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September 5, 2006 > Upwardly mobile

Upwardly mobile

Services provided to help immigrants find jobs

by Upwardly Global

Salahuddin (not his real name) came to United States about 20 years ago from Pakistan, where he was working as a physician for years. However, after coming to the U.S. with his family, he could not gain entry in his profession. So he started driving a taxi, and after all this time, although he owns a house and has put his children through college, regrets not being able to stick to his hard earned profession, "If only I had someone help and guide me!" he muses with regret.

Luckily for Paola Mendoza from Colombia, the story was different. She scaled all the hurdles of immigration after her graduation from a business school in Spain, and came to the U.S. in 2001. She looked for a job in an area where there seemed to be opportunities, and used her network of friends and school alumni. Still nothing seemed to happen.

Then, one day in August 2002, a friend mentioned a nonprofit that helps college educated immigrants find jobs in their career field. Paula met Jane Leu, founder of Upwardly Global, and started in their program - taking workshops on writing her resume and interviewing the "American way." She was amazed, how different the presentations were from what she had been practicing.

Upwardly Global's network of employers included the California State Automobile Association (CSAA), and when an opening occurred in their Membership Services, Upwardly Global informed Paola. She went through the whole process and did very well in all the interviews, but someone else ended up getting the job.

However, when a suitable position opened up later in March 2003, Paola was on top of their list of candidates, as the recruiter Lisa Misasi recalls, "I immediately thought of Paola because she had done a great job keeping in touch with me. She had been checking our website, and contacted me right away."

Immigrants know the hard work, the amount of pavement pounding, investment in time and money that goes in to securing the authorization of entry to the U.S. - the dream of millions all over the world. Many U.S. natives may not know that it is considered a "heaven on earth," where the "streets are paved in gold" and the entry permit is worth killing for. So whenever there is an announcement of immigration lottery there are literally thousands of applications for each single space.

Little do most immigrants know that although this really is "a land of opportunity," there are definite paths and rules of which "outsiders" have no idea. It is not only experience, training and education that can launch the path to success.

Most of the time, professionals who come to the U.S. have been very successful in their own country, but because of the difference in the culture, practices and customs of the workplace it becomes almost impossible for them to find gainful employment. Those who did not receive an education in this country are totally unaware of the difference in the way their resume is presented or the nitty-gritty details of interviewing. A wrong presentation of the right facts can make a difference between getting a job and not getting it.

We offer help on all these areas such as networking. To qualify you have to be legally authorized to work in the U.S., have enough command of English to successfully interview and conduct job search, have a four-year college degree from your country of origin.

Jobseeker workshops cover job search strategies, interviewing, networking and surviving in the American workplace skills. Every jobseeker is helped with resume and cover letter writing, teaming up with a mentor in the same career field, opportunities to network and access to job leads. We also help with getting licensing, certification and evaluation of foreign credentials.

For more information, contact Upwardly Global at (415) 834-9901 or visit www.upwardlyglobal.org.


 
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