Developing a Network for Immigrants

Tatiana Sorokina - a Russian woman discovers the way of building a successful career in USA

Tatiana SorokinaMy journey westwards started 9 years ago when I graduated from

Kaluga State Pedagogical University with a BA in Foreign Languages and Teaching and left Russia to go to study for my MBA in Hungary. Then I moved to UK for work and, finally, about 3 years ago I relocated to the U.S. As it happens to many women my last move was due to family circumstances – my husband had a job in Chicago, IL.

Through all my relocation experience I learnt one thing: there is no formal support structure for people like me, who try to start a new life in a foreign country. Once you are out there you are pretty much on your own. I was very lucky because when I moved to Chicago I worked with a career consultant and she taught me that, in fact, in the U.S. there is a lot of help available you just need to find it.

This is a great country for women career-wise, especially if you want to start your own business. There are a lot of organizations, associations, groups and clubs that help and support women entrepreneurs and otherwise professional women. So I started collecting information about all these resources, primarily for myself. However when I realized how many people go through the same ordeal as I do and what a wealth of information I already gathered I decided I had to share this information with everybody.

This is how I wrote my reference guide, The Legal Alien’s Guide. Building a Career and Life in Chicago, Illinois This is a comprehensive practical guide where anyone can find necessary information depending on one’s gender (there is a chapter in the book just for women but the whole guide was written with both women and men in mind), ethnicity, nationality, location, professional background, age, etc. Basically, you can find resources in my Guide specifically tailored for your needs whether you are looking for a job, trying to start and grow your own business or just want to find friends in the community.

The main idea behind the Guide is that in the U.S. everything is done through networking – a process of making contacts and building relationships with people who are likely to refer you or your business. Numbers speak louder than words: 70% of all jobs in America are found through networking according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics. There are numerous networking organizations, groups and clubs, which you can join depending on your goals. “The Legal Alien’s Guide” not only lists these organizations it also teaches networking. In addition I organize seminars where people can learn networking and practice it as well (you can find more information about my seminars on my website).

Many of you may think that Chicago is lucky because it now has a guide for immigrants but what about the rest of the country? Well, in my Guide I give Chicago as an example however, about 75% of all organizations I mention in the book operate nationwide and networking principles I talk about are universal. I also plan to up-date the Guide on a regular basis and hope to create similar guide for other major American cities in the future.

The Legal Alien's Guide can be ordered through major retailers: Amazon.com, Borders, etc. as well as on my website in paperback and hardcover format. If you want to buy it as an ebook, it can only be obtained via my website.

On the photo: Tatiana Sorokina with the host of "Chicago Tonight" TV Show, Phil Ponce, on WTTW Channel 11.

Adjusting to a new country:

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