- Who do you use as references when everyone who can account for your strong work ethic is back in your home country (and let's face it, companies don't exactly prefer calling long distance or facing language barriers to verify your credentials!)
- How do you face the over qualified/under qualified conundrum without those references or locals who can account for you?
Now, I understand that not everyone has the time or the financial resources to be able to offer their time for free. While you are waiting those 3-4 months for your EAD to be approved however, you may find this a great time to give unpaid work experience a go and make some local contacts on the way. I will admit that during this time I got stuck into everything I could, both to network and to keep my boredom at bay. For me volunteering at my Church and with local charities gave me the boost of confidence I needed and let potential hirers know I was looking. I was very vocal about my immigration status and my looming job hunt and this paid of for me. I have actually gotten 2 (dream job!) interviews so far on the back of local volunteering and I know that my name has been circulating.
My advice for standing out whilst volunteering? Approach the people in charge, let them know your skills and offer them your help including in areas where you have trained. For me this meant doing some extra Admin work for a charity in my spare time. I never dreamed it would invoke a job interview 3 months down the line, but I was remembered and it did. Plus I got to hone my skills Stateside, added to my resume and gained another US referee! Be genuine and sincere with your time though, if you are serving with a charity do it because you are blessed with the time to spare and simply trust that your work ethic and your approachability will allow you to shine to those who need to see it!
I hate to say it but now is the time to be prepared to take work that is under your skill set. Sometimes relocation means starting again in our careers, as well as in our personal lives and although (thankfully!) this is not the case for everyone, for many it truly is. Take a step back and reassess your skills, your professional joys and your passions. This may be the time to take a leap into something new or to reignite your love for the profession you entered into.
Later on I will talk a bit about transferring University qualifications but until then best of luck to all you job hunters! Go get 'em!