The paperwork is easy!

I passed by the International Student Centre to ask about work
permits, and I’m thrilled to report that the process of hiring me will
be *really* easy for Canadian companies.

Because there’s a special category of work permits for international
graduate students (how convenient!), Canadian companies can treat me
like any other Canadian when hiring. They don’t have to do an
extensive job search or be of a certain size. They just have to decide
what they want me to do.

The permit allows me to work in Canada for one year. Applying for a
proper work permit after that should take me around four months. The
six-month performance review is a good time to get started on that
paperwork. The second work permit will allow me to work for an
additional two years. When I have more work experience, I’ll easily
qualify for a skilled worker visa, which will let me become a
permanent resident. The government will credit a maximum of one year
from non-permanent residents, so after two more years of permanent
residency, I’ll be able to apply for citizenship.

So I’ll probably complete the process four years from now: 2011. I
will be 27 years old, maybe 28. Yes, that sounds like a good plan.
It’ll open up more opportunities for me, and I can use those
opportunities to help others.

I still love the Philippines, and I’m glad that I can become a dual
citizen instead of giving up my Filipino citizenship. I’m looking
forward to being one of the examples of people who manage to bridge
both worlds.

My next step is to apply for an off-campus work permit so that I can
start work before I graduate. This will be handy after I finish my
thesis, because I can do a maximum of 20 hours of work while waiting
for the rest of the university paperwork to clear. By June I need to
have a chosen job offer firmly in my pocket.

Hmm. I woke up my network a little early, then, but that’s okay. I’m
the kind of person job ads are rarely written for. It’s early in the
year. People can start planning for me. That way, when I’m ready, they
can create a position if they don’t already have one!

There’ll be no lack of things I can do in Toronto. The only thing is
to find the best fit: the best fit for the company, and the best fit
for me. I know I can do the technical stuff. I want to learn more
about the people side of things: customer relations, public relations,
sales, marketing, and even management. I can learn new technologies
and tools through experimentation and from documentation (and
source!), but people skills are the ones that will really make me
wildly successful. =)

Life is good.