The Dangerous Victim Mentality of Immigrant Professionals

I’ve seen it time and time again—a smart, educated, and hardworking immigrant professional keeps himself from finding the job that he wants.

Not because he doesn’t have enough education—far from it, most of the time he is overqualified because he has a PhD, whereas his American counterpart doesn’t.

Not because he doesn’t have enough skills—sometimes they are far more experienced in their native countries.

It’s because they aren’t able to succeed because they’ve experienced some amount of discrimination and decided never to get back up again.

Here are 3 of the victim mentality cycles to watch out for so you are succeeding as much as you can without being held back by your own self-sabotages:

1. Being The First Generation Martyr

I came to the U.S. back in 2000, and I definitely understand the challenges of being a first generation immigrant.

However, this can go too far when you let it become an excuse rather than your motivator.

When I first came to the US, I didn’t know how to speak English and I was tossed in a Catholic school where I was the only immigrant in the entire school.

Instead of thinking that there was no way for me to learn English without an accent, I buckled down extra hard and within two years I was in honors classes.

As a first generation immigrant, there will definitely be sacrifices, but there is no need to turn yourself into a martyr and always complain about how bad you have it or make people around you feel bad — the beginning is always the most difficult, and you may have to sacrifice your time and sleep to make money, but at the same time you can use this experience to help build you up so you can be a hero instead of a martyr.

2. Confirming the Worst

There were times in my life where I thought because I was Chinese and a woman, I would never be able to do things that a white American could.

No more.

Yes, all people who look different might have to go through a period of time where they are singled out for being different, but sometimes many let that one negative experience color their entire existence.

Yes we are different, and yes, we all experience bad days, but there’s no point in letting the worst ruin your life.

It can be difficult and it can take a lot of forgiveness, but you must always remember that you are in control of how you react to the situation no matter how ridiculous it is.

Remember that the winners were not the ones who were handed the most easy life but those who dealt with it the best.

3. Not Expanding Their Network

One of the most important things you can do to accelerate your career, business, life, and relationships is to build a strong network.

Many immigrants come to the US with a strong network with their ethnic communities, but don’t do enough to connect outside of it.

Many of my career coaching clients started taking off once they were able to make the right connections.

Many of them initially were too embarrassed because of their accent and lack of experience.

But guess what? Once they started connecting with more Americans and people who could either hire or refer them, they got many more interviews and got hired.

It’s important for all of us to develop the right connections and that’s why I created a group called Successful Immigrants so that all ambitious professionals who dared to leave behind their home for a new future could have a place to network.

Hope you got something out of the 3 victim mentalities that many immigrant professionals are trapped into and hope to see you soaring as a victor in your own life!



p.s.: want to join a group of ambitious immigrant professionals in the US? Join the Successful Immigrants Facebook group here

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