Finally got a job offer!

One week after the interview, I was offered the job!

So happy!
I feel bad. I have neglected posting in here for a while, but in all fairness, I have been dealing with stress and depression trying to find jobs, job leads, and just continued to send job applications like crazy. But it finally happened – I was offered a job!

My application was done late February or early March (i can’t even remember because it was that long ago for me), and after a month of applying to it, I figured I didn’t have a shot. When I finally got an email invitation for an interview, I was certainly surprised that I heard back from them two months after I applied. (And then I realized with all the interviews I previously got, the average waiting time for me from application to interview invitation was 2 months.)

I believe all the failed interviews I’ve had, preparation, and really pushing my confidence out of its teeny tiny shell helped me in presenting myself during that interview. Upwardly Global has been a huge help, and their training videos definitely assisted me in preparing for the job interview. Additionally, they will assign you an adviser who will call you from time to time, review your resume and basically help out an immigrant who’s having a hard time presenting themselves as a job seeker in the US job market. (I’ll review my experience with Upwardly Global probably in my next blog post.) Besides that, my husband and I also attended a career resume-building workshop and, again continued to find job leads.

The interview went for an hour, where they asked their typical questions, I showed my genuine interest of working with them (as I have worked in an educational institution back in the Philippines too and enjoyed it), showed them a previous video work sample, made them laugh, and asked them questions as well. It was an interview I really did enjoy. What made me think that I wouldn’t get the job was that my previous job experience and what they are looking for aren’t exactly a match, but the basics are both the same. It was a week of waiting and li’l ol’ me was getting pessimistic about the whole thing again and my husband was very understanding and loving and we never stopped praying.

I cried when I heard the words when they called Monday morning. As much as I didn’t want to make myself feel like my work gives me a status or provides me a safety net, being unemployed really felt like I was lower than low. And with something positive to look forward to now, I can’t wait to start saving up, move out, find an apartment (my in-laws have been so understanding and patient with us for letting us live with them since I immigrated) and help my husband with his project and get his novel published, and of course, visit my family in the Philippines in a couple of years or so. We also plan to move out closer to my work place, because it just won’t work with my husband (I still am trying to learn how to drive, or at least be confident enough on the road) driving me to and fro from his parent’s house to work for 40 minutes. I’m looking forward to apartment hunting now!

I’m excited, and scared; scared of starting a job in less than two weeks and I feel like I won’t be able to function properly because of my nervousness. I’m excited as well, because finally, my husband and I can finally start a new path.

 

Getting job searching assistance in the US through Upwardly Global

Restarting job huting by going back to basics with Upwardly Global

I have probably applied to fifty jobs (I want to say I’m exaggerating, but right now it does feel like I’ve sent my resume that many times) but so far I’ve only gotten two interviews (both of which didn’t get me the job), and most of them are denied job applications, which makes me believe I’m doing something wrong. And so a few days ago, I have decided to reach out to Upwardly Global and sent them my application on March 16.

Upwardly Global is an organization aiming to help immigrants in the US to rebuild the careers they had before immigrating to the US. Their website was easy enough to navigate, and the help and assistance they provide is free. According to their website, Upwardly Global provides service to the immigrant job seeker, saying:

“Our Job Seeker Services Program prepares educated and skilled immigrants, refugees, and asylees to overcome the numerous barriers to professional employment.”

They don’t just accept any immigrant for their program. They do have requirements for the job seeker who wish to get assistance from their organization. Upwardly Global has three offices locations: Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Of course, with them being located so far away from where I live (Missouri), I had to figure out if they provide online services as well. Turns out, they do.

I figured there was no harm in trying, and after reading that it’s free, I’ll be gaining more information on insight as an immigrant trying to not just find a job but find a career I will enjoy. And so earlier today, I received a phone call from Upwardly Global and they just asked me a few questions about what my career and job expertise was back home, as well as providing information about their organization. Additionally, you would have an adviser to help you out with their workshops, and provide assistance as well with providing you a bridge between you, future employers, and networking with them. This organization is not an agency; they will not offer nor offer you a job. As they have said in their website:

“We do not guarantee job placement. What we can guarantee is that after you complete the training, you will have a professional portfolio consisting of a resume and cover letter, a growing connection with professionals in your field, and improved interview and networking skills. Your success in finding a job will depend on your motivation and determination.”

After providing and exchanging details and questions and answers, I was emailed with a link for a Professional Assessment, followed by a online presentation of Resume Writing here in the US and after listening to it intently and absorbing all the information. At the end of the lesson, I revised the resume using the information I learned (as well as the resume template they provided – which I don’t want to put online) and realized just how different my previous resume looked compared to my newly revised one.

I intentionally blurred it to protect my information, and to make sure anyone with a bad intention of using my personal information won't be able to use it

I intentionally blurred it to protect my information, and to make sure anyone with a bad intention of using my personal information won’t be able to use it

What I learned from the Resume Writing Lesson they provided is that with my non-US job experiences, the employers won’t be able to relate to it and so I needed to provided additional information. However, I did remove my internship details and college activities. I decided to do that because my internship didn’t really relate to any of my previous experiences, and with me being no longer a recent graduate, my college activities don’t really matter that much anymore.

