Harsh reality set in rapidly as I finished my schooling. I got married in Hong Kong and my wife and I moved to Canada. Although I found fulfillment volunteering and providing assistance to those similar to my own situation, volunteering unfortunately did not pay the bills. Practicality quickly came to the forefront. How would I afford our basic necessities? As before, I narrowed down the most efficient course of action – to make friends and communicate more effectively, I needed to learn English; to not only put food in our belly but also pay our bills, I needed to work in food services. Comical as this may sound, as a new immigrant with no family support, food was a top priority.
I worked in a variety of part-time jobs to make ends meet- from marketing, insurance, interpreting, pizza delivery to dishwashing at restaurants. It wasn’t glamorous, but it accomplished putting food in our bellies and paying our bills. Eventually, it was food services that led me to my first managerial role at one of my go-to restaurants, McDonald’s. McDonald’s was a staple of the community and also our diet. I started in an entry level position and quickly worked my way up. Many fond memories were made here. Senior management took a liking to my ability to connect with both the customers and my fellow employees leading to my first big break – a manager position. This gave me my first taste of managing a team of employees and running a business. This created a hunger in me that no number of Big Macs could fill.