Discover what Ganna, a participant in the Employability Service of the Women's Centre of Montreal, has to share with you about her own experience.
What was your situation before coming to the Women's Centre of Montreal?
When I arrived in Montreal in March 2023, I had no job prospects here. Before I met the counsellors from the Women's Centre of Montreal at the Salon de l'emploi, my situation was stressful and difficult.
I didn't know how to present myself on the job market, how to write my resume properly, a resume that I had already sent to several employers, but without any responses. I was feeling quite exhausted. I'm an interior designer and an experienced 3D modeller, but I was ready to work for anyone, at least to get started.
What service/help were you looking for when you first contacted the WCM?
I didn't know that organisations such as the Women's Centre of Montreal existed until now! It was incredible to hear the news. At the job fair, I met the team who introduced me to a whole new world of support for women in their job search, and in their personal lives as well. So, I learned more about support programmes for women who want to find work in male-dominated fields. It was just what I needed!
What have you achieved through the Women's Centre of Montreal?
I started my coaching a few weeks ago and I am already seeing the transformation, thanks to my counsellor, Louise... It's like magic!
She included me in a group of women from different countries who were experiencing very similar situations to me. It's more than just a group of professional women, it's a support network: one for the other.
Louise gave us a lot of information about how to approach a job search. She gave us examples of resumes and cover letters, explained how recruiters deal with these and how their relationships with managers and directors work. She showed us the different tools that can help us find a job, particularly on the 'hidden market'. We also learned how to communicate with potential employers and their teams, how to find their contacts and so much more. Then she told us about programmes to help newcomers and those who have just graduated from colleges and universities but do not yet have any work experience.
What did you find most helpful about the service you received?
My main problems were my resume and my ability to communicate on the phone. With Louise's help, I reworked my curriculum vitae and subsequently received invitations for several job interviews! Previously, I wasn't sure how well I understood French and English on the phone, I was afraid and had refused to call potential employers. After listening to me about this problem, Louise rang me up a few times to show me that I am able to speak and understand everything I'm told over the phone. Since then, I've had no fears! I really appreciate the fact that Louise is not indifferent and that she does her best to help us.
As for my LinkedIn profile, the results are very satisfying! I've found lots of new contacts and now I know how to use it to find the information I need, demonstrate my skills and stand out to employers.
What did you obtain as a direct result of the service you got at the CFM?
The workshops gave me confidence and helped me pass my job interview and find a job as an interior designer at IKEA. I was ready to answer all the questions I was asked!
I also have to say that I've made some amazing new friends!
Where do you stand now that you've been at the WMC?
I'm more confident now, and my time at the Women's Centre of Montreal gave me the opportunity to summarise, evaluate and present my professional skills well.
What do you retain from your experience since your first meeting with your CFM counsellor?
If I'm afraid of doing something, I simply must change my mind and my approach! And, of course, to always be aware not only of my weaknesses, but my strengths as well.
Louise taught us to keep our hands on the wheel!
What would you say to a woman looking for a job or struggling to find her way and hesitating to ask for help from the Employability Service at the Women's Centre of Montreal?
I'd tell her not to hesitate and to phone or write to the Women's Centre as soon as possible! They will give her plenty of information, and the support they provide in her job search will make her more efficient and effective!
For more information about our employability service : https://centredesfemmesdemtl.org/en/job-support/