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UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Old Oct 26th 2012, 3:04 pm
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Default UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

My husband is a UKC, and I am a USC. We have sent off his I-130 application and hope to move to the States next year.

He's feeling understandably concerned about going over with no job, and I just wonder what other UK citizens' experiences have been in this regard. One of the main issues he faces is the lack of a degree. He has completed his GCSEs and A levels, though. He currently works in IT support, with a total of about three years working in IT (which, from the job adverts we've seen, doesn't seem to be enough experience in place of a degree).

We've got a few questions:

1. When did you move to the States?
2. Whereabouts in the States did you live?
3. How long did it take you to find a job?
4. What was the job?
5. Was the job what you were looking for, or was it just something to bring the bread home until you could find the job you wanted?
6. If your answer to the previous question was 'no', have you managed to find work more suited to your skills/desires?

Look forward to hearing from anyone who doesn't mind sharing. Please elaborate on any of the above! Those were the main questions I could think of that seemed relevant.

Cheers!
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

I too am moving to the US without a degree early next year, (GA, around 90 minutes NE of Atlanta) - I am going to take the relevant tests to gain a GED, at least thats a start and something to put on application forms.

I dont anticipate getting a job over and above a normal person in Walmart, at least to start. The US places a MUCH greater emphasis on formal education than the UK does in my limited experience. I could never do the job I do back here in the UK in the US without a formal degree in a relevant subject.

In the end, after fulfilling the residency requirement for GA financial aid, I am going to start a college degree part time - perhaps Law, I haven't made a decision yet.

Last edited by civilservant; Oct 26th 2012 at 3:40 pm.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

My husband came over on a k1 in Jan 2003. He had been a teacher for 10 years in England, but our state did not accept any foreign degree translations (at the time). It took him over a year to find a job. His first was a tutoring job at a small business. He then got a job in a call center. He has worked as a DMV license examiner and at the weekends at a theater for 6 years now. The economy is worse in our state than when he first came over. Currently, I am only in part-time retail and I have a Master's degree in psychology and over 10 years of experience working with disabled populations. I wish you and you husband success in your job search. We are located in the Charleston area of South Carolina.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
My husband is a UKC, and I am a USC.
When I started the immigration process, I was both a UK and Canadian citizen. My wife is the USC. I had a Bachelor degree when I moved.


When did you move to the States?
April, 1998.


Whereabouts in the States did you live?
Eastern Kentucky... still live in the same house almost 15 years later.


How long did it take you to find a job?
Ah... the $10 question. I was unemployed for 4 months after moving here. I ended up with a part-time job writing obituaries for the local newspaper on a Saturday split shift (came in at 7:00 am for the Saturday afternoon paper; and back again at 6:00 pm for the Sunday morning paper). I did this for almost 3 years.

A few months later, I got a job in the Education department of our local Federal prison - worked there for for 2.5 years. I stopped working at both jobs when I started working for Marshall University - where I still am after 11.5 years.

During those 3 years, I completed a Masters degree in IT Management. I'm currently 1/2 way through a PhD in Computing Technology in Education.


Was the job what you were looking for, or was it just something to bring the bread home until you could find the job you wanted?
Fortunately, my wife was (and remains) the major bread winner in the family. But it was nice to get up in the morning and have someplace to go and something to do... and get paid for it!


If your answer to the previous question was 'no', have you managed to find work more suited to your skills/desires?
Like your husband, I'm also in IT... and it wasn't until I started working at MU that I got a job in IT. In Canada, I had been a high school teacher for 13 years.

Ian
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
My husband is a UKC, and I am a USC. We have sent off his I-130 application and hope to move to the States next year.
Here's hoping it all goes smoothly for you!

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
He's feeling understandably concerned about going over with no job, and I just wonder what other UK citizens' experiences have been in this regard. One of the main issues he faces is the lack of a degree. He has completed his GCSEs and A levels, though. He currently works in IT support, with a total of about three years working in IT (which, from the job adverts we've seen, doesn't seem to be enough experience in place of a degree).
"IT support" is a broad term. Is this PC hardware support, applications support (more of an analyst), etc? Checking the career framework at my company your concerns are valid. Without a degree, and with only 3 years experience, anything other than an entry level job is likely to be a challenge. The process we use (and not of our own making, but a 'standard' methodology) is to equate 2 years of experience to a year of degree. So, we would ask for a Bachelor (4 year) degree or equivalent. That could be 8 years experience, or an Associate (2 year) degree plus 4 years of experience.

