By: Giselle Ortega, Marketing Chair, ALPFA Boston Chapter
Editor’s Note: ALPFA Boston is the local chapter of the largest Latino professional network in the country. Its mission is to empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy. For more information visit: www.ALPFABoston.org
Many immigrants, especially from Latin American countries, bring with them a bachelor degree or higher that remains in their suitcase for years or sadly, forever. It is hard to find an opportunity to put your skills to work in a new market, at least for you and the forty-one plus million immigrants living in this country. However, we live in a global world, and your skills are transferable from one place to another; you just have to start building your global mindset.
Here are some tips to help you in the transition:
Improve your English skills:
If English is in your disadvantage, take Business English courses to advance your career in this language; benefit from the Internet listening to the news, watching conferences, and reading articles related to your background and interests.
Build your personal brand:
Learn more about yourself and your potential employers. See yourself as a product. I always think about my favorite brands and my similarities with them. I prefer those brands that display freshness, innovation, passion, and creativity. So I can describe myself as an innovative and creative professional with a passion for what I do.
Start working and practicing on your job interview skills.
YouTube is an excellent resource. You do not need to have a job interview lined up to start getting ready for one. Do your research about what employers are looking in a candidate and become familiar with your answers. The mirror is a great tool to start earning confidence in yourself. Practice your elevator pitch and always portray yourself with confidence and in a positive light.
Build your plan for success:
Be a change agent, think about how you can help your community while you put your skills and knowledge to work; employers like people that volunteer. Take your time to discover your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Use social media to promote your talent and stories of success, build recognition amongst your peers. Joining a non-profit organization such as ALPFA is a great way to meet new people and attend great networking events in your city.
Anyone coming to this country should fight for their dreams; the secret is to go big and take advantage of your skills. It does not matter what your career is, with some hard work and dedication, you can find a job you are proud of. Education is key, and there are many resources out there that can help you, but remember, do not forget who you are, be the best, and do not give up!
Perspectivas Profesionales is a new monthly section in El Mundo Boston featuring the leading Latino voices from the world of business and entrepreneurship. For more content like this click here. Puedes leer este artículo en español aquí
Giselle Ortega has an MBA from Northeastern University. She serves as the Marketing Chair for the ALPFA Boston Chapter and has a particular interest in helping skilled immigrants adapt to the U.S. labor market. You can email Giselle at email@example.com