Moved to US and cannot find a decent job?

This is what happened to me so that it can be a lesson for someone else. I am originally from Russia, moved here at the age of 29 so I already had 2 college degrees from my home country. When I would submit resumes to different places, I would receive an answer: Sorry, you are overqualified for this position. In the US big organizations cannot pay you less than what your degree is regardless of the experience.

My very first job was with Google - Russian Ad Quality Rater from home, they post these jobs on google.com. I had a contract with them for 1 year, they valued my Russian language knowledge and my experience and level of education. You can always start there, if they have open positions with your language.

My second job was at H and R Block - they usually have tax courses in the Fall and if you are doing great there, they might hire you. That is what happened to me. BUT it is a temporary/seasonal job.

My third job was insurance, it's fairly easy to pass the insurance test - Home/Property/Life/Health and you can apply for a position in an insurance company, they have thousands of openings.

With all of these jobs I felt like I was highly underpaid for what I was bringing in as an employee, so I thought may be I need to get American education, an american degree and this could open doors to better organizations.

A BIG and VERY EXPENSIVE mistake!!!!

Once I got done with my Masters Degree in Management and applied for a management position (having management experience from Russia), they told me that now I was even MORE overqualified and they couldn't hire me.

BE CAREFUL!

I am glad that now I finally figured it out and there were 2 ways for me to start making money in US outside just having a job which I couldn't get (a decent paying one and not temporary) - to start my own business, which I tried but when I saw how much capital I needed I gave up. My second option is working great for me.

hi what was your second option?

Thank you guys for your interest. I chose the hardest way but it turned out to be the most rewarding one - helps me pay my student loans plus more lol. I became an independent sales representative, work for myself.

Congrats

I have almost similar problem. In 2007, I graduated with a 2 year US degree in Computer Network Design but could not get a job. I returned to college and graduated with another 4 year degree(Computer Information Technology) in 2011. After sending out over 500 resumes, I'm still looking for a job to this day. Based on my observation, hiring here is based not only on qualification but other factors  such as race, country of national origin and stereo type. You would definitely not have this hard time finding  a good job if you were born here. At least you got some job. I haven't worked with my degrees.

The fact is that there's a lot of jobs in this country but your chances of getting it easily depends on the factors I mentioned above. I have been making a living running a small limousine business of mine.

100% agree with you. Even though they try to be non-discriminating, they kind of are. It's sad because they are so many people who could contribute to the economy.

Yes they do! But they try to be "Politically Correct " about everything. They pretend like they don't. I forgot to add that a friend of mine who's also a foreigner got a Masters in Computer Science but could not find a job to this day. He got his degree more than half a decade ago. As at the moment he's studying for his PHD to increase his chances of finding a job. In my field there's a stereo type that the Indians are very good IT Geeks and so they face less discrimination in finding a job in my field. I happen not to be Indian and so I'm still searching.

So how long have you had your business?

Since 2013. By the way, are you still in the US? I have the impression that you left the US or am I wrong?

mrdrew :

Yes they do! But they try to be "Politically Correct " about everything. They pretend like they don't. I forgot to add that a friend of mine who's also a foreigner got a Masters in Computer Science but could not find a job to this day. He got his degree more than half a decade ago. As at the moment he's studying for his PHD to increase his chances of finding a job. In my field there's a stereo type that the Indians are very good IT Geeks and so they face less discrimination in finding a job in my field. I happen not to be Indian and so I'm still searching.

If your friend has a MSCS and can't find a job, either he isn't looking too hard, doesn't have recent experience in the field, or maybe has unreasonable expectations.  There's plenty of jobs available to be had.  Getting a PhD won't necessarily improve his chances, unless he wants to teach at a large university or get a funded research position, which he'll need to pay for that degree :)

Romaniac

How about hundreds of resume with not so high expectation?

I agree with Romaniac on this. I moved to the US in 1998 and worked for 6 different companies in the engineering fields ever since. I haven't faced any discrimination, the fact that I am foreign born and have a accent may even help (thinking of all these stories about US-born workers losing their jobs to foreign visas holders...) I don't even have a US diploma/degree (in these fields). Something else must be at play here.

Did you guys try head hunter agencies, applying to open positions on large companies websites and optimized your online networking/profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc...)?

mrdrew :

How about hundreds of resume with not so high expectation?

