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  • May 4, 2015

A good job is a job, in any language - Dunwoody Crier: Our Columnists

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Farmer File A good job is a job, in any language

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Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 9:43 am | Updated: 9:50 am, Tue Aug 7, 2012.

This summer seems to have flown by, at least for people who have jobs they enjoy.  

Many others are out there looking for work, from entry level to the elusive career jobs from which so many people have been laid off.

We’ve been focusing on jobs lately, concentrating on bringing you some sage advice from people who have created fine careers from modest beginnings.  

Here’s another story of a woman who prefers to remain anonymous. I call her, as a compliment, Xena: Warrior Princess. 

“As a resident of Dunwoody, I’ve been reading your columns about jobs and began thinking about my career path as a young college graduate. It was during the height of the Reagan-era recession.

“I had a liberal arts college degree and studied Chinese for three years when I moved to Atlanta with no job and no car. I had to find a job I could walk to. I found two, greeting customers at Po-Folks and making burgers at Wendy’s.

“Then I got hired at a bank because I could speak Chinese and that led to a function hosted by the government of Taiwan. They hired me to work in their Atlanta office, again because I spoke the language. With that job, I could go to law school at night. I also had my first baby during my last year of law school.”

This sounds like the diary of an overachiever. It is, even though Xena’s path to success was overtaken by international events, primarily the Tian An Men Square incident in 1989.

“Because of that, there was a cooling off of interest in my Chinese language skills.  I had zero job offers. So, I started my own immigration law firm.”

Xena all along had wanted to be part of the U.S. Foreign Service, but to her great surprise she was never called up.

“So as I mentioned, I had to build a career from scratch. I found out 10 years later that I was not called up because I was a female, and that there had been a huge class action law suit about this.”

Her point is, “I ended up doing something very similar to my dream, which was working with foreign people, I am just doing it inbound, with foreigners coming here, instead of outbound. I was very grateful. And here’s another example of how wonderful it can be to have a foreign language credential.

“During the 1996 Olympics here in Atlanta, I was a volunteer driver for the Chinese Olympic team.” 

I asked for her advice to up and coming job/career seekers.

“Study a strategic foreign language such as Chinese, or, for males, Arabic and Farsi. Russian also.

“Work hard and, like Monica said, be professional in all jobs.  Volunteer in the field you want whenever you cannot find a job in that field, because connections are worth their weight in gold.

“One more thing. Working with immigrants as I do is a constant reminder that the American dream is very alive and well, but still takes hard work, diligence and initiative.”

If you have a story to tell that might help job seekers in the community, I invite you to share them with me for possible sharing with our readers. 

Email me at don@donfarmer.com. Thanks.

© 2015 Dunwoody Crier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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