How to find a good job in the USA: stories and advice of our people
America is a land of opportunity, and people from all over the world are eager to get into the country to build their careers. But in practice, finding a good job in America may not be so easy. ForumDaily collected several stories of our people about how they were looking for work, what difficulties they faced, and what it taught them.
Need to prepare for a long search
Many specialists from all over the world dream to get a job in an American startup, but it’s not so easy to realize this dream, even if you have serious experience working in one of the largest companies in the world behind your back. It was in such a situation that Inna Levinson found herself, who lived in China for 7 years before moving to New York, where she worked for the world-famous Alibaba company.
Inna to start looking for colleagues with whom she shared the common experience of living in China or ties with Russia. Communication in the “Chinese” direction was developing quite well - in the thematic Facebook groups, the girl managed to meet with the employees of American startups. Communication with former compatriots turned out to be more difficult, Inna says:
"Here I first (and so far once) came across an arrogantly condescending attitude of more“ experienced ”immigrants who sincerely wondered how I, having lived here without a year a week, climbed to work in decent companies - because you first need to suffer, the floors are there wash in rich families, then work as a waitress on the night shift, and only then, after suffering my emigrant happiness, get involved in decent companies and plow 10 there from the bottom, although most of my acquaintances still supported me. ”
While the work permit was issued, Inna worked intensively on networking, volunteered at Coursera, and even drove several Chinese tourist groups around New York. As a result, networking brought mostly friends, and the girl, after obtaining official permission, found a girl through the site. BuiltInNYC.
“I just sent out a resume and Cover Letters,” says Inna. - After several years in the field of e-commerce in China, I wanted to get into a technology company, where my contribution could really change something and influence decisions at the level of the entire company - it would be difficult to achieve this in a large corporation. Thus, the search narrowed down to small and medium-sized technology startups. ”
The job search process in an American startup turned out to be somewhat unexpected for Inna. In the United States, it may take several months from the time a resume is submitted to a formal job offer. According to Inna, in China a specialist can get a job offer on the day of the interview. Searches and interviews took a lot of time - Inna received a refusal from one of the companies after the third interview, which lasted for a week or more.
As a result, Inna received the position of director of customer support in the startup Neverware. This is a small company where 17 people worked at the time, but the process of hiring there was very serious. He included a phone screening, several email assignments, after which a personal interview with five employees of the company was scheduled.
“The interview took place for four hours, two of which I spoke with the project manager and the head of business development (in fact, two 26 guys for years),” says Inna. - After that, 40 talked to the future subordinate about the features of the work in technical support. After that, we and two other future colleagues went to the bar, where they talked about work and life behind the aperol - this is the so-called Cultural interview, which is important in order to understand whether you can become a full-fledged member of a small startup team. The next step was to check my recommendations - they called both Alibaba and the Russian company, whose branch I headed in Beijing. ”
Those who just came to America or just dream of moving to New York, Inna advises not to give up, not to listen to “well-wishers” who are sure that getting a good job right away is unrealistic - instead, it’s better to look for professional interest groups, to get acquainted with people of different nationalities who have already completed at least part of the quest for building a career in a new place.
This process will not be fast, it can take even a year, but if the goal is set, it can be achieved even in the stone jungles of New York, Inna is sure.
It is never too late to study
Vasily Sirejuk, who came with his family to the United States in 2011, did not manage to complete his medical education at home. At the time of the move, he was 21 years old and at first the young man had to do unskilled labor in order to earn a living. It was necessary to somehow start building a career - chance helped to return to the field of medicine. Vasily was advised to master the in-demand profession - Patient Care Technician.
His responsibilities include not only directly helping the patient (for example, he helps feed patients, bathe, transports a sick person from one ward to another, or for examinations, if one cannot move on his own), but also purely medical procedures: electrocardiogram, blood sampling, measurement of pressure and pulse.
There are many opportunities for such a specialist: he can work in almost any department of the hospital, in the emergency department, in nursing homes or in day care centers for the elderly. Payment starts at $ 20 per hour. In addition, working as a Patient Care Technician can be the first step towards a Registered Nurse education that guarantees a XNUMX% comfortable life - medical specialties are known to be among the highest paid in the United States.
