Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Professional Networking » Career Support for Immi ...
Career Support for Immigrant Workers

Career Support for Immigrant Workers

Hispanic/Latino immigrants to the US often find themselves locked into jobs well below their talents, even when they have proficiency in English. Discrimination may be one reason, but it's usually not the only one. Psychologists who have extensive experience with these issues say that immigrants need to recognize factors in their own thinking and behavior that may be holding them back.

Is It Whom You Know or What You Can Do?

According to Dr. Emma Matos, a bilingual family therapist originally from Venezuela who now practices in Brooklyn, one of those factors for many professionals is the myth Hispanics/Latinos tend to learn before they arrive: That the US is a meritocracy where whom you know is not as important as what you know and what you can do. Because of this misconception, immigrant job seekers who do not land jobs may interpret this as a personal rejection of their skills and experience, when the problem may just be that they lack the right kinds of contacts. Many immigrants are uncomfortable with networking, because they think of it negatively as amiguismo or cronyism. Immigrants may not be aware that a social network doesn't have to be built on exchanging favors. In the US, especially in a tight job market, it is important to know who has what opportunities, and building a social network is vital for anyone looking to better his economic position.

Migration Stress Adds to Job Stress

Migration is extremely unsettling, both because of the strangeness of the new setting and because of practical problems large and small, points out Argentinean-born psychologist Dr. Marta Aizenman, director of psychological services at Cook College at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The small ones build into major frustrations when you no longer have the old friends, colleagues and acquaintances to call on to tell you how to do things, or to help with a job referral, babysitting or getting your car fixed.

While migration is stressful for the person who comes with, or soon acquires, a job or a school fellowship, it tends to be harder yet for an accompanying spouse or other family member. The partner is isolated with no one to talk to in the strange environment, while the working partner is out in the world. Tensions at home then put further stress on the jobholder or job seeker.

When satisfying job opportunities fail to appear, newcomers either blame themselves or get angry at the society for excluding them. The frustrations add to the many other stresses of immigration. The effects on one's self-esteem can lead to angry outbursts against loved ones, self-destructive behavior and paralyzing depression.

Asking for Help

A common belief among some immigrants is that tension and depression -- perfectly ordinary consequences of migration and economic stress -- are moral weaknesses that must be hidden rather than confronted. "It's very common for immigrants to refuse to acknowledge psychological problems until they turn into physical ailments and they have to rush to the emergency room," says Matos. "The ER physician then treats the physical problem but never gets to the underlying cause of the stress."

Immigrants need to realize that their frustrations are not unusual and are not primarily their fault, emphasizes Matos. Building a new social network to replace the one that had grown naturally in the home country and offered social, psychological and career support, requires a campaign that takes time, effort and even courage. A person may have to work to become more assertive and overcome timidity in the face of unfamiliar customs and language.

To get help, check the public health service agencies in your area.

Latest Jobs

City of Fort Collins
Posted: 06/30/2015
Fort Collins, CO, 80522
Crown Lift Trucks
Posted: 06/30/2015
Hollister, CA, 95023
Blue Planet Solutions, Inc.
Posted: 06/30/2015
Stamford, CT
Heartland Automotive Services Inc
Posted: 06/30/2015
Seattle, WA
Dixon Advisory USA Inc
Posted: 06/30/2015
New York City, NY, 10005

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.12.0.54-303