I will be giving updates regarding my lessons with Upwardly Global and review the lessons, services they provide, and if the program helps me out in the future when it comes to finding my career. I do know it’s not just Upwardly Global who bring me to my goal. I, myself, would have to be serious and keep my end of the bargain by doing what is required of me and participating and doing their suggestions and tips, in the hopes that at the end of this all ,I’ll find my place in the industry I love in the US.

The real 90-day fiance stories

The 90-day fiance show of TLC was full of drama, but the real story isn’t half as bad as what the show portrays

90 Day Fiance

Undergoing the K1 visa process, the same process that the 90-day Fiance show of TLC released, I had the intention of seeing at least one episode (despite the overly-dramatized scenarios on the previews and trailers). I wanted to watch couples who got through the journey that I was in, how annoying the process got (which basically was the whole drama for my husband and I back then), how scary it was to be in a new place and feeling out of place, and how good it finally felt to be together. Out of all the couples they have featured (and after watching two shows), the only couple I kinda “fan-girl”ed on was Kirlyam and Allan (well, mostly Kirlyam because I find her pretty).

Erika, a friend I met at the VisaJourney forms, shared the same sentiments, albeit a little more outraged and I understood why. The show, which we assumed would shed light into the process and show the rest of the world that not all K1 fiances are mail-order brides or gold diggers or cold-hearted partners who only want green cards. There may be cases of those things happening, but that doesn’t mean it applies to the rest of us. I invite you to follow Erika’s blog, Life as Mrs. Presson, and read on her future posts of her amazing idea of interviewing other couples who went through the K1 process. It’ll provide additional information, and it will be interesting to see how other couples did their journey. My husband and I have been invited to partake in this, and would love it if you guys support the whole idea behind it.

Jobless, and dealing with feeling down

Not landing the job, unemployed for so many months, and dealing with mild depression

After being so hyped up with my last job interview, I was really just saddened and dismayed that I didn’t get the job. I haven’t been officially diagnosed with depression, but for anyone who has been unemployed for a long period of time (seven months since I immigrated, but been officially job hunting for four months since I got my green card) it feels like there’s nothing really anything else that will save you from that deep, dark feeling of feeling worthless.

Unemployed? Fight the idleness.

With so much time in my hands, it would make sense that you I should just keep being busy and fight the sad depressing feeling of unworthiness. That’s the most logical thing to do, right? The saying “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” rings so true, with the devil tinkering with you with depression and hopelessness. I’ve been through it, and I’m just tired of crying. And so for two days now, I’ve been trying to be productive: cooking, promoting my husband’s project, job hunting, chatting with my best friend from half a world away. I will admit, there are still the idle moments where I want to just stop whatever I’m doing and just think why I didn’t get the job I fell in love with. But I need to keep telling myself that I can’t keep wallowing in such things. If you’re stuck in the same rut as I am, no matter what it is, make your mind work, be productive, and do something you can be proud of which won’t make you think you’re worthless. Especially if you are an immigrant like me as well and finding it hard to find jobs, and finding it difficult to network. Find a hobby and develop some skills. It’s always best to tell your future interviewer that despite your unemployed months, you were able to learn something new and be pro-active with a hobby or project.

Right now, I’m considering getting the help of UpwardlyGlobal, which will offer free training to help you get your start in the world of ‘Murica… I mean, America. I am alos giving myself a goal of trying to promote my husband’s project and it helps me think of ways on how I could market it for free and attract people in liking or supporting it. I won’t stop job hunting (and my husband’s looking for a job as well since he resigned from his seasonal job due to bronchitis), but like you, I am waiting for that break as well.

Recipe: Chicken Katsudon

Recipe for Chicken Katsudon

I am new to cooking, and I have realized I have enjoyed it. Being an immigrant and (still) jobless, I needed to do something that actually keeps my mind away from all the worrying and the job hunting, and cooking does that for me.

I have been craving for Chicken Katsudon for about a week and decided to cook some. I know most people use pork for their katsudon, but since I’m not much of a pork fan, I want mine with chicken. Do note it’s not the original japanese recipe, and I had to find substitutes for some of the ingredients, and this is what I have used for my own version of Chicken katsudon. This recipe is good for one serving of Chicken Katsudon. This is also my first time posting a recipe so… go easy on me lol.

Chicken Katsudon

Ingredients for Chicken Katsudon

For coating:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup regular bread crumbs (in substitute for japanese panko)
  • 1/2 egg, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable oil, for pan frying
  • a pinch of salt and pepper

For sauce:

  • 1/6 cup water
  • 3 tsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tsp white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Onion, half rings (as few or as many as desired)
  • small carrot, (julienned) for garnish/topping
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • white rice

Steps:

*For a pack of chicken breasts (which has two halves), I only use half of it which is good for two to three servings, depending on how thick you want your chicken fillet. Cut it horizontally to get your desired thickness.

