Despite several years of hairstyling experience from India, Dhwani came to Canada with a very open mind. “I was young and knew that I loved working with hair but also knew that I had to be willing to try new things and maybe work in other areas to gain experience since I was coming from another country,” she says. Dhwani worked several jobs outside of her desired field but always knew she wanted to find a way to return to her calling for hairdressing, in her own words “Passion is the most important thing… For me, I actually don’t actually think I am built to do anything else, I just love hairstyling that much”
Like many newcomers, an obstacle Dhwani found to restarting her career was a lack of information about the process “It’s difficult for a person from an outside country, I didn’t want to have to start from the beginning. In fact, I didn’t start looking for a hairstyling job because I didn’t know that there was a way to recognize your previous experience without starting over.”
The licensing process
When Dhwani learned about IWC, she quickly learned that the first step to restarting her hairstyling career was starting the licensing application process to practice hairstyling in Canada — requiring approval to complete the test and then pass her examination. At IWC, Dhwani worked with our trades employment specialist to learn about the process and be ready to pass her test. Just a few months later, Dhwani was ready to start her career.
“Finding IWC was such a big help as were the many mentors I had including Bruno from Bruno’s Hair salon, all of this combined helped me land my first hairstyling job in Canada.”
Becoming an Assistant Salon Manager and Skilled Trades for Newcomers Advocate
Since getting her license, Dhwani quickly found her first job at Bruno’s hair salon, an exciting and celebratory occasion for her and her family. Taking advantage of the early pandemic’s effect of closing salons, Dhwani also found a perfect virtual teaching opportunity in 2020 — helping newcomers at IWC to learn about hairstyling. “I loved teaching a lot,” she says “When they learn, I am so happy. Especially when they reach out to tell me they passed their licensing test too, I can’t help but smile because I’ve been there.”
Since finishing her teaching/mentorship position at IWC, Dhwani has worked at First Choice Hairsalon where she was quickly promoted to her current position as Assistant Salon Manager. She has also spoken at the 2021 Skilled Trades Day for Newcomers (Hosted by SkilledAdvance Ontario) and is always looking for ways to spread her passion to other new Canadians.
To other newcomers interested in starting their career, Dhwani is always open to help — her advice? “Nobody’s perfect, cut yourself some slack, be proud of yourself and always be willing and open to ask people for help — that’s what got me where I am today!”
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