8 skills to learn before moving to Canada

Ever wondered why some people are more successful than others?
Ever wondered why some people are more successful than others?
Written By
MTC Media inc
Published on
February 18, 2024

Why do some people have a smoother immigration experience, find a new job faster and make more money?

This is because some people have learned certain skills that helped them achieve success faster. That is why in this article, we would like to share some of them.


Writing is everywhere. You write text messages, emails, reports at work, essays for school and when you deliver a speech you probably have written some parts of it down too! There’s no way around writing and it’s fundamental to effective communication.

If you want to be successful, influence people and be heard, learn to write.

First, start reading in English. This way your eye and brain will start getting used to grammar, different expressions and vocabulary. Make sure you nail your grammar and sentence structure. Then, the best thing to get better at writing - is actually starting to write.

Make a commitment to yourself to write at least one page of something every day. No matter how deep or intelligent those words are. Eventually - things come up, and your words will start getting better and you will start coming up with more things to write!

Understanding different accents

Canada is a multicultural country, with every 4th person you meet being an immigrant, there’s no way around meeting people from different parts of the world.

When we learn English, we learn the ideal, clean English represented in movies, tv shows and in songs. But that’s not how it works in real life in a country like Canada. Some people will have the ideal accent, but many won’t. You will meet people at work, at the bank or at a grocery store. Accents are everywhere and it may take time for you to get used to them.

Another big reason why we are highlighting this point is -  you shouldn’t be ashamed of your own accent. Simply because - everyone has it! You will see that for yourself the moment you step on Canadian soil. Even Canadians from different provinces have different accents.

If you want to learn to understand different accents, watch youtube videos and join speaking clubs where newcomers from all over the world participate. Moreover, if you chat with someone who has an accent, don’t be shy to ask them to repeat what they’ve just said. Just be courteous and nice about it.

Small talk 

Small talk is an important skill to develop if you want to be successful and be liked by people around you. 

Small talk isn't just about being polite or making people feel comfortable — it's also about forming connections with others and creating relationships that could lead to deeper connections later on. The magic of small talk is that sometimes it can take you to the most unimaginable places, you could learn that someone shares the same weird hobby as you do, or even better - you’ll learn that their company is looking to hire someone like you!

You don’t have to be a master conversationalist to become good at small talk. You just want to be friendly, make eye contact and smile! Show your interest by asking questions, but stay away from personal topics.


Learning how to research and find information is just a very important life skill everyone should have. Learning how to search for information is critical. Take your immigration experience for example, or the process of looking for a job. 

There are so many things you don’t know - you can ask someone and hope they will give you the right answer, or you can do your own research to know how to discern the right answer from the wrong one. This skill becomes even more important in the age of misinformation where it’s easier than ever to present all sorts of lies as truth.

Knowing how to find information that you are missing is actually an art. Because it starts with being able to ask the right questions first, and then you want to consult several resources to identify discrepancies and fill any gaps that you may have from your first source.


Imagine you meet a person for the first time or you’re in a good mood and someone gives you an answer filled with negativity. It just doesn’t feel good, right? It’s just an emotional reaction humans are prone to and there’s nothing you can do about it. Nobody likes to experience negative thoughts and emotions and when you meet someone for the first time, your impression of that person always depends on how that person makes you feel. 

Some cultures like Eastern European and some European ones are known as cynics, and they often focus on the negative aspects first, that’s why they often come off as rude and negative. If you recognize yourself in it, just be mindful of that when you are making small talk or having a conversation with people.

When in doubt, follow this good English proverb: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

Positivity is the can-do attitude, it’s the state when you are always wired to look at the positives first. Your glass is always half full, and everything is possible if you just are willing to work on it. Positive people are a pleasure to work with and are fun to be around because they charge you with optimism and give you energy, negative thinkers drain that energy away.

Political correctness

It’s not a secret that Canadian society is ultimately polite and politically correct. They will never tell you what they really think, but they will kind of hint at a thing or two here and there and hope that at some point in your life, you will get it. That’s the expectation. Thus, when an immigrant from a country that has a much more direct culture comes into the team, their directness can be treated as rude, insulting and negative.

Political correctness is a term that describes the language that avoids excluding, marginalizing, or insulting certain groups of people. Political correctness is tricky because there’s a fine line between lying or hiding something and being politically correct.

Focus on kindness, rather than being right. When you want to share an opinion, ask yourself, did anybody ask you for it? When you are about to say something honest or potentially controversial, think - is there some context to the situation you might be missing?

Moreover, try to educate yourself on different topics to have more empathy toward other people’s lives and don’t be ignorant.


Learn how to make friends or, if you’re antisocial, at least how to play the game of making friends. Canada has a relatively small population, with lots of people coming from different cultures, so we naturally seek to do business and rely on people that we know and are familiar with. That is why networking is important - the more people you know the more exposure you have to potential opportunities, and it’s not just jobs - it actually pays off to have a friend who’s a doctor, a lawyer, or an accountant! They can hook you up with things random people may not.


It’s not just about what you do, it’s also about how you talk about it. You need to learn how to sell yourself. People love beautiful and captivating words, and there’s just no way around it. In the Western world, presentation skills can matter a lot more than your hard skills.

First, learn to present yourself and your work in a compelling way. Practice your personal 1-minute pitch about who you are and what you’re good at. Look at how other professionals present themselves in your field - watch YouTube and other presentations, and pay attention not just to what people are saying but also how they are saying those things. 

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8 skills to learn before moving to Canada

Make That Change is made by immigrants for immigrants.
We create content about career, life, adaptation and education in Canada.