Tobi Odunowo Shares His Life Experience Moving to Canada

Moved to Canada for Study – Tobi Odunowo Shares His Life Experience

This is not my typical type of post but I guess it might encourage someone not to be afraid of “jumping into the middle of things, getting their hands dirty, falling flat on their face and then reaching for the stars”.

Two years ago today, my wife and I (along with our kids) moved to Canada as permanent residents; deciding to make the “Great White North” our home.

One of the most difficult things was saying goodbye to a promising and rewarding career at a company I had spent the previous five years with, made wonderful friends, and been given a chance to excel. 

TotalEnergies’ office in Nigeria gave me the opportunity to work with great leaders who believed in me and saw me as a future leader within the company. It was a tough decision to leave.

We had said our prayers, we had sought the mind of God and we were convinced that the time was right.

Arriving in Canada, I experienced what most other immigrants go through – the hundreds of job applications, the tens of regret emails, the unsuccessful interviews, and all that come with integrating into a new environment and a new culture.

I had some bad days, lots of emotional “roller coaster”. It was probably the first time in my career that I would be without a job for three months.

Then my first opportunity to work in Canada’s corporate environment came. I got a contract role with Suncor. It was amazing! I met many wonderful people. I had amazing leaders that gave me all the opportunity I needed to apply my skill set. I had great colleagues who were the most helpful and kind people I ever met.

3 months into the job, COVID struck! Most of all contractors were laid-off! My leaders were devastated. They would have done anything they could to keep me. But this was beyond them. The world was literally falling apart for the Energy industry.

Little did I know that it was going to take another five months to get back to paid employment. But it was worth the wait. While waiting, I challenged myself to do things I had never done before.

I mentored over 50 HR professionals in building HR Analytics skills, helped several newcomers to review their resumes and prepare for job interviews [many of them got the jobs], supported immigrant HR students through their school assignments/projects.

I lived through the experience of “putting others first”. One more thing I did – I became an #Udemy instructor. I published two courses on one of the world’s largest online learning platforms. Glad to say that these courses have now been taken by over 1,500 students around the world.

Just about a year ago, I got the opportunity to join a company with an important history. A company that made it possible to have the Canada we have today. I joined Canadian Pacific Railway! It’s been an amazing one year at CP.

The people, the pride, the learning – all remind me that this opportunity was not only the right choice, but it was worth the wait. Simply put CPproud!

So many things to say. But, it’s been an amazing two years!

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