My parents came to the United States in 2000. They could not go back to Laos because of their religion, so my parents were granted religious asylum in the U.S. They had no plan about how to live in the U.S., and their five children were still in Laos. In 2000, they had very little money and no permanent housing, so they slept with distant relatives from one month to the next. My parents didn’t have transportation and knew very little English.
Just like most of Daily Work’s job seekers, they needed employment to support themselves in the U.S. and their children back in Laos. With little English, my parents had to work two jobs each to meet their needs. The only jobs they could get required hard, physical work, paid low wages, and had no employee benefits. It wasn’t easy.
Four long years later, our family was finally reunited. Now that I was in the U.S., I had to work, too. My first job, while I was completing high school, was on an assembly line for $7 per hour. I got the job through a temporary agency, and I quit the job after two weeks because I hated that job. I told my parents I would NEVER work at that kind of place for the rest of my life. I can only imagine the sacrifices they made, working at jobs they didn’t like; to support themselves, me, and my siblings.
What might have been different if I had known about Daily Work?
First, Daily Work would have learned about who I am through their interview process. They would have met with me one-to-one, taking into account my privacy. They would have helped me prepare for a job opportunity suitable to my skills and my wishes. They also would have referred me to other places where I could learn English better and train for a future job that I would like.
At Daily Work, we meet everyone as they are. Daily Work case managers take time with each job seeker. We are not their superiors; we are their partners in the job search process. The case managers and the participants are a team to work together to get things done to help each job seeker achieve their goals.
After getting a job, my Daily Work case manager would have followed-up and checked with me to be certain that the job was good for me. We would have talked about my next steps or how I might be able to advance at this job. I could have participated in the Job Club, a bi-monthly meeting about search strategies, interview tips, networking with corporate representatives, and more where I would have learned from other Daily Work partners and case managers.
I wish that both I and my parents had known about Daily Work when we were first seeking employment in the U.S. If you know anyone who is struggling in their job search, and they need someone to help with it; I recommend that they should call Daily Work and they will get the help they need.