it but Harman and Simran feel that the long winter season and the lack of good year-round weather makes life little slower and less exciting. “But no complains, I guess cold winters are what makes this land Canada and it is essential to Canadian identity,” adds Harman.
The family believes their future is safe in Canada. “That’s the term that comes to mind when you are living in such a healthy environment with your family. You know you can breathe clean and unpolluted air, you are buying unadulterated food, your medical is covered, your child’s education is good, and you have great government retirement plans (for elders). And not to forget, you are in a country where the sky is not the limit, all you need is great ideas and the growth is unlimited,” the couple says.
Overall, Harman and Simran say their journey has been wonderful. “In these three years, there was so much to learn. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride initially where we had no idea what we are going to do as it was a fresh start but thankfully by God’s grace and with full support of our family, things went pretty well and we are very happy to be here,” says Simran in conclusion.
Resolutions made for yourself or family:
I would not call this as a resolution but a commitment rather: Spending more time with family. Everyone here is busy with their work and has their own schedules but one thing that we make sure is that we have one meal in the day (preferably dinner) as a family together. We sit together for an hour or two and discuss our entire day, play some games, and enjoy family time. Also, staying fit and eating healthy is one of the resolutions that we think of everyday to start from tomorrow but tomorrow isn’t coming yet. (Haha)
Advice for immigrants:
Build your network and make contacts. Developing a good network is really important for immigrants especially if you want to survive in Canada. As immigrants we have left our homeland and have come here to start a new life, so it’s really important to socialize. Attend social events, talk to as many people as you can, make good use of social media, and get to know as many people. This way your life will become easier and by listening to people’s experiences it will definitely help in settling down here faster.