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Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Old Nov 17th 2011, 10:06 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Originally Posted by Elizabeth I
I can't even imagine how an employer will view me, whether they'll even want to consider someone who worked for themselves so has no references (apart from very old ones).
Happy customers?
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Old Nov 17th 2011, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Originally Posted by Elizabeth I

I don't mind going back to ground zero on the job ladder, to be honest with you I wouldn't mind doing a simple job because I think settling in will be stressful enough without the added pressure of a complicated job. I don't think any job is beneath me and will change loo rolls and go on coffee runs, haha...
That's how I feel.

Anything that pays at the moment and that allows me to gently get used to stuff here is fine for a start.
It gives me money, some Canadian experience and a Canadian reference and lets me start getting my own credit built up.
I have my own money to spend and can contribute to the household finances and feel I have my own identity again.

I have had enough stress in the last year to last me a while with one thing and another and at the moment the house sale in the UK is at a crucial stage, so I can do without a great deal of mental anguish or demand at work.
After Christmas, bring on the challenges, but for now, there is a lot to be said for a less demanding role.
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Old Nov 17th 2011, 10:14 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Originally Posted by JonboyE
Happy customers?
Yes! I have some truly wonderful customer testimonies.... So I was going to put those together with my resume.
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Old Nov 17th 2011, 10:21 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Originally Posted by helcat12
That's how I feel.

Anything that pays at the moment and that allows me to gently get used to stuff here is fine for a start.
It gives me money, some Canadian experience and a Canadian reference and lets me start getting my own credit built up.
I have my own money to spend and can contribute to the household finances and feel I have my own identity again.

I have had enough stress in the last year to last me a while with one thing and another and at the moment the house sale in the UK is at a crucial stage, so I can do without a great deal of mental anguish or demand at work.
After Christmas, bring on the challenges, but for now, there is a lot to be said for a less demanding role.

I agree! Having my own business has been stress city, the responsibility is all-encompassing - on top of completing my postgrad degree this year which was almost break-down material, LOL, oh man, it has been tough!

And now moving to a new country, meeting new people, and everything that entails... Honestly, oftentimes when I go to the foodcourt I just wouldn't mind working behind the counter dishing up dinners, LOL. I know that sounds extreme, but I really don't want the mental anguish or demand at work on top of trying to settle into a new life... Once I build up my awareness of a new environment, meet some peeps and generally get used to things, then I'd like to gradually build up. But yeah, a less demanding role would suit me to begin with...
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Old Nov 17th 2011, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Great thread with some Brilliant advice, Jon and Hellcat

It's funny you mention about being happy to jump behind the counter and dish up dinners. I'd be happy to go even further over the counter and get the dishes washed, lol.

That's not something I'd be prepared to do in this country, lol. (I suppose if my wife wasn't such a hard worker and happy to support my lazy ass I would )

I've had a load of low/non skilled jobs in my life. I'm just not good with authority

Worked in a large hotel chain for a number of years doing everything from bar work to room cleaning. Good honest work that ended when you hung up your polyester waistcoat and went out the door at night

I quite fancy a shot of being a Realtor. For a bloke, I'm strangely obsessed with houses, lol. Must look into that when we get over there

Sorry, not very helpfull, just wanted to be part of a good thread
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Old Nov 18th 2011, 12:59 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Originally Posted by helcat12
Don't know about them, but I don't know what it is.

Go on then, enlighten us!

Will it help me now I have a job, or is it just for those Desperately Seeking....?
I had a vacancy for someone who knew what it was. It wasn't likely that I'd find someone on this thread but I've previously found people in a pool hall and on a bus so not all recruitment has to be conducted in the usual way (which for me is bumping into someone in a bar).
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Old Dec 6th 2011, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Originally Posted by Joolschweetie
Since that day we've thrown ourselves into Canadian culture and my OH is overjoyed at being back in Canada after 5 years in the UK. I love it over here and although many people say Hamilton is ugly/industrial/dull I love the city and enjoy the time I spend with my friends hiking around Dundas and other areas on the outskirts and spending time by the bay.
Glad you like Hamilton! I might end up living there permanently sometime meself. A bit gritty but that just makes it a good honest city!
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Old Dec 7th 2011, 2:00 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

And I spoke too soon about the job...

Have heard recently that my store (and numerous other branches) will be closing on the 2nd January. So it's back to jobhunting for me

Really trying not to be self-indulgent and mopey but it'd be so lovely for things to go to plan for a change!
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Old Jan 4th 2012, 4:07 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

I've lived in Hamilton for 2.5 years now (moved here as a McMaster faculty spouse), and I've come to really love the place. It's not nearly as 'industrial' as I thought it would be when I drove in from the east. If you stay west of James, it's actually delightful!

Have you been looking only at Mac, or at Mohawk as well? I think Mohawk has better hiring practices, though they're less great with retentions. Another faculty spouse found a job teaching there, and it seems they're quite open to people proving themselves on the job (though obviously my sample size is small, and YMMV).

My favourite suprise here: good coffee! My Dog Joe and, more recently, Detour have been making the move here that little bit better.

Also, if you want to make your money go even further, and it's worth the hassle to cross the border, there's super-cheap shopping right outside Buffalo. If I remember correctly, it's a 'depressed economic zone', so taxes are about 3% rather than 13%.
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Old Jan 4th 2012, 5:07 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Originally Posted by Elizabeth I
What a great thread. Every post in this thread is most helpful, thank you.

