Climbing a Foreign Career Ladder; Immigrants Challenged by Job Hunting

Published: Jul 23, 2007

In Peru, Ines Gonzalez-Lehman directed a 14-person marketing team at a high-tech firm. After marrying an American and immigrating legally to the U.S., she found herself making copies and answering phones at the bottom of the corporate ladder. The immigration reform bill that recently failed in the Senate would have increased the number of visas for highly educated workers. But there remain tens of thousands of skilled immigrants like Gonzalez-Lehman who are here and authorized to work but stuck in jobs where their experience is wasted. Learning how their industry works in the U.S., finding out about openings, talking up their assets in a way that appeals to an American employer — those steps, simple to someone educated in the U.S., can block the path between a newcomer and work she is well-trained to perform.

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