Pam stepped off a plane in America for the first time knowing nothing about what moving to a new country would have in store for her. Newly married and following a man she barely knew, this was a difficult transition. Enter mistreatment and abuse. With no friends or family around, who could save her? The courage to leave and be self-sufficient seemed like a long shot. Yet, after months of uncertainty and despair, Pam found the strength to seek a better life.
Pam sought out shelter housing from a Bay Area nonprofit that offers assistance to women transitioning out of tumultuous marriage situations. But nothing comes without a deadline. After just a few months, she would have to be making her own income, paying for housing, and restore normalcy to her life. Pam was referred to Move Up to begin her job search immediately and achieve economic independence within time.
With a Bachelors degree in Business Administration, accounting certification, and over 6 years of work experience under her belt, Pam was perfectly qualified. Yet it is astounding how many employers will reject a resume based on a person’s name or the fact that they took a break in their career. Pam came to us insecure about her achievements and pessimistic that US employers would even consider her for an interview. Our process began with changing that attitude.
We demonstrated to Pam that she had an amazing breadth of business accounting experience, one that would theoretically qualify her to enter at a manager level. While the US job market can be hard to navigate without personal connections, its often just about getting your foot in the door with an encouraging employer. Initially, Pam saw this as an impossible hurdle and told us she just wanted to take the first job that came her way.
Together, we developed a resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile that would showcase Pam’s self-starter attitude and English speaking skills. After walking through many accounting positions that Pam could start in and submitting a few job applications, a spark lighted within her. With confidence and eagerness to learn, she independently secured her work permit, Social Security Number, and enrolled in community college classes to further her studies. Pam was determined to make her experience count for something in the US and still maintain her dream of getting an MBA.
We discussed typical interview questions and responses, how to build confidence, and conducted live mock interviews to prepare her for what happens after the click to submit a resume. Pam amazed us with her sophistication and determination to be the put on the best front for the positions she applied for -- she began to understand her skills and became proud to share them.
While interviewing for her dream job, Pam worked tirelessly as a caretaker so that she could make immediate income, but all the while conducted phone interviews, passed her community college exams, and finally secured an accounting job just after her deadline to move out of the shelter. After months of uncertainty, Pam accomplished something 100% on her own will. Today, Pam has moved into her own apartment, is thriving in her accounting job, and determined to get her MBA soon.
How can you help? Do you have experience in navigating the job market and succeeding in the workplace? Sign up to be a mentor today and start making impact in the lives of others.
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