Finding work in a new city can be daunting. If you’re an accountant looking to move to Toronto, here are some tips to help you get settled.
So you’re an accountant, and you’ve just recently moved to Toronto – a city rife with people and businesses, financial institutions and opportunities. We’re talking about the nerve-center of Canadian finance and industry. You should have no trouble finding work…right?
If only that were the case. Toronto might be the nation’s financial capital, but don’t expect a job to just fall into your lap as soon as you pull into the GTA. A candidate in your shoes will need to invest a fair bit of time, energy, and money – both prior to relocating and once newly arrived – into securing an accounting position.
Adjusting to a new place and trying to establish oneself professionally within it is never easy, even (or especially) in a large city like Toronto. Often, entering a new job market can require that you accept a more junior position than the one you held back home, until you’ve proven your mettle and can find work that’s commensurate with your talent and experience.
But don’t despair. Countless others – like Catherine Cormican, CA, whose own transatlantic trek from Ireland to Canada
we recounted last year – have successfully made the transition to the accounting industry in Toronto. Follow these steps, and your move to the “T.dot,” as Torontonians affectionately call it, can be just as seamless.
Step one: identify strong accounting and finance-focused recruiting firms
Start by enlisting the help of a recruitment firm (like Clarity Recruitment!). A general scouring of job boards, LinkedIn, and Google, using search terms like “accounting and finance recruiters Toronto,” should pretty quickly yield the top Toronto recruitment firms in the industry.
To narrow that list down even further, and to find the best fit for your needs, check out how long each firm has been in business, as well as how experienced and tenured its recruiters are Longevity is vital: the longer a recruiter has been working in the field, the stronger their client base will be, and the more abundant their connections. These elements are especially key for you, a newcomer to the Toronto finance and accounting scene; the more people your recruiter can link you up to, the better.
Be sure to ask around; word-of-mouth and personal recommendations trump all else, after all. If you’re lucky enough to have friends, acquaintances, or friends of friends in Toronto, have them reach out to their networks, so that you can get a sense of how successful the recruitment firms you’re considering really are.
Toronto might be the nation’s financial capital, but don’t expect a job to just fall into your lap as soon as you pull into the GTA.
Step two: come into town for a scouting visit
It’s good to send out feelers to recruiters before you touch down in the city. But the reality is, most recruiters won’t work with you until they’ve met you face-to-face and developed a sense of your personality, ambition, experience, and skillset.
So once you’ve zeroed in on a few recruitment firms, book a pre-move reconnaissance visit to Toronto and set up as many meetings as you can squeeze in. While there’s no harm in shooting a recruiter an e-mail or calling them up, nothing beats getting some real face time with them. Establishing an in-person connection can make all the difference for your success.
A case in point: our very own Joe Diubaldo, president of Clarity Recruitment, says he’s currently in the process of placing someone from a Big Four practice who’s relocating to Toronto. Diubaldo was especially impressed by the fact that the candidate flew in over Christmas and took the time to sit down with him face-to-face.
Step three: tap into your networks
In addition to meeting recruiters, use the scouting trip to Toronto to meet up with friends or acquaintances working in the accounting or finance sector here. Pick their brain about what the accounting landscape is like in the city, and ask them for help in setting up relevant introductions.
If you lack immediate people to network with here, reach out to everyone in both your professional and personal networks and ask if they know someone in Toronto who you could meet with. It’s a small world and something is bound to come from this.
Establishing an in-person connection can make all the difference for your success.
Once you’ve gotten a name or two, send each individual a gracious e-mail asking if you can buy them a quick coffee during your trip, or if they can suggest someone else to meet with.
It may be intimidating at first, but ultimately this sort of temerity will pay off dividends in helping you acclimatize to your new city and its competitive job force.
Step four: check out your company’s sister offices
If you’re currently employed with a firm, check with them first to see if they have any opportunities at a regional office in Toronto.
Of course, this is only a viable option if you like your company, and if you’re comfortable with disclosing your plans to relocate. If not, you’ll probably want to consider other avenues.
Step five: Look for organizations to help you resettle
If you’re moving to Toronto from abroad, look for organizations that can set you up with employment and other amenities. Irish CA’s, for example, should check out the Irish Canadian Immigration Centre
, or the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce
in Toronto. There are analogues for other countries; do a little homework so that you can avail yourself of their aid.
Being the new kid on the block is never a piece of cake, especially in a competitive realm like the Toronto finance industry. But by doing your research, hooking up with the right recruitment firm and contacts, and networking like your life depends on it
, you’re sure to land on your feet.
Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level
. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits)
and connect with us on Facebook
for more great tips and advice!