"not so high expectation" is pretty subjective and vague, so who knows what that's supposed to mean exactly :)  After sending "hundreds" of resumes with no results, one might question the quality of the resume. It likely needs to be revised.  Again, maybe qualifications are lacking, the cover page/letter is not well written (or missing) or some other factor is at play that's turning employers off.

When I got my Masters in Computer Science way back when (I have a Ph.D now), I had plenty of choices available to me.  Teaching in high schools/community colleges, government jobs, and firms of various sizes nationwide.  Also, I had headhunters contacting me regularly with opportunities via LinkedIn and Monster.com.  The only way I could claim to not be able to find a job is if I wanted way too much money, was unwilling to travel, or unwilling to learn a particular aspect of the job.  Fortunately, that was never the case.  However, I would say that having a well written resume is essential, along with how you present yourself and communicate.  Sure, it does help to have contacts; knowing people in an industry certainly can open doors to special opportunities.  I do know that according to recent labor statistics, there is a significant shortage of qualified people in the computer science/IT fields.  So again, if one has the qualifications, the jobs are there.

No, I am still in US. I live in MO.

aratliff :

No, I am still in US. I live in MO.

Please use the quote button so everyone can follow whose comment you are answering, or PM for side chat that is off topic  :thanks:

At certain point you will find a company which is owned from immigrant and will open a door for you. Also all sales positions will hire you to sale to people from your community. It is not easy, I know it very well!!!

Example: my son came from England with "cable installation" experience and some SISCO or how they call it certificate, Microsoft certificates. When was in England, I suggested that he should go and teach in Bulgarian language school at the embassy and create more connections. (his education from Bulgaria is preschool teacher-Bachelors) He did it. The results were perfect.

He came sponsored (green card) from me here, in Illinois, and I suggested same again. At first he didn't want, but staying at home was a lot more difficult, and he accepted finally. A company for alarm systems' installations also hired him (Polish owners).

For the New Year's Eve we went to a big party with people I know, and most of them professionals. So he met them, and few people from Bulgarian school, and few friends: all they recommended him to IT tech support company owned from a Bulgarian men.

Finally he found his way. I was happy, he was happy. He obtained few certificates there and worked 3 years total.

Now is working for a firm servicing varieties of clients in downtown Chicago, suburbs, and overseas.  The owner is from another closer to Bulgaria country.

I also had the idea for him to study, but he said, that certificates will do what he needs. End was right.

I see a quality my son also has: he can get  the max from an interview, and even more. If you don't have this in yourself, use an agency or independent recruiter.

I studied and spend 55k for a second degree. It helps me alot in my business, but didn't improve my opportunities to be hired. So, I use it in my business.

I am writing this story, because it is an example of the way this life is going. I hope it will be helpful. Giving to society (in general) always will give you a lot more back.

It's sad that you get all these qualifications e.g. Masters or PhDs but cannot get a decent well paid job. When I was desperate for a move to start a new life somewhere, I looked at job sites online like Indeed and research which place is hiring for my kind of profession. I also check out the type of visa available whilst waiting for my priority date to be current (Immigrant) Found several hospitals that are doing H1 visas for nurses then called each hospital's HR and inquired if they are currently hiring foreign nurses. Out of 16 hospitals I called, 2 have a positive response so I applied. Got my panel interview in June via Skype from the comforts of my bed😁 and got the job. By September, I had my visa interview with the US embassy in London and by November, I was in US celebrating thanksgiving with family and start a new chapter in my life. So persevere, be patient, hard work and never give up attitude will give you that opportunity to succeed.

romaniac :
aratliff :

No, I am still in US. I live in MO.

Please use the quote button so everyone can follow whose comment you are answering, or PM for side chat that is off topic  :thanks:

Thank you

The USA has many jobs to fill, but more of them are low-paying.  I had a wonderful 25 year career that paid well, but over 5 years ago, most companies were getting rid of their educated, higher paid and most experienced employees.  We were replaced by 20+ year olds with no degrees, no experience, and they were thrilled to be paid half of what we had been paid.  Management worked hard to figure out how to save money by having young inexperienced people working the desks.  We were all claim representatives for insurance companies or handling claims for large corporations, as employees of Third Party Administrators (TPA).  I handled all litigation.

