Overcoming bleak market outlooks through Networking


Rafi came to Canada in 2012 from Bangalore, India, and came to the city of Calgary in 2014. Back in India, he worked for 7 years as a portfolio manager and ran his own financial services company in hedge funds. Currently, he is working as an investment specialist at First Calgary Financial.

When Rafi first came to Calgary, it was during an oil price crash. It was very difficult finding work, and he reached his lowest point, and many times considered moving back home to India. It was during this time that he began to see the importance of networking, and began using LinkedIn to reach out to people. Networking was a lot more effective than sending out 100’s of resumes! Out of the 40 people he reached out to, only 2 replied, and one was willing to connect with him over coffee. This contact eventually became one of his close professional mentors!

Rafi started attending more networking events and landed an interview through it. Although the interviewers wanted to hire him, the feedback was that the position required him to have a Personal Financial Planner (PFP) designation, so Rafi did not get the job offer. That was when Rafi decided to pursue his PFP designation to ensure that it would not hold him back again. The PFP usually takes approximately 6 months of studying, and 2-3 years of experience, testing on Canadian taxes, processes, etc. Because of his determination, he was able to complete the designation in a record time of only 6 weeks!

After Rafi received his designation, he attended many more networking events and through these events, he eventually landed his first job as a financial advisor, which became the stepping-stones to get him to where he is now.

Some advice that Rafi would give to new immigrant professionals coming to Canada “In certain professions, you will be required to have a designation. Meet people in your industry, and know how to approach them. Do not ask for a job, but ask for advice! Once you get your foot in the door, it will give you a better chance to move up from there.”