Most importantly: Believe in yourself. You might think you are not the right fit for a job but things are different here. Most jobs are entry level and you just go from there learning by doing. I had a job as accounts receivable with no financial background in the past and was scared with the language and different accents that I would mess it up on the phone but it’s really not as bad.
Is the American Dream still alive? If you speak to many of the immigrants we spoke to, who came to this country with nothing but grit, resilience, and a dream, they will tell you that it certainly is still alive.
As a part of our series about immigrant success stories, I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Hurst, a German Immigrant who is living in California with her husband and daughter since 2016. In her free time, she loves to work on her blog and enjoy the outdoors with her family as well as cooking traditional German meals. Her Parents and Siblings still live in Germany and she has contact with them on a daily basis.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/dde61ec18680dc0526cf1551afb13d9d
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Hi, thank you for having me! I grew up in a pretty small town in Germany with two siblings and would say I had a overall very happy and safe childhood. We would always be outside until the lanterns came on for the night.
Was there a particular trigger point that made you emigrate to the US? Can you tell us the story?
Yes, It’s all my husband’s fault, haha. He was stationed in the army in Germany and we met while going to a club with friends. I knew he had to go back to the states at some point and it was a all in or all out situation: Either you marry and follow or you call it quits and say bye — unless you want to try a long-distance relationship.
Can you tell us the story of how you came to the USA? What was that experience like?
My Husband went back to get everything situated while I waited for my Visa. The whole process was nerve-wrecking and very stressful with lots of waiting in between the Visa steps, packing up your whole life in a suitcase and some boxes and hard to say goodbye to family and friends when you don’t even know when you will see them again.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped make the move more manageable? Can you share a story?
Not a particular person but my friends and family overall have been very supportive even know I basically left them behind.
So how are things going today?
Great! We started out in a tiny apartment with roommates and got to buy our own house in 2019 and started our family together.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I started my educational website to share my personal experience of becoming a mom and the struggles of parenting with other moms and pregnant women as well as fact based articles about struggles we all face as parents. I do believe that makes a impact in some peoples life.
You have first hand experience with the US immigration system. If you had the power, which three things would you suggest to improve the system?
Oh boy, I always cringe when I read people talking about the illegal immigrants should just “get in line” or do it the right way without educating themselves beforehand. It is NOT easy to migrate if you do not fulfill the requirements for any of the existing visa categories and I wish people would learn a but more about the whole system.
My top three to change would probably be: 1. Make it easier for people on a non-immigrant visa to obtain a green card or citizenship, 2. Work on the requirements for some visa categories so you have more legal instead of illegal immigrants because they have a way to “do it right” and 3. Make the process more affordable — many visas are very costly and have to be renewed with renewal fees and naturalization is also very costly.
Can you share “5 keys to achieving the American dream” that others can learn from you? Please share a story or example for each.
- Most importantly: Believe in yourself. You might think you are not the right fit for a job but things are different here. Most jobs are entry level and you just go from there learning by doing. I had a job as accounts receivable with no financial background in the past and was scared with the language and different accents that I would mess it up on the phone but it’s really not as bad.
- Always have savings. I think it is absolutely necessary to have a savings account or money stashed away at home. Things can go south real quick and you are on your own if you can’t pay your rent unless you are on low income to be able to receive benefits.
- Try not to compare. The United States are very different to where you may come from and it’s only gonna make you unhappy if you constantly try to compare what’s better and what’s worse than your country.
- Networking! Networking is huge in the states and a good way to maybe find your dream job if you know the right person. Especially if you want to start your own business networking is vital for success.
- Keep a good credit score. The whole concept of having a credit score was new to me when I came here but a great credit score can open you many doors and get you great conditions on credit cards and loans compared to people with low credit scores. To maintain a good one: Choose wisely what credit cards you get, don’t use more than 10% of your limit and always pay them off on time. These tips where given to me when I got here and made a huge impact to get to where I am now.
We know that the US needs improvement. But are there 3 things that make you optimistic about the US’s future?
That’s a difficult one. I think if we would finally elect a younger person with fresh ideas and maybe even a third party candidate things could really change for the better here.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I think it would be incredibly inspiring to have breakfast with Alicia Keys. She is such a strong and empowering women and a great role model for young women all over the world.
What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?
My website allaboutbabyblog.com — you can also find all my social networks there 🙂
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Thank you so much for the opportunity, it was a lot of fun!