  1. Pound chicken (optional) and then season with salt and pepper. While waiting for oil to heat up in a pan, dredge chicken in flour, dip in egg, and the cover with breadcrumbs and pan-fry it. Make sure both sides are cooked and golden brown. (I chose not to deep fry. I fried the chicken in medium-high heat)
  2. Slice chicken into strips and set aside and start working on sauce.
  3. In a bowl, mix the water, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Make sure sugar is dissolved in the mix.
  4. In a pan, put a small amount of vegetable oil on low-medium heat and then when the pan’s heated up, put the sauce mixture into the pan, add the onions, and let it simmer for two minutes.
  5. Put the chicken strips in the sauce and let it simmer and cook for a minute or two.
  6. Pour the lightly beaten egg on top of the chicken strips and cover the pan again and let it simmer. At this time, you could choose to finish cooking. However, I for one want the egg cooked. So I flip the egg-covered chicken strips and make sure that the egg is cooked a little bit more so I let it simmer for 30 seconds to a minute.
  7. Put your rice in a bowl, making sure there’s enough space to put the chicken on. Top the rice with the chicken and the sauce (there wouldn’t be much sauce left in my recipe because it is absorbed by the chicken and mixed into the egg as well). Put carrot as garnish or topping and serve.

It’s pretty easy for a beginner cook like me and my husband and father-in-law loved it when I served it for lunch a couple of days ago. I hope you enjoy it too!

*If you want more sauce, just double the amount of ingredients for the sauce.

Skills Test after a Job Interview

Additional phases after the first interview, before getting a chance for a second interview

Practice Exam Phase of a Job Interview

I know not a lot of job interviews have a practice exam phase – or at least in my case, a video practice exam phase. As I have stated before, I have applied for a video editor position three/four weeks ago and right now, I’m in that practice phase where they want to test my skills. For a while I thought I did pretty well. I was trying not to do this but, I was already falling in love with the company and the job itself, which I know I shouldn’t since that just keeps my hopes up. I still have a 50-50 chance of getting (or not getting) the job and out of the four job interviews I have had since I got my Employment Authorization Card and Conditional Residency Card, this has been the closest I’ve been when it comes to landing a job.

Nerves are setting in and I already feel that dreaded sense of I-wished-I-had-done-an-effin-better-job. Like, I could have deleted that first sequence where all the videos were a mess. I should have deleted the grouped videos on my second sequence where it also looks like a mess.

It’s too late now, and here’s hoping I did well enough to pass their qualifications.

Job Interview – Planning an Outfit

Simple Job Interview outfit

Planning what to wear for an interview can be hard sometimes. You neither want to be too casual or under dressed, or too formal. I always have the same problems and with me wanting to work in an industry related to creativity and/or post production which doesn’t really revolve in a corporate attire kind of world (at least, the ones I have worked and applied to), it is hard for me to find the middle ground of too corporate or too casual.

What I wore for my recent job interview – easy, not too much, simple, yet professional.

Job Interview Outfit

I wish I could’ve taken a picture of myself wearing the outfit but, I just got so caught up with preparation and nerves that it just didn’t cross my mind. Some of these are not the accurate products I have, bu the closest I could find (the blazer, slacks, shoes, bag, accessories – same style but I couldn’t find the right design.) But this is what I wore and it did felt like it wasn’t too corporate but it still was professional enough for an interview. I kept my dragonfly earrings just because I don’t want to wear my big pearl earrings. I still want to give the impression that I like creative stuff, and it felt like the dragonfly earrings gave that impression – but in a good way.

I wanted the make up to be simple. I want to look flawless at least but not feel like I have so much gunk on my face that when my nerves kick in, my face will be drowning in running make up (which was what I felt last time). I cleansed, toned, and moisturized and then applied just a few make up and hair products.

Job Interview Make-up List

The make up and hair product I used:
– Maybelline Fit me Stick Foundation – 240 Golden Beige (love this ❤ )
– Avon Mineral Loose Powder
– Almay Intense i-color Shimmer-i Kit
– Covergirl Perfect Blend Pencil – Basic black
– Rimmel Extra WOW lash Mascara
– Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm
– Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Flat Iron Perfector Straightening Mist (loving this SO much)
– L'Oreal Paris Elseve Smooth Intense Anti-Frizz Serum

I’m not sure how much I really spent on this, because some of this products I already had with me when I immigrated. But I usually buy (at least for the make-up) really affordable ones because unemployment is limiting me with make-up options and I do believe thatthey did work well for me, despite being cheap compared to the favorite make up item brands.

I did hope my impression came out good. I made sure I cut my nails short and just put some clear top coat on it. If I was applying as a video editor, I don’t want them to think I’m putting too much effort into putting make up (in which case I only know basic steps) and long nails will just make it harder for me to edit anyways.

I have more job interview outfits I haven’t really worn them yet so I won’t be posting them for now. Let me know what you think. Too much? Too bland? Oh well, if I get another job interview, I will post the outfit and make up wore again and maybe you guys could give me some ideas and feedback.