The Myth of the Canadian Experience Requirement
Many people within and outside Canada who have little or no “Canadian work experience” assume that this is necessarily a conspicuous deficiency and some even seem to believe that it is a fatal one. This assumption, however, is false. Skilled workers who are influenced by this false assumption and who are searching for a job in Canada will necessarily be unable to generate many good options for themselves. Not only is a lack of Canadian experience not a deficiency; if positioned properly, it can actually be a major asset. How can this possibly be so?
In order for a business to succeed it needs to differentiate itself from its competitors. After all, if there are many companies offering the exact same products and services then the inevitable result is that price wars between these undifferentiated rivals dramatically drive down the prices that the companies can charge for their goods or services. To be in a position to charge an above-average price for their products or services, companies necessarily need to be able to distinguish their offering from that of others doing business in the same space.
What does this have to do with overseas workers with no experience working in Canada? Because Canadians with experience working in Canada all acquired their experience in the same market, their industry views, work perspectives, and innovation potential, are necessarily uniform to some extent because they were shaped by the same forces. Overseas workers have experience working outside Canada. This experience is often far different than that acquired by workers within Canada. Therefore, their perspective is different and innovation potential is often far greater. Such overseas workers can offer Canadian employers fresh ideas, open their minds to new markets, and differentiate their businesses from those of their rivals.
This view is easily proven by merely driving through a major Canadian metropolis and seeing the numerous thriving businesses that are operated by formerly overseas workers or, alternatively, by looking at the shelves of major Canadian stores and seeing the numerous products that are created or brought to those shelves by such overseas workers. There are also large ethnic communities located within various Canadian cities. Various major Canadian companies seek to penetrate these ethnic markets and actively seek out skilled workers from these communities to assist them. All of these things are made possible because of the differentiated non-Canadian experience of these overseas workers.
It is also useful to look at the data on the number of overseas workers coming into Canada each year to realize that the experience of such workers is highly sought-after by Canadian employers. The number of overseas workers being admitted into Canada as temporary workers has been increasing almost every year for the past ten years.i
So if you are an overseas worker, then it is wise to use as a powerful tool your non-Canadian experience to distinguish yourself from others. This may require some additional effort but doing so persistently will almost inevitably yield meaningful dividends.
iSee, for example, the following link which provides Government of Canada data on the number of work permit holders in the past several years: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/facts2013/temporary/1-1.asp