Race and origin has nothing to do with it because it's all about money.  I am a blue eyed blonde who was born in the USA and some of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower.  Until the economy tanked, I was doing well.  Now I think I'm doing great if I find a job for $15 an hour.  This country values degrees in science, engineering, and specific IT jobs.  Resumes, cover letters, personal presentation, speech and writing with correct English wording, spelling and grammar are very important.  The USA is very over-populated so there are not enough jobs for everyone.  Only 1% of the people have money while most of us are in financial trouble of varying degrees.  Based on politics, the economy and crime, many of us are considering moving to other countries, so we have no idea why people want to move here FROM other countries!  Many are going back to their own countries if they will be safe there.

loool  , you are totally right

i'm going to study PhD in pharmacy this upcoming fall and i wasn't considering scholarships and financial aids cause i thought i'll be able to find a job easily and i'll be rich in an instant...  but thanks god there are people like you who share their stories and guide others ,,, because of that i applied and got a scholarship , this way, even if its a mistake, it won't cost me much .. thanks for sharing your story!

Thanks for this post. It's very enlightening.

Happy to see you're doing well.
I don't know what fields you had studied before moving to US but one thing I'm certan of is here, I'm American but prefer Rio de Janeiro,  in Northern California where Google, Ebay, and so many high tech companies have driven much of our State and National economies for so  long yet other parts of the country struggle I would recommend identifying where your area of expertise is most needed and live in such locations.
I'm from San Jose, largest city in Nor-Cal and center of silicon valley, and can say with confidence a tech degree will get you in the door and after the experience, will open more doors.
Management is always sought by companies as well and another aspect of this area is men to women ratio.
Many more men than women reside here and I've overheard on a few occasions my city referred to by young ladies as Man Jose.
If your experience at Google was positive you may want to reach out to them for full time, non contracted, career if you find yourself needing to change yet again.

And MrDrew? To begin in your chosen field you only need to be near Santa Clara county or in this area for a few years then perhaps work toward a position in a company that pays the wages here but allows you to work remotely.

My 11 years in Brasil owning my own business allowed me to meet great numbers of non Brazilians wanting what I had and all some needed was for me to explain how they, with technology, could continue current jobs but work online.

Of course all circumstances are difderent but an associate in Rio, an American, had a saying I'll never forget though quite simple;
If you want to catch fish then camp by the river!

I caught many.

Good luck all.

Thanks for posting this. You gave me a new perspective. Cheers and good luck with your career

Yes Aratliff,
                       I understand you, I was so lucky emigrating here in 1970 to Massachusetts, there was plenty of good paying work for ant nationality,  I have just entered my message and joined today. I do know from experience that as far as America is concerned, good paying jobs for regular people will never happen again, factories have closed, work has gone overseas and will never return. most people work a part time job, medical health coverage is bad, you have to claim poverty to get medical health for free. I don't know what state you live in but as you know California, New York, the big cities the rentals are expensive, and to find a apartment to share is dangerous, people do not seem to have morals anymore,
Best of luck anyway, what you have written is true, and hope your and my message will help some immigrant out there.

We are lucky to be here than in Europe, as you know is a mess. like our parents did in Europe or whatever country, cook your own food if possible, save a few pennies each week, that's the best we can do.

Est que vous parle français? You should try louisiana,to establish a business,if you suceed here you can suceed any where in thé world,best wishes,

aratliff :

This is what happened to me so that it can be a lesson for someone else. I am originally from Russia, moved here at the age of 29 so I already had 2 college degrees from my home country. When I would submit resumes to different places, I would receive an answer: Sorry, you are overqualified for this position. In the US big organizations cannot pay you less than what your degree is regardless of the experience.

*snip*

Just a tag thought to add to this thread, based only on my own observations:

The Russian (and Serbian and Romanian and Ukrainian and Greek and Arab/Palestinian, Syrian/Antiochian, Egyptian/Coptic, Ethiopian) friends I've made here in Tennessee (and California and Missouri) were all encountered through activities at an Eastern Orthodox Christian Church.

This is NOT a religious post. I'm attempting to make a broad point:

Many immigrants (not just Christians) create a local network partly through establishing a parish/congregation/synagogue/gathering place rooted in the culture of their home land.

