Being a new immigrant is no easy feat and we’ll continue to touch different matters related to immigration. When I meet people for the first time, they usually want to know where I come from.
Some people say my accent sounds French, which is strange to me. But irrespective, I don’t regret being an immigrant, I believe it’s changed my perspective and notion of life in many ways.
That explains why I share my knowledge with you all because I’m of the opinion that someone out there might learn one or two things. Scratch that – I believe someone will be wise enough to learn from some of my mistakes and not have to go repeat them.
That way, your life will be a whole lot easier, no? In this article, I’ll be sharing answers to some questions I’ve received overtime.
These tips are important because several other areas of your life affect your productivity and role in the workplace. I mean, if you are experiencing accommodation challenges, and you have a job, you can expect that you won’t be engaged.
You’ll find out a few things to take note of as an immigrant who’s planning towards joining the workforce in your new country and what to prepare for. I’ll be sharing ‘true talk’ as well as tips.
Read: 7 Tips to Get your Dream Job as an Immigrant
It’s no news that as an immigrant you need a bank for several financial reasons.
With the rise of technology, you are better off using online banking. Traditional banks have websites and all but what differentiates this is the fact that online banks have less staff to pay since technically, it isn’t a brick and mortar bank.
As a result, you are able to avoid a number of fees that go with the traditional banking system. If I know what I know right now, I’ll never have started banking with the traditional banks.
If you’re in Canada, I recommend you use Tangerine Bank as I’ve been using them for a while and have no regrets! Use my referral code “50321504S1” to receive $50 when you open a new account.
The days of standing in long lines are long gone for me! If I ever forget to shop for something online, I’ll rather wait for my next order which is usually the following week. Thankfully though, if it’s so urgent, I have a convenience store that sells almost everything a few minutes walk from my house.
As an immigrant, you have a number of things on your mind. You can’t afford to spend valuable time that can be spent doing something profitable on a long line.
If you reside in Toronto, I shop from Fresh City Farms for my organic grocery. Before I discovered this wonderful business, I used to shop online from Walmart. There are a number of reasons why I recommend online shopping and I’ve talked about this in the past.
Housing is really important as an immigrant. Let’s use my story as a case study. Before I arrived Canada, I had a few distant family friends but I couldn’t have expected them to house me. I know how expensive it can be to incur the expenses of another person.
So planning ahead of time came really handy. I had to take note of my living expenses and cost of living. I have lived in a basement, apartment, rented off a room, shared an apartment/ condo, etc. and as expected, it’s taught me a few lessons.
Housing can be expensive depending on which route you go. My advice is to go with what you can afford. If you can buy a house, good for you! Alternatively, rent an apartment or condominium. If these options don’t align with your present budget, get a basement apartment, or share a house/ room with others.
- If you are going to be sharing an apartment with a stranger, do some more research. Ask what their weekends feel like, do they accept guests frequently? Do they have a partner? Are you allowed to bring a guest? What will the cooking be like? etc.
- If you’re going to be living in a basement, are you comfortable with low lightening? Will you be happier living in a well lit environment? If that’s the case, consider living above the ground.
- Let them know what you aren’t comfortable with. For example, share with them if you can’t tolerate smoking.
- Ask if hydro, rent, water, internet, etc. is included in the rent.
The more cards you lay out on the table, the better for you. It’s to your advantage if you make your prospective roommate or housemate know your threshold and what you can’t tolerate ahead of time.
Don’t be too particular about the cost of rent or contribution only. Trust me, you don’t want to hear my horror story of a housemate.
If you’re in Canada, a few housing websites to begin your search are: kijiji, Padmapper, ApartmentsCanada, Viewit, Remax, etc. The City of Toronto provides a full list of websites. Please note that you should apply due diligence to avoid rental fraud.
From previous experience, your place of accommodation plays an important role in your productivity and how well you’ll function in the workplace. So ensure that you are comfortable and love where you’ll be residing.
Read: 6 Ways To Get A Job As An International Student/ Immigrant Student
4. Transportation/ Commute
Depending on where you’ll be residing, transportation will be important for you. Determine if it’ll be preferable for you to drive or take the public transit. Something to keep in mind is the distance from your home to your place of work.
As a new immigrant worker, I didn’t mind commuting for over an hour, but it wasn’t long before I realized that I had to change things. Recruiters want to know what your travel time will feel like because it won’t pay you to feel stressed everyday simply because of a long commute. Keep distance in mind when picking accomodation.
A good app to download on your phone if you reside in Canada is Transit. It provides real time travel for public transit and will help you plan your trip. Of course, Google Maps is also so important if you don’t want to get lost! Also download your local public transit app.
These are a few tips to bear in mind as a new immigrant worker. If you have certain lifestyle issues that aren’t addresses early enough, it could affect your work life in one way or another. It’s inevitable. If you’re unhappy at home, have a bad morning, chances are you’d be moody for the rest of the day.
Hopefully, these tips will help you make the right decisions as a new immigrant. Please share below if you found this article useful, and if you have other tips to share, kindly leave those in the comment section below. Subscribe to the blog to receive exclusive updates.