As a guest lecturer at various post-secondary education institutions I get the opportunity to assist new professional immigrants to enter the Canadian workforce. The majority of these individuals are extremely keen, and highly educated such as doctors, engineers and teachers.

Although they want to enter their professions but some of them still resist change because they have been accustomed to carrying out and believing things differently in their native country.

For example, there was one individual who was extremely shy and passive. This was probably a sign of “respect” in her native homeland, but in Canada that does not go over very well. She had a hard time coming to grips that being assertive was a positive trait.

There is no magic formula but I believe one to be successful in career or personal life, especially among new immigrants, they need to adapt.
Here are several points to consider:

Get Uncomfortable: Every day you must become uncomfortable and go out of your comfort zone. For example if you need to improve public speaking then join Toastmasters. Or even better speak to three to five different people you do not know every day even for a very short time. The short talk could be about the weather, sports or something else.

Set Goals: You must set long and short term goals from career to expanding social network. Make sure it is handwritten and know how you are going to attain those goals. The goal(s) should be very descriptive and read it every morning.

Secrecy: This may sound odd, but at times your loved ones and close friends who supposed to encourage you end-up doing the opposite. Perhaps they do not see your vision, and often say things that actually discourage you. Inform them once you have achieved your goals.

Affirmation: It is critical for you to hang around or have association with people who are successful and perhaps on a similar mission so they can encourage and guide you.

Mentorship: Many of us never think of mentors, and have been lead to believe that somehow we must do everything by ourselves. Mentorship is a personal development usually based on knowledge and experienced person guiding a less knowledgeable person. Try to find a mentor who is experienced and compatible

It is important to keep in mind that it takes time and patience to change any behviour. Stay focused, set goals and be able to adapt.