Vasily naturally liked such prospects. Only one thing confused: he did not speak fluent English. Familiar nurse advised New York school Concord rusam. There, among many specialties, just prepare Patient Care Technician specialists, and bilingual teachers work at the school, who can explain incomprehensible material in Russian.
Since the school is focused not only on those who already have medical education obtained in their homeland, but also on people who have never had anything to do with medicine, the material here is taught in the most accessible form and will necessarily include serious practical training.
“Bilingual teachers tried to explain everything in English, but if necessary, they switched to Russian, and they also stayed with us after classes and explained difficult topics so that we could understand everything,” Vasily recalls his studies at Concord Rusam.
The National Exam for Patient Care Technician certification took place at the school itself. Vasily passed it without any problems and began to look for work in a new specialty. It didn't take long to search - like two-thirds of Concord Rusam graduates, he found a job over the next few months.
Vasily advises job seekers to be more confident in himself - it was this quality that helped him find a job. He had only the experience of volunteering in a medical office and practice in a nursing home, which was organized by the school, but despite this, he managed to convince the manager who conducted the interview to give him a chance.
“I was asked why I should get the job, because there are more experienced candidates. To this I replied that I would not be able to gain experience if no one took me to work, and also spoke about my desire for development and asked to give me a chance, ”says Vasily. He got the job. Now he is working in the emergency department and has set himself a new goal - to continue his studies and get a diploma of a nurse (Registered Nurse).
School contacts Concord rusam: 412 8th Ave, 4th Floor, New York, NY 1000, phones 212-619-2260.
Sophia Resnick, a professional biologist who has been living in the US since 1991, has come across the need for training to change her profession. During the years spent in the new country, she managed to build a successful career - Sofia was engaged in research in the field of biochemistry and statistical analysis, worked with a promising programming language SAS.
Everything was crossed out by a serious accident, after which Sophia could no longer work as before. “I used to travel a lot on business trips, once even worked under a contract in Switzerland, but after the accident I could not work in this mode,” says Sofia. “It was necessary either to draw up a pension, or to think about retraining, but I didn’t want to sit idle, so I decided to learn a new profession.”
Sofia passed a course on Quality Assurance at the New York Educational Center. IT Pass. “The teachers here do not just read the text at lectures, but they approach each student individually, depending on his previous experience, knowledge of the language and character of the person as a whole,” says Sofia. “The classes helped me quickly deal with a new business for me, and my previous experience in programming became a plus, so I ended up working under a contract in one of the US government departments.”
QA (Quality Assurance) specialists receive decent salaries in the USA - already at the start they can be offered 55-60 thousand dollars a year. And in fact, everyone can master this specialty - no previous work experience in the IT sphere is needed.
But knowledge of programming languages, especially for those who plan to work in an automated quality control system, is a definite plus.
For those who find themselves in a situation where, for some reason, they will need to change the scope of their activities, Sofia advises not to be afraid of difficulties and only believe in themselves. “Everything always depends on a person, no one will be able to master a new profession for you, but if you are willing to work hard and study hard, then IT Pass courses can be a very effective tool.”
On course IT Pass prepare experts in the field of manual (manual) and automated (automateda) quality control. Two lessons a week in 2-3 hours, only three weeks of classes, plus self-completed practical home classes — and a person can add a new specialty to their resume and look for a promising job.
In addition, for students who have already completed a basic course of automated testing and want to develop in a new profession further, the center IT Pass launched an in-depth course on test automation.
With it, experts with automated testing experience can master the Selenium systemwhich is used to test web applications. The course lasts for 12 weeks, students who have completed a basic course on automated testing at the IT Pass center receive a discount of $ 500.
“Passing this course almost doubles the future salary (from $ 55-60 thousand per year to $ 100 thousand and above) and multiples the chances of finding a new job,” said Alexander Rubinstein, founder of the IT Pass center. “There is a huge demand for test automation specialists on the market with the help of Selenium - to make sure it is available, it’s enough to drive that word into any job search service.”
