Working in Fredericton

The main employment sectors in Fredericton, from what I have seen and heard, are Information Technology, Customer Service and Food.

Now this doesn’t mean you will just be handed a job as soon as you apply. It also doesn’t mean you will get the exact job you had before coming to Canada, including the level of seniority you may have had or all the perks you were used to.

Please remember, Canadian employers are rather cautious in hiring, and you have to prove that you not only have the technical skills they are looking for but (most importantly) you are a good fit into the company ethos and culture. Your technical abilities can always be up-skilled, but your attitude and work ethics need to fit.

Also note: make sure your CV is in the Canadian format (check for examples online, or even hire a professional to help you achieve this) – this is really important. And once you get called in for the interview, ensure you know everything and anything about the company, the people interviewing you, the company hierarchy, the main players, etc. Arm yourself with knowledge.

I simply cannot stress this enough.

I’ve seen too many people ignore these 2 things, and then wonder why their CVs never picked or why, if they reach the interview stage, the companies politely decline to hire them.

So don’t ignore these 2 things. No matter how many years of experience you have or how many Fortune 500 companies you have worked for. Be open to working your way up again, or taking a more roundabout route to the position you are dreaming of. Believe me, the patience and hard work will pay off.

Having said all that (yes, it’s really not all doom and gloom)…. I’d like to relate a little bit about my own working experience in Fredericton so far.

For me, it’s been just over a month and a half since I started working at my current company in Fredericton. And honestly, I am enjoying every bit of it.

It’s a lot like being back in South Africa, when I used to be part of the Durban Software Development team of Nedbank. Although… it’s been a couple of years since I have needed to code on a daily basis, since being a lecturer consisted more guiding my students on the basics of software development and computer theory. It’s refreshing to find that my brain is still wired to coding though, and that I haven’t forgotten all I’ve learnt since I first joined Nedbank waaaaaaay back in September 2010.

The company I work for is a local start up, and only a few years old. However, they are already a forerunner in the growing Tech Hub that is Fredericton, New Brunswick. Not only are they working with the NB government, but also certain banks and utilities providers as well. They also have clients in the USA and Europe, in addition to the clients all over Canada. So all in all, a pretty influential company. (I will not be mentioning the company name or any client names, as this part of the privacy policies.)

The office is based in Downtown Fredericton on Queen Street, very near the St. John river – which is awesome, because I can go for a walk or just take a book and read in the sunshine during my lunch break. It’s also lovely to be able to walk to my office every day – it takes about 30 minutes from home, but I don’t mind, as I get to enjoy the sights and sounds of early morning Fredericton during my walk. I doubt I will be able to do this during the (fast approaching) winter season, so I want to enjoy it as long as I can, while I can.

Office View
View from the office… what’s not to like? 🙂

My colleagues are welcoming, interesting and work more like a family rather than in strict hierarchical lines. It’s perfectly usual for the CEO to come around to the “Dev Cave” (that name always makes me giggle, but I get it because before I joined the company, all the developers were male) and have a chat with you about what you are working on and discuss ideas for enhancing and moving the product forward. They are all open to new ideas and thoughts on what they are doing well and what can be changed and/or improved.

Overall, so far, I am happy to be working were I am – I feel like I am contributing and my Team Lead is happy with my progress as well. I hope to eventually be able to bring more women into working in software development and technology related jobs (this is something the COO is already involved in, yay), because frankly it frustrates me that there is still such a lack of women in this sector.

But, I hope this will different in the future, and I hope to be involved in making that change happen… even if in the smallest way.

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