I studied in Pakistan and completed my ACA exams there, then this year I decided to emigrate to Canada. I had to leave my wife and 2 small children behind in Pakistan, because I knew I needed to find a job and get financially secure before they could join me.

When I got my ICAEW membership last year, I received an email from CABA and thought it was great to know there was an organisation that would support me if I needed it, but at the time I didn’t need it, so I put it out of my mind.

When I got to Canada, I realised that my savings just weren’t enough to keep me going while I looked for work. I felt a lot of pressure because I’m the only person who earns in my family and I provide for everybody

I contacted CABA and they were so supportive. I was really impressed by how kind they were to me and how they asked me to explain my situation. They asked me to make a budget of everything I was spending. We then looked at it together and they offered me a monthly grant for a short period to help me look for a job. They also arranged for my career coaching, which meant a lot to me because the job market in Canada is very different to Pakistan and I needed a lot of help with my CV. For example, in Pakistan, most of the emphasis is on technical skills, and at the time, I did not have much idea as to how important soft skills would be in Canada. Having a career coach who understood the Canadian market and who was able to guide me in this way was incredible. We worked together over Skype and it proved to be very helpful in finding work.

CABA also helped me pay for my membership fees for the necessary Canadian institutions that I need in order to practice in Canada.

I couldn’t believe that there was an organisation that would help me to this degree. The job hunt went smoothly, and I started a job 3 months ago with a very well-respected firm. I’m extremely happy that I’m achieving everything I hoped for. Emigrating was a big risk, and without CABA I probably would have had to get an irrelevant job that would have taken all my energy just so I could survive. Instead, I’ve found opportunities to use my skills and training that I’d worked so hard for.

A few months’ help from CABA will improve my family’s lives for years to come. If I had suffered, my family would have suffered. Being the only earner is a huge responsibility and emigrating was a huge risk, but CABA helped me fulfil my potential.

How CABA can help

CABA supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please: