Red Responds: Volunteering in the Meantime

Anica in Phoenix writes:

I feel confused and sad. I emigrated to the United States five years ago, looking for a better life. To live in America is much better than in my native country. I am 58 years old, educated and I have had a hard time finding a job. I am volunteering at a hospital. Could I have a chance to be hired there after a while? Do you see an opportunity for me to find a job?

Dear Anica,


I’m glad that your career challenges haven’t entirely tainted your perception of America. She is a great country, even in the midst of these troubled times.


Your volunteer work is admirable, and very likely to open a door or two for you to find a position. There will be several opportunities for you at the hospital over the next six months, but you will have competition. Also, several of the upcoming jobs may be a bit beneath your education and experience, but I would say still worth your consideration, because of the paycheck.


You are very likeable, and that is going to be helpful. Network in the hospital when and where you can, making it known that you would like to transition from volunteer to employee. There are people around you who will put in a good word or two, and also alert you when an opening is going to become available before it is posted.


I do see that you will be working in the healthcare industry, but it is still a challenging path. Check with your state agencies to see what types of career placement assistance programs they have available. It is primarily your age that is working against you, but going through an agency may flip this challenge into an asset that can work for you. This may very well be the best avenue you have to become an employee of the hospital in which you currently volunteer, if this is somewhere you want to stay. Otherwise, you will find employment in state run or subsidized medical facility.


It is highly likely that you will initially be hired for a part-time position, but will earn the full-time job offer, which you are likely to accept. There is opportunity here for you, but you have to keep knocking on doors. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams, and your efforts will be met with success.


Good luck to you!
Ext. 9226

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