A newcomer’s dreams in Winnipeg

Credit to Author: Margaret Jetelina| Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2018 21:15:23 +0000

Young professional from India Amit Kalra shares his first six months in Canada

The last year of my life has been a roller-coaster ride. Being a new immigrant in Canada, my voyage here has been full of surprises.

I vividly remember the day, I received my passport with visa stamp on it, and I had a mixed bag of reactions. There were thrilling waves running inside me that brought a glimpse of a better life, system and atmosphere in front of me, and then there was a strong sad feeling of leaving my family, friends and, of course, a well-settled career back in India in student recruitment and facilitation. The next few months passed quickly as bundled up my pending professional and personal responsibilities. Finally the day came, when I bid adieu all my near and dear ones to take a flight with a glimmer of hope in my eyes to a brand-new world.

Believe me, the first two months were like a honeymoon period for me, amazingly beautiful landscapes, awesome weather, incredibly polite citizens and, of course, the stunning blondes — the reality seemed better than dreams. I would wake up every day with lots of butterflies in my stomach to know more about the new culture, system and to find some new friends. Though sometimes I would feel like an alien who by mistake landed on a new planet, on the other hand, there was someone like me, who was just roaming around observing people and how they talk and express their emotions. But, overall, it was an interesting phase of my life.

The days were passing by and so did the dollars from my bank account. Though I was a part of government-run employment agencies who were helping me in my job hunt, the efforts were not bearing any fruit. One day, with the help of my friend, I accepted part-time work at a local grocery store for weekend nights. Weekdays remained busy for job search, building new corporate contacts whereas the weekend nights remained busy handling drunk customers, writing complaints against thefts, doing cleaning and dumping garbage outside the store.

Sometimes those nights were so exhausting; on regular days I would wonder whether I would ever be able to walk confidently toward my office in a formal suit, a coffee cup in my hand and passion in my eyes. Almost two more months passed in a similar way, my heart was getting sunk, self-esteem was at the bottom, the dream world started to seem complete upside down. But, still, a bit of positivity was left inside.

Finally, after a series of rigorous efforts, I have been offered a six-week work experience to represent a reputed university in Winnipeg to local and international students as a student recruitment trainee. As the time changed, the days became brighter and the smile on my face broader. It was a liberating feeling, no fear in the heart and every moment seemed alive. Though I knew it was just for six weeks, I wanted to make that period best of my life and, fortunately, it went the same way as I imagined. The new work culture, freedom to express my ideas, cultural exchange and interaction with students added so many colours to my life.

The best thing was instead of getting unwelcome advice from people to change my career path and follow what other immigrants are doing, suddenly; they started seeking my viewpoint about career choices in Canada. From a struggling newcomer to a diligent professional, the life took a complete 180-degree turn and I realized that there are two types of pain in the world — pain that simply hurts us and pain that inspires us to grow. And with this new learning, I am continuing my journey because I know there are bigger challenges waiting for me.