Top 3 reason you should get a temporary job as a new immigrant

I want to write posts to help immigrants in Canada with their career. This post is for new immigrants who were fully employed white collar workers from their home country and yet unsure on how to move forward with looking for work in their industry or field in Canada.

In this post, I will share with you my opinion and stand on whether you should go take a temporary job. I have been in Canada for only 2 years so the wounds are fresh and I want to share the lessons I learned.

What is a temporary job?

As the name implies, it's supposed to be temporary. These are the type of work unrelated to your career goals. This is the type of work that will help you earn money to meet your families needs. According to Wikipedia,

Temporary work or temporary employment (also called oddjobs) refers to an employment situation where the working arrangement is limited to a certain period of time based on the needs of the employing organization.

What are examples of temporary jobs?

These are work you could (hopefully) easily get like at fast food chains or food court or movie house or amusement park or somewhere else. You get the idea.

Should you get a temp job?

My answer is yes. Yes, take a temp job while applying for your full-time dream job OR while you're going back to school to upgrade your skills. Below are the top three reasons why you should get a temp job:
  • Income - Imagine coming here with your life's savings from your home country - you have to pay rent, buy groceries, pay transit, buy warm clothes, and next thing you know your savings is slowly but surely decreasing. A temp job will help you earn in Canadian dollars to sustain your expenses.

  • Practice your English - Taking a temp job will make sure you practice your English. If you work at a Tim Horton's or McDonald's and face people everyday even for a few hours, it will help you practice your English when conversing with people that will help you get better at interviews for your next career-related work.

  • Underemployment is better than unemployment - This is not totally true but when I was unemployed in Canada my confidence was at an all-time low. I doubted myself. It's a crazy place to be in especially when you're employed full-time from your home country and suddenly, you have no idea what to do everyday (other than send resume and not hear anything back from companies or just receive rejection after rejection). A temp job will give you a some sort of direction on days you have work

Did I take a temp job?

Yes! I arrived in Canada October 2015, I applied at Costco and got rejected November 2015. I was shocked. I couldn't even get a part-time job at Costco. By January, I took a temporary (once or twice a week) job working as a cashier at BC Place. I am earning money, I talk with customers, and it gave me a purpose during weekends or week nights when there's a sporting event. By March, I took a full-time job at Tim Horton's (I quit after a week). By July, I found a full-time job in the industry I want to work at.

Word of Caution

Please avoid being trap at your temp job. It's easy. If you were an accountant at your home country, get a temp job to cover expenses but please do something to be an accountant in Canada. Take classes, find mentors, do something.

Good luck with your job search and if you need someone to talk to, send me an email at


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