In a recent feature article in Stand Together, Employment Services Advisor Shoaib Sahiby shares his journey navigating the U.S. job market:
“In Afghanistan, Shoaib Sahiby had built a good life for himself and his family.
He had a BA in English, and had worked as a capacity building manager and senior administrative assistant.
Then came 2016. Conflicts in the area made it too dangerous to stay, and Sahiby and his family fled to the U.S., landing in Dallas. There, despite his qualifications, he struggled to find work. He expected, understandably, to find the same type of work he had done in Afghanistan. Instead, he couldn’t land an interview for even an entry-level job.
“I did everything I could to support my family,” says Sahiby. “For a year I was struggling. I was doing anything to not just make money but learn how the system works, to find my way up.”
Eventually, his relative helped him get an interview for a position as a receptionist at the hospital where she had a network.
Sahiby was hired on the spot. As he began work, he realized that it wasn’t a lack of qualifications that had been holding him back — it had been having a network, and understanding the language of the American job market, something few refugees have access to when arriving in the U.S.
While moving up from receptionist to office assistant to a senior level administrator, Sahiby was connected with Upwardly Global, a refugee employment support program partnering with Stand Together Trust. The coach he was paired with did more than just help him revamp his resume — ”she gave me all the morale, all the courage, all the motivation to help me become more motivated and find and do what I wanted to do. It was more than a coach for me.”
Today, Sahiby works as a job coach for Upwardly Global, helping to eliminate barriers to refugee employment. In bringing their skills into the U.S. economy, he and his colleagues aren’t just helping the migrants — they’re also benefiting the American workforce as a whole.”
Get involved with Upwardly Global’s volunteer program.