imigrante

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.

 

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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.

Being an immigrant and not knowing how to drive

Being an immigrant and not knowing how to drive

Immigrant learning how to drive  – can I even pass the permit test?

The first few weeks of coming to the US had been the scariest and most awesome moments of my life. Now that I’ve been here for about five months and with most of my documents already approved from my K1 Visa process to my Adjustment of Status application (Employment Authorization being one of them), I need to start to actually fit into their world and learn how to drive. And it sucks when you’re an immigrant and from a country where driving is considered more of a luxury than a necessity. I have always relied on public transportation, never knowing I would one day be emigrating from the Philippines.

Now that I’m here and now realizing how much driving is important here, I’ve been trying to review the Missouri Driver’s Guide. But reading all those texts just bores me out. I needed something interactive. Which is why I googled sample driving tests online, and I found a site where I actually enjoy taking the sample tests that helps me gain knowledge about driving and review what i already know.

The website is Driving-Tests.Org It’s easy enough to navigate. Just select your state, and select the kind of sample exams you want to try and there you go!

And having both the booklet and those sample exams, I feel pretty confident than in a couple of days (or weeks, depending on how my nerves are) I could take the permit exams and finally practice with my husband’s car as along I have someone accompanying me.