A Candid Conversation: Work and Life as a Nigerian Immigrant in Canada
Introduction: When it comes to the topic of work and life, there’s a stark contrast between Canada and Nigeria. Many individuals from third-world countries, like Nigeria, often dream of immigrating to Canada, lured by the promise of a better life and the possibility of becoming a Canadian citizen. While there are undeniable benefits to living in Canada, the reality for immigrants can be far from glamorous. This detailed and well-documented interview sheds light on the experiences of a Nigerian immigrant who has faced common struggles as a foreign worker in Canada.
Interviewee Introduction: In this interview, we speak with a Nigerian immigrant named Peter (not his real name), who has embarked on a journey to pursue further education and a potential career change in Canada. Peter, a medical doctor in Nigeria, has undertaken the challenging path of becoming a research student and navigating the Canadian healthcare system to practice medicine in his new home.
Work Culture Comparison: Interviewer: Can you tell us about the differences you’ve noticed in the work culture between Nigeria and Canada?
Peter: Certainly. In Nigeria, work is more culturally oriented, with an emphasis on interpersonal relationships. For example, when a patient visited my clinic, we’d often engage in extended conversations about their well-being, without the constraints of time limits. However, in Canada, everything is meticulously scheduled. You have a set schedule and tasks to complete, and there’s little room for casual conversation. It feels like you’re constantly under pressure to meet expectations and work efficiently. Canada doesn’t program you to work and enjoy your work, unlike Nigeria, where you can find joy in your job even while working diligently.
Discrimination in the Workplace: Interviewer: Have you encountered any discrimination in the workplace in Canada due to your background?
Peter: Unfortunately, yes. In my initial role as a supervisor, both my co-supervisors and some staff members discriminated against me. They couldn’t fathom a black man from Africa in a leadership position. This discrimination was disheartening, and I had to escalate the issue to management to address it properly.
Advice for Prospective Immigrants: Interviewer: If you could give advice to someone in Nigeria considering immigration to Canada, what would you tell them?
Peter: I would advise them not to come to Canada if they are already stable back home. The allure of Canada can be deceptive. It’s not worth leaving a stable life for the uncertainties and challenges you may face here. I made this move for the sake of my children and my desire to contribute to an international community while earning Canadian citizenship for my family’s future.
Salaries Comparison: Interviewer: How do salaries in Canada compare to those in Nigeria?
Peter: Salaries in Nigeria can be more favorable because the cost of living is lower. In Nigeria, I could save a significant portion of my income, while in Canada, expenses like housing, taxes, and various fees consume a substantial portion of your earnings. The system here takes away a significant portion of your income, leaving less room for savings compared to Nigeria.
Regrets and Adaptation: Interviewer: Did you have any regrets initially about coming to Canada?
Peter: At the beginning, I did have some regrets, especially when facing unemployment, housing challenges, and discrimination. However, as I gradually adapted to the Canadian system, I gained a deeper understanding of the challenges and systemic discrimination. While these issues still exist, I’ve learned to navigate them and see the brighter future and opportunities Canada offers.
Interviewer: Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with us, Peter. Your journey provides valuable perspective on the complexities of immigration and work in Canada.
Conclusion: Peter’s candid interview highlights the challenges and differences between working in Canada and Nigeria, shedding light on the allure and the stark reality that many immigrants face when they move to a new country. While Canada offers opportunities and benefits, it also presents its own set of challenges, including workplace discrimination and financial considerations. This interview serves as a reminder that the immigrant experience is multifaceted, and each individual’s journey is unique.