Mohammad’s Story

Despite not having Canadian experience, Mohammad was able to secure meaningful employment a few months after arriving to Canada. This is his story; 

Afghanistan location on Google Maps

“My name is Mohammad Hamed Ataee, and my journey from Afghanistan to Canada started on June 28th, 2022. 

I’ll never forget the warm welcome I received from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, who greeted me with those heartwarming words, “Welcome to Canada, your new home.” It was a moment that filled my heart with hope and excitement for what lay ahead. 

For the first month, I stayed at a hotel that provided shelter to Afghan refugees while my documents were processed. As soon as I got the green light, I began my search for employment. It wasn’t easy, but a couple of months later, I found a job. Unfortunately, fate had different plans. I had to quit after just one month because I had to move far away, and the daily commute wasn’t feasible. 

Securing housing is one of the challenges I faced as a refugee; as soon as landlords discovered my refugee status, I either faced rejection or impossible requirements. It was frustrating to be asked for a guarantor and credit history, knowing that as a newcomer, meeting those demands was nearly impossible. 

The job hunt wasn’t less challenging. Even though I was eligible to work in Canada, employers seemed fixated on “Canadian experience.” It didn’t matter that I had skills and qualifications; it felt like an impossible barrier, making it tough to find my footing. 

Amidst the struggles, a glimmer of hope appeared in the form of a mentorship. Jumpstart Refugee Talent had matched me with a mentor who proved to be my guiding light. His support and kindness were immeasurable. He helped me prepare for interviews and shared valuable tips on negotiating for better salaries. 

Through it all, I discovered a new side of myself – my resourcefulness. Back in Afghanistan, making connections was crucial to landing a job, and I realized networking was just as important here. With newfound determination, I secured a position as a quality assurance analyst at a contract company, after some guidance from my mentor and without the need for prior Canadian experience. 

The biggest joy in my life came a few months after my arrival when my son was born. Being a father was beyond anything I could have imagined – it was truly an amazing experience. Canada has given me so much. I’ve had the chance to explore different places, interact with diverse cultures, and dream big. Now, I’m aiming to start my own company in the future, and I’m working diligently to make that dream a reality. 

Looking back on my journey, I am filled with gratitude for Canada. I feel fortunate and blessed to be in this land of opportunity. As I share my story, I hope others will see the potential in newcomers like me and give them a chance to shine. It’s incredible what untapped talent can bring to the table.” 

Listen to Mohammad’s story

For more information about Jumpstart’s Refugee Welcome Talent Canada Program, visit