I've also noted that many younger immigrants don't necessarily share the same interests as their elders. The younger Russians I know are generally not as committed to the Mother Church as their parents and grandparents.

However, some have discovered that their elders are often well-established contacts who can be helpful in many aspects of expatriate life, including securing good employment.

I'm just saying that we should all at least be aware of our options in a new country.

Of course, no one wants to be a hypocrite and attend a religious organization for no other reason than to expand their business network.

However, those are the types of locations where fellow expatriates often do connect, and some great things often happen for the new expatriate when they cross paths with other expatriates who are already well-established here.

Again, just my opinion based on many personal observations.

As we say in America, "Your mileage may vary..." 😉

Gordie

Hello everyone

I decided to join this forum mostly because of this topic. I came to US at age 25 and it has been more than 25 years since my arrival. I was studying history ta university at my home country (Poland).

Some of you may be discourage by your experiences or may be lacking some knowledge how to go about certain things. You have to remember that in order to succeed you need marketable skills. You need to ask yourself question, how can I compete for the same position with people that were born over here and what would give that competitive edge. Many of you have degrees from your own country, but in reality these degrees do not translate well to US market. There are obvious reasons for that like outside degrees are simply not recognized over here or there might be a question of quality of teaching in these schools. That puts you right away in disadvantage. Friend of mine who decided to continue his post graduate education in US told me that he could not land a job interview and when he finally got one it was not a good experience. Personally I never had this issue. I graduated from a Baruch college in NY but during my studies I was also working part-time trying to gain as much experience as it is possible. I could say that these job experiences play major role when looking for a new job placement. I can also say that it is definitely better to get a Bachelor degree from US college or university than post-graduate degree. Potential employers are less biased towards candidates that went through the same US educational system and many of them graduated from the same schools. You do not need to shoot for Ivy League school, but instead try to minimize the cost of education with the objective of getting Bachelor degree. For many positions it is a minimum requirement to have that degree.

I will gladly answer your questions. Thanks

This is extremely depressing to hear. I thought that having a degree from overseas would be enough to land a job in america. I was obviously wrong. Any foreign lawyers found any work? Even non-lawyer jobs.. I was hoping I could obtain a job in some other field with my existing degree.

Allthingslegal :

This is extremely depressing to hear.  I thought that having a degree from overseas would be enough to land a job in america. I was obviously wrong. Any foreign lawyers found any work? Even non-lawyer jobs.. I was hoping I could obtain a job in some other field with my existing degree.

When tens of thousands new US college graduates every year having difficult time finding a job in their fields, what makes a degree from overseas enough to do the same?

Foreign lawyers will not be able to find work as lawyers in the US unless they pass the state bar exams, and even after they do, it doesn't mean they can work in every state either.  The new Uniform Bar Exam is accepted by 26 states and DC but rejected by the other 24 states.  Since each state has its own law, lawyers who want to practice in a certain state are taking the bar from that state even if it may be a more difficult exam than the ones given in other states.  Some states allow reciprocity, some don't.

Aside from the bar, some states require applicants to take separate course and test on specific state subjects.  In short, having a law degree from another country, even after years of working as a lawyers in another country, means nothing when it comes to finding a job in a law firm in the US.

I've read many posts on this forum from people with a law degree from oversea who think they would simply move to the US and get a job as a lawyer.  Here is the reality:  there are between 50K - 60K new lawyers admitted to the bar each year.  Adding that number to the 600K practicing lawyers who will not retire and vacate their positions until they're well into their 70s, I truly don't see your plan becomes fruition anytime soon. 

ETA:  If you think it's depressing, think of the majority of new lawyers in the US who carry an average of $150K in student loans and couldn't find a job that pays enough to cover his/her living expenses, thus they'll never be able to pay off those student debts.  Both of my children carry approximately $300K loans each (their law school is ranked in the top 3 in the US, hence the bigger cost), and even with their excellent income in the last 10 years, they haven't yet to make a decent dent in the loans.

That's exactly what I was thinking. I totally agree with you there.

I was thinking of sitting the bar in NY or California in 2019 (these are two I can do with my current qualifications).

I am doing some volunteer work remotely for a non-profit law centre in New York but not sure if that would be enough.

I wonder if any foreign lawyers have been successful in other obtaining non-lawyer jobs.

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