View Full Version : From Canada to Russia With Love

23-10-2008, 07:43
Let me start off with a bit of a story...

Having lived in Canada for the past thirteen years I have finally decided to go back to Russia for a visit. I allotted the time with the human resources department in my company for three weeks straight, which those of us that have lived in Northern America know is next to impossible to do. After intense negotiation with HR, I finally achieved my goal of getting the vacation. :plane:

Having grown up in Canada it was safe to say that I was a bit cautious of the experience that awaiting me. Although majority of my friends in Canada are Russian speaking and I constantly circled in the Russian speaking community, I had left Russia in the mid 90s and in my mind I was coming back to the same country.

To cut the long story a bit short... By the end of the trip I did not want to go back to Canada and actually contemplated staying. It has to be mentioned that I lead a pretty comfortable lifestyle in Canada and it would have taken a pretty significant experience to stray me from a country that I have called home for so long.

The direct result of my trip was that I have come to the conclusion that I will be making the transition of going home(Russia). I polished up my resume and actually made a resume in both languages. The best place that I could find to start the search was headhunters.ru, where I saw an abundance of postings and potential employers.

It has been nearly a month of me applying to positions and although I understand it may take longer to locate the perfect opportunity, I have not received the single bit of interest. It would be understandable if I didn't have the education, which I do, in Business Admin Marketing. It would be understandable if I didn't have the experience, which I do, most recently I have been working in the financial sector at the corporate level. It would also be understandable if I didn't have the language, which I do, both languages are spoken accent-free. It would also be understandable if I was applying for position that I am not qualified for, which is not the case, because some of the positions that I applied for, were just to test the market.

Having worked extremely hard to achieve what I have achieved in life, I hope the reader understands how discouraging rejection can be. As an experiment I have decided to apply for a few positions in Toronto to see if it is something that is wrong with my "Curriculum Vitae" and in the last week had two offers that I kindly declined because of my relocation arrangements.

If anyone has gone through the trouble of reading all of this, I am looking for some direction or maybe guidance in my job search. I would greatly appreciate any insight that anyone may offer. Thx in advance.

The casual language used in this thread is no reflection of my communication capabilities (Im a pretty articulate individual in the appropriate setting:))

23-10-2008, 11:30
OOPS!! I posted this and then noticed that you're Russian. Sorry, for the mix-up . . . :yikes:

10 years ago, your CV would have landed you a sweet job with one of those now long-forgotten "expat packages" (unless you're working for an energy company, they still give them), that would have included a huge "hardship" salary, car w/ driver and generous allowance for an apartment in the center of Moscow.

Unfortunately, after the crisis of 1998, the Russians understood that all that "foreign expert advice" had played a significant role in the complete destruction of the economy and 75% of the population living in poverty (while the foreigners were partying and f&c%ing like Rock Stars at the Hungry Duck and Night Flight). Also during this last 10 years, thousands of young Russians understood that going abroad and getting an education might lead to a good job. They were correct.

So, why does a Russian company (or a foreign company w/ an office in Moscow) need to hire a foreigner and pay all the extra expenses, when they can hire a Russian graduate from Yale University (who probably speaks better English than most native speakers)? The answer is that they don't (with the exception that a foreign company may have one foreign director based here to make sure the Russians don't steal too much).

My humble advice is to start your own business here, which offers a service or product that isn't currently available on the market. The most successful foreigners in Moscow are doing this. The rest are corporate monkeys or just drunks. Good Luck and welcome back!! :thumbsup:

23-10-2008, 17:01
In the next year, sorry to say because of this financial crises, you would be taking a big chance. You probably can get a job teaching English. Sorry for the information, however, sign of the times. PM me if you need more info...

24-10-2008, 05:08

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my post. You are correct to take notice of the fact I'm not quite an expat (hopefully you won't think of me any less :)). I do have both passports and both languages. As for the business suggestion...I've been exposed to certain attempts at small businesses in Russia, not a project I would be able to support at this point in time:)


I work for a financial institution that was one of the sponsors in the Enron fiasco, American Mortgages, Lehman, and a few other incidents that all of us have come to recognize as the cause for the state of the present global economics. Job security is not something that I am concerned with and a certain risk margin, is something that I am willing to work with:). In regards to the English teaching jobs, at this point in time I would greatly appreciate any inside scoop that you would be willing to provide me with


24-10-2008, 20:07

I don't know what positions you are looking for, but if it is connected with marketing or something along the line, it is just wrong time for searching for a job, and I think you know why: the crisis. First of all they will reduce all kinds of managers. I think, though, that you should not give up the idea, but maybe to investigate the labor market properly, and then polish your CV once again.
Good luck

24-10-2008, 20:28
Headhunters is the place for lower paid, lower qualifies people and you probably indicated a high salary.
You should contact the Proper Headhunting Agencies, however not right now, but after the crisis subsides. Noone is hiring now in the financial sector... fullstop. However, I feel like you have a god chance mid/long-term to land a job here.
Good luck

07-11-2008, 02:20
TGP and Albertina thank you very much for taking the time to write back...
This recession has turned out to be a bigger inconvenience than once thought :happymad:...

Thank you very much for the best wishes.

10-11-2008, 10:45
It's true about the labor market here. Most employers are re-writing 2009 plans, trying to read the tea leaves about future trends in the market, expecting higher costs for imported goods due to a declining Ruble and hoping costs will come down (including labor) to off-set it. Hiring is slowing down or being delayed as a result. Head hunters have more CV's than previously received with many nervous managers looking for safer positions. A high number of finance and legal staff are hitting the market. Focus is on finding talent with Russia experience, located in the market to deal with a challenging economic environment (hopefully having this experience).

15-11-2008, 17:41
Hi, fellow Russian Canadian! I was in your shoes back in 2002 when I moved back to Moscow after living/working in financial sector in Canada for 7 yrs. Well, this is all about personal networking, not looking for at least your first job through headhunters in Moscow (very much the same as in Canada!). I joined Canadian Business Association in Moscow and after some time, I was able to land a job by getting to know very good people. However, this was not similar to the current environment. Not even close! I totally agree, it is not a good time to look for a job especially in the financial sector. May be next year:) Let's be optimistic!