In addition to classes for adults, the IT Pass Center from September 2017 of the year opens up a new direction - programming for children. On course IT Pass Junior With the help of special online designers, children create their own computer games, the behavior of the characters in which you can program. No boring software code - just exciting games with visual results.
“In the 21 century, programming is gradually becoming an essential skill - like the ability to read or write, studying it instils critical thinking, the ability to find solutions to problems, work in a team and analyze,” says Alexander Rubinstein. “Modern children still spend a lot of time at the computer, so let them not just play, but at the same time get a new skill that will help them learn more successfully in school and then get an excellent education and find a prestigious job.”
Contact Information Center IT Pass: 1117 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn NY 11235, phones: 929-269-5970 (courses for adults) 878-222-0848 (classes for children)
Finding a second job is easier than first.
Finding your first job in the USA can be very difficult. Anna Ivanova from Dallas calls her search for “nightmarish.” In Russia, the girl worked as a manager in retail, after the move, she wanted to work more with the data, for example, do bookkeeping. She considered only large companies as potential employers, and chose a familiar retail sphere as a “plan B”.
However, despite the fact that the girl graduated from a two-year college in America, the local education did not interest potential employers, as did the Russian engineering degree.
“In desperation, I even went to the store to work at the cashier,” says Anna. “They didn't even want to take me as an ordinary manager, despite the experience.”
The situation was resolved not without a share of luck - a week after Anna got a job as a cashier, she received an offer from Ericsson. The company was looking for a person to work with accounts payable (Accounts Payable).
As it turned out, in the US, the main thing that interests employers is local experience. According to Anna, when she was looking for her second job, the process was much easier - “just heaven and earth.”
“Those who want to find some kind of job for Russian speakers should include the word“ russian ”in their requests on job sites - this is how you can see in the search for vacancies that require knowledge of Russian,” advises Anna. “When I was looking for a second job, I found one of the offers, refused for my own reasons (I had to travel a lot, and I have a small child), but the scheme is quite working”.
When looking for a job, staff is important.
USA is a leading country in the field of high technologies. However, there is a “regional” specificity here, and it may be easier or more difficult to find a job of a certain type, depending on the state. This problem was faced by the system architect Anton Pestov. Before coming to America with his family almost three years ago, a young man lived in Moscow for several years and worked in his specialty. However, after moving to Florida to pursue a career was not so easy.
After posting a resume on popular job portals like Monster, Dice, filling out a profile on LinkedIn, getting to know Indeed and CraigsList, it turned out that the approach to hiring staff in the US is different from Russian.
“The peculiarity of America: everyone wants to talk to you in a voice, few people initially write to email or Skype,” says Anton. - And the problem is that 90% of calls were from Indians - this is a kind of HR IT mafia. Personally, I still don’t understand their broken English, but then it was just hard, and I tried to translate the conversation into text (email, Skype) as soon as possible. ”
In addition, it turned out that American companies are not eager to invite a specialist with no experience in the US and only recently received a work permit. Anton is sure that the fact that Florida is not an IT state has also affected, and there are not so many technology companies here:
“Some of the jobs were for US citizens only. Job offers at least a little reminiscent of my specialization, mainly on a contract from 3 to 12 months without any bonuses and benefits, with a rate per hour above the baseboard, were offered, probably, only in California, ”says Anton.
Work with recruitment agencies did not give special advantages. In Russia, IT professionals are usually easy to find work without the help of recruiters. However, on the recommendation of friends Anton decided to use the services of a recruitment agency from Miami, which specializes in technology.
“I barely found their website, there was only a telephone from the means of communication (strange for an IT-oriented agency),” says Anton. - Well, I called, was invited to the office, went, talked, it seems like it’s true in the IT topic, promised to call back if there was something for me. And they really called back. In six months ”.
At the same time, independent searches continued - Anton looked through the vacancies published on specialized sites, searched for suitable companies on LinkedIn and tried to contact them. This brought some fruit - telephone interviews, several interviews with the HR service in the office. As a result, one day the response to the vacancy on the Indeed website was successful.