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
1. When did you move to the States?
June 2008

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
3. How long did it take you to find a job?
5 months. Although the first month or so wasn't spent really seriously looking for a job. And technically I found a job sooner than that but the bank that offered it got bought up before I could start. (2008 was a turbulent year!)

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
4. What was the job?
IT Project Manager

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
5. Was the job what you were looking for, or was it just something to bring the bread home until you could find the job you wanted?
Yes and yes. That is, it was in the right field and with a good company. I parlayed the job, with performance that proved capability, into a related but better role in the same company. As I mentioned above about an entry level job - if you can get that with the right company then prove yourself, that's often more fruitful than hanging on for the ideal job, especially when the economy is tough.

Hope something there helps!

Good luck.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Originally Posted by snufkinette;

1. When did you move to the States?
2. Whereabouts in the States did you live?
3. How long did it take you to find a job?
4. What was the job?
5. Was the job what you were looking for, or was it just something to bring the bread home until you could find the job you wanted?
6. If your answer to the previous question was 'no', have you managed to find work more suited to your skills/desires?
Moved over to Atlanta GA in April 2011 on K1 Visa so was unable to work when I first arrived, though I don't have to work I felt it would be good for me to get out of the house and meet more people etc. So once my AOS was approved and I got my green card I was applying for jobs. After 7 months of applying me and the TAS got pregnant so the job search has been put on hold while I grow a new person and probably for a while after mini-chog is born.

I the UK was a Personal Assistant working for Directors and CEO's with a background as a senior medical secretary. And no-one in Atlanta wanted to hire me to even do the photocopying and filing as a junior admin. I have a feeling that things will not be much improved by the time I go back to job-hunting. Looks like I will have to resign myself to being a stepford wife!

Hope your Hubby finds something soon
Lx

Last edited by Noorah101; Oct 26th 2012 at 7:26 pm. Reason: fixed quotes
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 9:31 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

I have some worries in this area, I'm also headed over on the K1 next year.

I/We have some good contacts and possibilities in the Sports Management industry

Firstly, I have some possibilities to do some volunteering after getting my EAD, which may help with contacts and getting more "ins", and volunteering is apparently important over there.

My biggest worry is my rather strange education. I only did 2 years of my BSc, and never did A-Levels. I have a Professional Diploma in Marketing (CIM), and a Certificate of Higher Education (Health & Social Care). By the time I move over I will also have a Postgraduate Certificate in Business & Facilities Management.

The latter is the first year (60 UK credits, 15 US credit worth) of an MBA in Facilities Management.

It seems the US doesn't really do Graduate Certificates, and it's a pretty rare qualification even in the UK.

One of my biggest concerns is nailing a job with my very unusual education.
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

I think the key to getting a job anywhere is hustling.

Get the connections, put yourself in the right places, and don't take "No" for an answer! Some luck helps too.

I guess that's cheesy, but finding a job anywhere is difficult at the moment. Especially if you don't have a degree (which I don't). I dropped out of school at 16.

I run my own online business so I'm currently looking in to how best to setup a new LLC in America. (If anybody has suggestions on that for immigrants, I'd love to hear them!)
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Old Oct 26th 2012, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Originally Posted by Martin88 View Post
I run my own online business so I'm currently looking in to how best to setup a new LLC in America. (If anybody has suggestions on that for immigrants, I'd love to hear them!)
This is one area where you probably won't have any difficulties because of being an immigrant. The process to set up an LLC is the same for immigrants and USCs.

Rene
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Old Oct 27th 2012, 3:42 am
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
1. When did you move to the States?
October 2010.

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
2. Whereabouts in the States did you live?
Ohio.

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
3. How long did it take you to find a job?
I actually started looking before I even left the UK - by using sites like LinkedIn I connected with the local IT Industry and asked about the state of the job market and made a number of contacts before I arrived.

Once I had arrived and got work authorisation, it took a total of a week to start a new job via one of those contacts.

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
4. What was the job?
Data Center Operator/Network Operations

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
5. Was the job what you were looking for, or was it just something to bring the bread home until you could find the job you wanted?
Absolutely the post I was looking for - I was also going to be happy with an IT Helpdesk role if I had to take a step back in my career, since I likewise have for degree (though do have a number of years more experience).

The best advice I can give is to start networking now - the more you know now in advance (openings and people) the easier it should be to slot into place.
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Old Oct 27th 2012, 9:48 am
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Wow, a really interesting array of responses. Thanks, everyone. You've given us plenty to think about. I wonder how much of one's success is to do with location. I'd love to live in a small town, but this would probably necessitate a commute. That's modern life, though, right?

