People who have been forced to leave their country and start over in the United States have often had many difficult experiences and may be separated from family and friends. They may want or need time to heal, recover, and adjust to their new community. However, most people must find a job quickly to pay their bills.  


If you are new to the United States, you might face a range of challenges when looking for a job, including: 

  • Searching for a job in a new and unfamiliar language 
  • Finding a job can take many weeks or months. You may have to apply for many jobs and experience rejection when you do not get one
  • Your previous work experience might not match the type of jobs that are available in the U.S. 
  • Your training and certifications are not accepted
  • Worry about what type of job you can get, how you will get to work, and who will take care of your children while you are working 


It is common for people to experience a wide range of emotions when looking for work, like sadness, fear, worry, and frustration.  To help stay emotionally healthy while looking for work, it can be helpful to: 


  • Get support finding a job. When you have someone helping you find a job, you can feel more supported and less alone. Most resettlement agencies have programs to help newcomers find work in the U.S. or develop skills to help them find work. If you need support connecting to resources, you can contact the Virtual Resettlement Line (VRL) by calling +1 (212) 551-3010 or emailing  
  • Set realistic goals. Often, the first job you will have in the U.S. will be entry-level, especially if you are not fluent in English. This can be more emotionally difficult for people with certain degrees, work experience, or qualifications. It can be helpful to remember that having a job and doing well at this job will lead to better work opportunities in the future. 
  • Have a routine. Create a regular schedule to look for work. This should be at least a few hours daily, Monday through Friday. During this time, you can work on your resume, meet with your job counselor, practice English, or fill out applications online.  
  • Be patient. It can take months to get a job in the U.S., and you may have to apply for many jobs before you get one.  
  • Pay attention to your thoughts. Negative thoughts, such as telling yourself you will never get a job or that you are a failure, will make the job search harder. Remind yourself of other areas of life where you feel successful or things you have done in the past that show you are capable.   
  • Take care of yourself. Looking for work is stressful, and you will need to take care of yourself during this time to be able to stay mentally and physically healthy. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, drink water, and exercise. Also, take time to be with family and friends and to do things you enjoy, like singing, cooking, dancing, drawing, and reading.  


Finding a job in a new country takes time and can be difficult. Accepting this and taking steps to manage the stress of looking for work can help you be more successful while remaining emotionally well.