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5 Critical Questions for Immigrant Professionals

June 02, 20233 min read

“No matter who you are or what you look like, how you started off, or how and who you love, America is a place where you can write your own destiny.” - Brack Obama

If you are an Immigrant professional, or related to one, or just friends with one, we can all agree that the journey to success in a new country is often not rosy. The twists and turns of the immigrant journey can make or mar the future reality as we seek a greener pasture. Yet, the chances of success are higher with the right connection and information

With that said, here are 5 general questions and answers that may be relevant for every immigrant professionals! 👊

1. HOW CAN I BUILD A STRONG PROFESSIONAL NETWORK THAT CAN SUPPORT MY CAREER GROWTH?

 A. Plugging into the right professional network can unlock many opportunities for you as an #Immigrant Professional. Building a professional network can be achieved by attending industry events, joining professional associations, volunteering, participating in community organizations, utilizing online networking platforms, and reaching out to colleagues and mentors for guidance and support. Do not go on this journey alone! Many Immigrants like you have navigated the same issues and challenges that you face, and it is smart to leverage their experiences and insights to improve your chances of success.

2. HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS?

A. Clear communication is indispensable to properly showcase your intellectual talent. You can improve your language skills by enrolling in classes (e.g. in English as a Second Language (ESL), practicing conversation with native speakers, utilizing language learning apps and online resources, and immersing yourself in environments where you will be outside of your comfort zone (e.g. beyond socializing with only people from your Country).

3. HOW CAN I CONTINUE MY EDUCATION OR PURSUE HIGHER QUALIFICATIONS?

A: It’s often said that Immigrants have to work at least twice-as-hard to attain higher professional roles. As an Immigrant professional, you can continue your education by exploring education opportunities at community colleges, universities, and vocational training institutes. Scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs are often available to support graduate studies, especially in the STEM disciplines. You can simply start by reaching out to the Admissions department of the nearest University or Community College to you.

Bonus: You can have your foreign education and credentials recognized by Institutions in U.S. by contacting organizations such as the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), World Educational Services (WES) or state-specific credentialing agencies for evaluation and verification of your educational qualifications.

4. WHERE CAN I FIND LEGAL ASSISTANCE OR IMMIGRATION ADVICE?

A: You may need some professional guidance to make the best decision for yourself and your family, because the immigration process can be tricky and can have critical implications for your career prospects. It is often better to stay abreast of the latest rules and guidelines, and to successfully jump immigration hoops. For legal assistance or immigration advice, it's advisable to consult with qualified immigration attorneys. To avoid the pitfalls of finding a reliable Attorney, you should consider referrals from your circle or community (e.g. Immigrant Professionals Community)

5: WHAT FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP IMMIGRANTS MANAGE THEIR FINANCES?

A: As an Immigrant Professional, you can access financial resources through local credit unions, banks, and community organizations that offer financial literacy programs, affordable banking services, and assistance with credit building. Additionally, exploring government programs and grants for small businesses or education can provide significant leverage for you to jumpstart your goals.

FINAL NOTE

Remember, individual circumstances may vary, and seeking personalized advice from professionals and relevant organizations is essential for accurate and up-to-date information tailored to your specific situation.

Photo Credits: Kevin Delvecchio (Unsplash)

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