Father’s Day was celebrated several weeks ago and it made realize how little time I spend with my loved ones, especially my father. We all get very busy with our daily routines and it’s easy to run out of time to spend with the special people who really matter in our lives.
Last Sunday, I took a moment to hug my dad and tell him “Thank You. Thank you for working so hard and giving me a good life all those years. When I look back on my childhood, I feel nothing but gratitude and love.” My dad gave me smile and a big hug.
Being a father is not an easy role; in most cultures, males have a lot of expectations to meet. I can’t imagine all the struggles my father faced to get a job as a new immigrant from Mexico.
Daily Work Helps Support Families
As an intern at Daily Work, I see the value of having an organization like this to help job seekers who struggle in finding jobs. In the few weeks I have been working as case manager, I have met many job seekers who are fathers, struggling to support their families, just like my dad.
Unlike typical, entry level job seekers, fathers have to balance multiple roles, including child care, husband, and household provider. It can be hard for a father to work odd shifts or schedules that are not set. It’s even harder to support a family on entry level wages, but yet that’s the challenge many immigrant families are facing.
Immigrants also face other struggles when it comes to finding employment, such as language barriers, technology, and finding full time jobs.
Language is one of the most challenging struggles. For many refugees and immigrants just learning English, all their techniques, skills and experiences do not count, not because they do not how to do it, but just because they can’t speak English well enough to interview effectively.
Thanks to people like you, who support Daily Work with either time or financial support, we provide forums, like our Job Club, where job seekers are able to get peer support from other job seekers and get coaching from our staff and volunteers about interview questions, networking, and more. Everyone shares their job experiences and learns from one another.
Another struggle that is very common is technology. Older generations may not confident using computers or cell phones. Even simple things, such as having a voicemail properly set up to receive messages or browsing the Internet for available jobs can be very challenging for people without skills or access to computers.
At Daily Work, we help job seekers navigate those things and we teach them how to tailor their applications for the specific job they are seeking. We also coach job seekers to have effective communication skills when answering phone calls, give tips on how to use their email, and apply to legitimate jobs.
Part-time Jobs Are Hard to Find
Another challenge that is especially hard on fathers is the struggle to find full time jobs. According to CNN Money story posted online on May 16, “Part-time work has become a huge worry for experts who watch the U.S. economy. There are 6 million part-time workers who want full-time jobs. It's well above its pre-recession average of about 4 million workers.”
The majority of people who come to Daily Work are employed, but they are looking for a better or second or third job because they are struggling to make ends meet, either due to low wages or not enough hours.
As you may remember from our luncheon, it is extremely important for everyone, especially people with families, to have full-time, good paying jobs because we know that when families living in poverty can double their income, their children have exponentially better lives (see graphic to the right, courtesy of Children’s Defense Fund MN).
If you want to learn more about making a difference in the lives of our job seekers and their families, join us at Job Club, every Tuesday, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you soon!
By Adriana Hernandez Ramirez, Case Management Intern