He checked his Gmail account again. There were a few more responses to his online resume submissions, basically acknowledging the receipt of the job applications and a promise that ‘your resume is on file for future openings’. He has been getting these meaningless replies for the last one year, since he arrived in USA.
Back home in India, everyone had told him that it was very easy to get an engineering job in America. “You can make lots of money in a few years”, His future father-in-law told him at the time of his engagement 3 years ago. A year after that, he was married to Anu.
He had big dream; after all, nobody dreams small. Once in US, he was greeted by his wife and her family and they welcome him into their home. His old classmates, now living within driving distance, came to visit him.
He was treated like a guest for many months. However, he soon realized, you cannot be a guest for too long. He had to figure out the next step – the job. With all the expenses and cost of living, he needed a job soon. His parents and siblings back home were already calling to check on him; to see when he might send them some money like every other NRI does.
He was very optimistic about his career in USA, so was the rest of his American family – his in-laws. Just like any typical Indian family, everybody was full of advice:
“You can easily find an Engineering job in your field.. no problem for a smart guy like you…”
“There is no shortage of work for Indian Engineers…this is just the fact…”
“You will find something – something good, very soon….”
After a few months, the tone of the advice changed:
“You just need to try a bit harder, maybe try something in lower pay scale to gain some experience…”
“Find a way to get your foot in the door…”
“My cousin started as a technician; now he is the director of engineering…but they are not hiring…”
“You cannot give up…We never give up…”
“You will find something – may be not that good but something… something good….”
The time went by; ‘something good’ was still illusive after a full year of job hunt. Anu was very understanding all along. She had told him that it would not be easy, but he never thought it would be a slow torture like that.
Then the pessimism kicked in… the justification from every side, from everyone:
“Economy is bad…it is not your fault”
“There are no good jobs in this economy…”
“May be you can try something part time…”
“Have you thought about trying something different?…”
“You can work at McDonald’s for now….”
“just start with something, it is ‘just a job’ after all!….”
Yes, there was no shortage of advice and guidance……. Continue reading