Do you remember your first job? Maybe you delivered pizzas in high school, flipped burgers at McDonald’s or folded clothes at the Gap. Having no formal working skills yet, you probably fumbled your way through the interview process and the first days on the job. Now take that potentially awkward experience and imagine how difficult the process of getting a first job can be as a refugee in a new country.
One of the most challenging tasks that refugees face is finding employment. With little knowledge of where to look or how to go about applying for jobs, the process can seem overwhelming. But these new neighbors are eager to be self-sustaining and look for opportunities to establish themselves and their families as valued members of their new community.
Partnering with a local church, World Relief Boise recently led a job search workshop, specifically designed for high school students looking to understand more about potential opportunities in their community. They learned about U.S. work culture, employer expectations, how to look for a job, identifying skills and employment history, and had practice interviews.
Volunteers, including a Human Resources Specialist and General Manager from a local restaurant, spent the entire day working alongside refugees. Reflecting on the success of the day, one of the volunteers observed that, “this was beneficial not only for the refugees in attendance, but [also] for our company’s managers (who conduct most of the interviews for us) and would love to get [more] involved in the process as well.”
With the help of these employment workshops, refugees all across the United States have been placed in jobs, growing in independence and transitioning to life in America. Empowering these new neighbors with education about employment in their community provides a foundation for success for everyone involved.
Do you want to help refugees prepare for the job market in your community? To learn more about life-giving opportunities like this, contact a World Relief office near you.