Discrimination experienced by a recent legal U.S resident
Thread poster: myst

English to Spanish
Apr 20, 2002

Dear Proz members,

I moved to the United States a few months ago for personal reasons. I have a degree in Translation and Interpretation and came here with hopes of finding a job doing the work I\'m trained in. While I know it is difficult sometimes finding work in this field, I have found it extremely difficult to find work in any field I have experience in. I worked as an administrative assistant and receptionist for a few years in my native country, but since moving here have had no success finding a job. I have sent out dozens and dozens of resumes to companies, small firms, and agencies locally and received no response. I have had only two interview offers since moving here, and from the look on each interviewer\'s face it was clear to me that they had no intention of hiring me despite having more than enough background to qualify me for the job. While both commented multiple times on my \"home land\" and had questions regarding such, neither seemed interested in my qualifications for the job. Both interviews ended without one mention of my degree or qualifications. \"We\'ll call you.\" Neither did. My level of English is excellent, although I do have an accent. I have the feeling that I am being discriminated against on account of being from a Spanish-speaking country. I have no proof of this, but it\'s quite obvious from my experience that this is the case. I am a permanent legal resident of the U.S. I\'d like to know if others who have emigrated from other countries have experienced a similar situation as I have. I am extremely qualified for the positions I am applying for, and I can think of no other basis for discrimination other than my ethnicity. I live in California, where mixed culture is quite common. If things are going to continue to be this way, I may look for a new place to live. Please let me know if you have had similar experiences. If you have advice on how to deal with this problem, please respond to my post.



ivw (X)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Dear "myst" Apr 24, 2002

I am a Hungarian translator and have lived in California for three years now. What I can tell you is a) I do not believe you are being discriminated, for any reason; b) I am convinced finding employment here in the US is extremely difficult -- this is a nation-wide trend but CA is one of the worst in this aspect --, irrespective of your profession; c) your language pair is one of the most popular combinations here but at the same time also the one spoken by (too?) many.

In brief, I can only suggest you don\'t give up hope too soon, keep looking, there might be the opportunity of your life awaiting out there, somewhere...

I don\'t believe anyone said starting a new life in a new country would be a piece of cake, but if you\'re patient, ready to make sacrifices, and believe in your values, you might just make your \"American Dream\" come true!

For which I am sending you my best wishes:



Ildiko V-Wentworth

ATA Associate

En > Hu / Hu > En

Translation / Editing / Proof-reading

Dublin, California

P.S. It would be a good start -- if you take this \'self-marketing\' seriously -- to show at least your real name, language pair, previous experience, etc. - i.e. ANY information about yourself - on your ProZ profile...

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-05-03 02:40 ]


Bertha S. Deffenbaugh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
I don't think you are being discriminated Apr 25, 2002

I do think there is much more to getting a job than qualifications. In other words, qualifications are not enough. You have to be *liked* you have to convince them that you, as a person, have something to offer that they need. If this does not happen, no qualifications are going to be of any help.

Were you feeling confident and happy? Did you talk too much about your qualifications as if these were the only thing you had to offer? What else did you talk about? Anything? Personally, if I had to hire someone who talked and talked about her/his qualifications, I would think that there is not much he/she can offer.

Believe in yourself and others will believe in you too!

Good luck! icon_wink.gif


SusyZ  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:08
food for thought... May 3, 2002

Agree with both Bertha and IVW. Personality, assertiveness and how you handle yourself in an interview is extremely important. I worked in the recruiting field for a couple of years and before credentials I would always consider the applicant\'s personality when selecting the candidate. If you feel you have handled yourself in a positive, professional and assertive manner, you learned enough about the company prior to your interview and still think you were discriminated... may I suggest you consider living in other states where is hard to find a truly qualified interpreter/translator or administrative bilingual person(i.e., Michigan). Good luck in your search!


Jean-Luc Dumont  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:08
English to French
+ ...
finding a job has never been so hard in California Sep 2, 2002

Hello Myst

I agree completely with Ildiko\'s comments.

Findind a job in California, generally speaking, dare I say the SF bay area in particular, has never been so hard. Since the dot-com bubble burst and the undeniable economic recession that followed, thouans and thousands of extremely qualified people have been looking for a job. Some for more than six months when it used to take one month max to find a new job.

I think you are more likely of victim of the competition from all the very qualified people who apply for any possible job than a victim of discrimination.

Of course, this is not saying that discrimination does not exist. It is a fact that some managers may prefer hiring someone without a foreign accent, depending on the position and field. but as you said very well Caifornia is so cosmopolitan that in any company or field you find people with foreign accents icon_smile.gif.

I also agree with Bertha and Suzy, except the fact that I would not go to Michigan icon_smile.gif. Seriously, keep trying and don\'t give up.

Maybe reading a book or tips on the Internet regarding interwing skills and job search can help.

I dont think it is anything personal - Everybody has a hard time find a job now in California. Be patient, if you can, it will get better.



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