Incidentally, I am a teacher, but on 'maternity leave', i.e. with no job to go back to, with a soon to be six-week old baby! My husband and I would love it if I could continue to stay at home with our daughter once over in the States, but if he does end up working as a shop assistant or similar, we probably couldn't afford that. Anyway, I would hope to be able to secure a teaching job; II understand that I'd need to get licensed to teach in the relevant state (having done a PGCE and taught only in England) and also that there is a significant dearth of teaching jobs in many areas.

Civilservant and BubbleChog: going to Georgia and already there, respectively! That's where I grew up! In Hampton, which is in Henry County and near to Jonesboro. We've considered moving to Georgia, as I still have family there, but have shied away due to warnings from several Georgians that jobs are scarce. Too bad, considering the affordability of houses there at the moment! Also, the husband doesn't fancy dealing with Atlanta traffic.

BubbleChog, how do you like Atlanta? Coping all right with the sticky summers?

Civilservant, I am envious if you will be north GA mountains! Beautiful. Why there, may I ask? Would you advise that my husband get a GED, even if only for job seeking? (Unlike you, he probably won't be completing any higher education.)

Thanks again.
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Old Oct 27th 2012, 9:58 am
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

I'm not a UKC but my first job was as a shoeshine boy at my next door neighbors barber shop. I was about twelve. I seem to remember it lasted about 4 weeks(Saturdays)
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Old Oct 27th 2012, 10:07 am
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
Civilservant, I am envious if you will be north GA mountains! Beautiful. Why there, may I ask? Would you advise that my husband get a GED, even if only for job seeking? (Unlike you, he probably won't be completing any higher education.)

Thanks again.
Not quite the mountains (Commerce, GA) but close enough to be able to visit That's where my wife currently lives and is employed, so makes sense to move there!

I do think it's wise yes, simply because putting GCSEs and A Levels on an application is likely to illicit a quizzical expression on most employers faces.... At least if you present something they know it overcomes that barrier. As I am sure we are all aware people are more likely to choose the path of least resistance, so familiarity is a good thing.

Also the tests are administered for free, at least in GA. I have read plenty to suggest that they are significantly easier than the current UK GCSEs, so with some brushing up on alegbra I am hoping to be able to pass with a good score without too much extra work.
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Old Oct 27th 2012, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Originally Posted by snufkinette View Post
I understand that I'd need to get licensed to teach in the relevant state (having done a PGCE and taught only in England) and also that there is a significant dearth of teaching jobs in many areas.
You'll likely need to pass PRAXIS. I'm not aware of any state that allows you to teach full-time without a Bachelor's degree or equivalent. Also, be aware that to get a permanent contract, you'll probably need a Master's degree.


Would you advise that my husband get a GED, even if only for job seeking?
Yes - if for no other reason than to make it easier for an employer to verify the credentials. I spent 3 years working with adult students who were doing GED upgrading - it's not a difficult set of exams, but he'll need to be versed, somewhat, in US spelling and the like - things that are specific to the US.


... he probably won't be completing any higher education.
If he has any smarts at all, he should consider a 2-year Associate degree at one of your local colleges - either after he gets a GED, or based on his current qualifications. It'll take him much farther than a GED will, and most ADs can be applied towards a Bachelors degree... so it's not just a waste of 2 years!

Ian - an unapologetic champion of lifelong learning!
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Old Oct 27th 2012, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: UKCs: What was your first job stateside?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
You'll likely need to pass PRAXIS. I'm not aware of any state that allows you to teach full-time without a Bachelor's degree or equivalent. Also, be aware that to get a permanent contract, you'll probably need a Master's degree.



Yes - if for no other reason than to make it easier for an employer to verify the credentials. I spent 3 years working with adult students who were doing GED upgrading - it's not a difficult set of exams, but he'll need to be versed, somewhat, in US spelling and the like - things that are specific to the US.



If he has any smarts at all, he should consider a 2-year Associate degree at one of your local colleges - either after he gets a GED, or based on his current qualifications. It'll take him much farther than a GED will, and most ADs can be applied towards a Bachelors degree... so it's not just a waste of 2 years!

Ian - an unapologetic champion of lifelong learning!
Ian, interesting. I have a strange set of qualifications - GCSEs, Cert of Higher Education, Prof Diploma in Marketing and now a Postgraduate Certificate in Business and Facilities Management.

My intention is to convert that to a Masters either in the US (do you think that the fact I have no Bachelors will prove an issue in that regard?), or by a distance learning masters from the UK?

Is it still worth also doing the GED?

Is there any other qualifications one should consider?
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