The company-employer placed the vacancy, a specialist was called for an interview at the office, where instead of “HR girls with questions about who you see yourself through 159 years”, as Anton jokes, there were technical officers with whom you would have to work in the future. Following the interview, Anton was promised to call back in a month, they were contacted to discuss salaries and benefits, and a specialist went to work a month later.
Proper resume and self-presentation skills are half the success.
The job search in the US is different from what residents of the former USSR are used to. In addition to the duration of the employment process itself, American employers pay more attention to details. In particular, resumes are being seriously studied (CV) - and they expect that this document will be presented in their usual format.
Alla Pynzar, an IT-specialist living in Seattle, faced problems at the stage of submitting a resume - the girl made it based on what she encountered in Moldova. As a result, she received almost no feedback from employers.
“It turned out I was making it wrong,” says Alla. - When I complained to a more experienced friend, she radically rewrote my resume. American recruiters devote no more than 60 seconds to a resume, and therefore everything should be as concise as possible, with the keywords in the most prominent place, and most importantly - the applicant's achievements should be measured and described in detail. For example, in the course of project X implemented by technologies A, B, C, I designed and developed module K, which allowed to relieve the load on server L by 70%. Such breakthroughs and achievements should be indicated at least in half of the noted works, and the summary should not exceed one, maximum two pages (if the experience is more than 10 years) ”. After updating the CV, recruiters finally call.
“I didn’t know how to praise myself in every way, I didn’t understand how to present my life's hardships as winning situations,” explains Alla. - I was also very much helped by the "test" interviews that my friends from IT and strangers conducted for me - yes free website”, on which you will be interviewed, there are also many paid services, on which you will test the skills of answering both technical and general (behavioral) questions.”
It is worth going to the thematic professional meetings, job fairs and the so-called networking events - they can meet recruiters, ask for their advice, tell and get an invitation for an interview.
Also at such meetings there are other applicants, it is also useful to exchange a few words with them - to learn to talk about your professional experience, listen to what helped them, what other places to meet in your city. “Thanks to this approach, I managed to get the attention of a recruiter from Amazon, which was not possible either with the usual online resume submission, or even with the recommendation of a company employee,” says Alla.
How to look for work in the USA: 6 practical tips
Nonprofit experts Upwardly global, which helps immigrant professionals pursue a career in the US, also gave some tips to help you find a good job:
- It is important to make a good resume and learn how to "sell" yourself. - In America, self-presentation skills are very important, so a good resume and a rehearsed self-talk can help convince recruiters and company executives to give the candidate a chance. You can make sure that your resume matches the format accepted in the USA by using sites like OnetOnline.com.
- It is important to determine your "cost" - During the interviews the question of salary will arise, and it is better to know in advance what you can apply for. The site payscale.com allows you to understand how much the representatives of a particular profession earn in different cities and states.
- Internet needs to be used carefully - for example, you should not publish your resume on major job search sites. This will only lead to a wave of calls for recruiters offering irrelevant job opportunities. It is better to create a private profile and independently respond to interesting offers. Similarly, it is worthwhile to close your pages in social networks from public access - the future employer may want to view them, and it would be better for him not to see sharp opinions on political issues or photos from the beach.
- Networking is an important part of the job search process. In the process of looking for a job, it is worth exploring the sites of specialized associations, joining professional groups like Toastmasters, and do not neglect the study of events on MeetUp.com. Moreover, it is worth visiting not only those that are close to you by profession, but also those related to hobbies - nobody canceled the theory of six handshakes and, perhaps, a new acquaintance will help in finding a job.
- Need to prepare for a long search, after all, finding a job in the United States is not the easiest thing. It is especially difficult for newly arrived immigrants to find good jobs without local experience and education. But further career steps will be easier to take.
- Sometimes it is more effective to first get training and then look for a job. - Courses can help to get acquainted with the specifics of working in the USA and gain new skills, in addition, the “crust” of local educational institutions can be a plus in the eyes of recruiters who are studying resumes.
Material prepared in partnership with
Address: 412 8th Ave, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001,
Address: 1117 Brighton Beach Ave, Brooklyn NY 11235,
Phone: 929-269-5970 (courses for adults) 878-222-0848 (classes for children)
e-mail for children's programs: email@example.com
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