New Canadian Profile
Name: Ronald Chand
Occupation: Journeyman Electrician
Employer: Alpha Controls
Birth Country: Fiji
Years in Canada: 5.5
Years at Current Job: 3
Coming to Canada as a journeyman electrician from his birth country of Fiji gave Ronald a solid foundation to build upon in BC’s natural gas sector. With the help of a friend, an in-demand skill set, and an employer who recognized his hard work, dedication, and willingness to learn, Ronald is building a life for himself and his family in a prosperous and beautiful country we all call home.
What inspired you to immigrate to Canada and pursue a career in the natural gas sector?
The availability of work, good wages, and good benefit packages were major factors in choosing Fort St. John, BC. The natural gas sector is booming in the North, and a person can have a very lucrative and secure career in this sector.
What resources were helpful in finding your job in your career field in BC?
In my case, it was my friend who was very helpful, but there are online job sites for Fort St. John as well as a WorkBC centre. Some companies even advertise on billboards in town.
Did you experience any challenges when starting your new career in BC?
Yes, communication was a challenge at first. English is not my first language, so sometimes it was a bit difficult to communicate with customers, especially over the phone, but it didn’t take long for me to break that wall down. There are also practices governed by the Canadian Electrical Code which I was not familiar with at the beginning, but I closed the gap by attending classes and learning things as I go through doing new jobs.
What advice would you give a new Canadian looking for work in their field in BC?
Be patient. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to get your foot in the door. If you’re not getting the jobs you want, start with smaller jobs but with the same company or trade. Take every opportunity when it arises in order to prove yourself, it won’t go unseen here in Canada. If you stand out, you move up the ladder. Also, whenever you have time, upgrade your qualifications and receive additional training to become a better candidate for the job.
What are your thoughts about future opportunities for new Canadians in BC’s natural gas sector?
There are a lot of opportunities in this sector. Some employers employ new Canadians because of the success they’ve had. Although you may have to start small and prove yourself to move up, if you stick around and you are determined, you will see success. I’ve seen more success in the last 5 years than I had seen in the 20 years before that back in Fiji.
Is there anything you wish you knew before starting your career in BC’s natural gas sector?
I wish I would have known a little bit more about the harsh weather conditions so that I would have been a little more prepared, but it didn’t take long for me to gather what I needed and adjust.