I'm planning to come over soon and was (still am) getting nervous about the whole "work" issue. I haven't been employed for 15yrs. I own my own business but will start all over again in Vancouver. I don't expect it to be easy and I'll have to work for someone to start with. I can't even imagine how an employer will view me, whether they'll even want to consider someone who worked for themselves so has no references (apart from very old ones). I have a degree and just completed a postgrad degree, but I know these count for little when nearly everyone has the same thing... And I don't know anyone in Canada, no family or friends so will be completely on my own, yikes, that feels both liberating and daunting

I don't mind going back to ground zero on the job ladder, to be honest with you I wouldn't mind doing a simple job because I think settling in will be stressful enough without the added pressure of a complicated job. I don't think any job is beneath me and will change loo rolls and go on coffee runs, haha...

Anyway, thanks to those who post their experiences and advice, helps soon-to-be-newbies like me.
I can imagine how an employer would view you... like you have guts! I mean come on going out there on your own when you have worked for yourself for 15 years? That is a *very* brave thing to do IMHO. I would say that's a fairly unique selling point you have for yourself there!
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Old Jan 23rd 2012, 5:17 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Another Hamiltonian (and Mac employee) here!

It's not my area, but I'd suspect that student support positions will require some familiarity with the Federal/Provincial systems here.. I don't know how different it is, but genning up on this might be a good way to know how to address this in any applications you write (and speaking to it in your application!).

A couple of other general points that might help:

- if you aren't already, become familiar with where the jargon/system differs between the UK and Canada, and make sure your CV/application clearly states how your experience matches to this. Coupled with an awareness of how you'd be able to address the difference between the systems in terms of the role you're applying for - PLUS being able to bring that experience to the team (of being able to think about things at a higher level for problem-solving and the like) - this could certainly help turn your background around from being seen as a limitation to an asset.

- bookmark the jobs sites at each college/uni and check them regularly. As well as Mohawk and Mac, Brock might be worth considering - they have a small campus on King, but St Catherine's isn't far. Sheridan (Oakville, I think?) is an arts/creative college with a good rep. And perhaps take a look at spin-out companies based at McMaster Innovation Park (MIP)? They also have events on from time to time that might be good networking opportunities... I believe they hosted Timeraiser Hamilton last year, which I'd recommend as a good way to meet people on many levels...

- linkedin can be a pretty good tool for becoming aware of jobs. When I was looking for a new job last year, I was able to find quite a few positions and employers that I know I wouldn't have heard of otherwise... and even when I found a post that wasn't right (or had been filled), I added the main website (and the jobs page) to my list and kept checking.

I really like it here, too. It's certainly not to everyone's liking, but their loss IMO Know what you mean about Dundas hiking. We do the Hermitage Trail walk a few times a year with our daughter (now 5) - she loves it!

Good luck!
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Old Jan 24th 2012, 8:20 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Thanks guys, that is really helpful and useful info...I kind of realised that education was a tough nut to crack but as with everything over here, it's about doing your homework/research and finding a way in somehow!

I keep all the universities/colleges in the area bookmarked and am constantly on the hunt but the more people I meet, the better the chances of finding the "hidden jobs" are. I've applied for another few jobs recently (and am just waiting on a phonecall today for one I had an interview for on Fri )

Feeling a little better about the whole thing, after my store closed I took a trip back to the UK for 2 weeks to see people and was just so glad to come back over here, it put stuff in perspective and motivated me to just keep on going!

I would also recommend to anyone jobhunting to take advantage of the free local career development services (like Employment Hamilton in our area), they're great at helping put you in contact with people and finding you free training etc. Was very pleasantly surprised at what they could offer!
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Old Jan 29th 2012, 2:00 pm
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

any of you Hamilton chaps know what would be a good area for a first-time-buyer couple to look fer a house? I'm thinking perhaps up on the mountain, somewhere between Concession and Fennel perhaps. Seems nice! (And Opies is there!)
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Old Feb 16th 2012, 12:59 am
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Depends what you're looking for:

If you like the convenience and the ability to walk to little independent shops, deli's, cafe's and bars, I highly recommend downtown around Locke street, like the roads off it such as Herkimer, Charlton etc - it has lovely older houses and a lot of character although Locke St can be really pretentious

The area you're talking about around Concession is also nice, we have a few friends that live on streets just behind the main street and it's surprisingly quiet - great bus links, nice walks through the mountain brow parks. It's supposed to be a nice shopping district too (so the signs say) but I only ever drive down it to get to work.

I'm not so sure about the suburbs, I haven't really got to grips with whre the nice ones are yet. We're thinking of moving to Mount Hope/Binbrook way to try and get a country style house but still easy commute into the city - it totally pays in the summer when the smog sets in downtown *cough*
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Old Apr 16th 2012, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Our first 2 months in Hamilton, ON

Originally Posted by Joolschweetie
Depends what you're looking for:

If you like the convenience and the ability to walk to little independent shops, deli's, cafe's and bars, I highly recommend downtown around Locke street, like the roads off it such as Herkimer, Charlton etc - it has lovely older houses and a lot of character although Locke St can be really pretentious

The area you're talking about around Concession is also nice, we have a few friends that live on streets just behind the main street and it's surprisingly quiet - great bus links, nice walks through the mountain brow parks. It's supposed to be a nice shopping district too (so the signs say) but I only ever drive down it to get to work.

I'm not so sure about the suburbs, I haven't really got to grips with whre the nice ones are yet. We're thinking of moving to Mount Hope/Binbrook way to try and get a country style house but still easy commute into the city - it totally pays in the summer when the smog sets in downtown *cough*
There are many new developments coming up in Binbrook, Mount Hope and Grimsby/Beamsville area.
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