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Eric & Idalia

Advice about job offer from current employer

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Hi,

I will travel to Santa Fe, NM on Aug 8. My current employer in Mexico has a company in USA that is used just for business with other US companies. It doesn't have any employees. They have offered me to work for them as an independent contractor for $20 USD per hour and I have to pay taxes from that amount of money.

I am worried about moving to USA and looking for jobs. I have saving but I also am in debt. I am a Software Engineer with 7 years of experience in a bunch of tools. I was specialized in .NET but I have been working with different tools during the last 2 years I have worked in this company.

I feel overwhelmed with all the changes, and I want your opinion about if it's a good idea to accept this job. I am reading the contract and it seems they can terminate it at any time but I can't. It's a six-month contract. I will have to pay my own insurance.

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Will you be living in Santa Fe? Does your spouse have a home/job in Santa Fe?

I can tell you that the State of NM puts out job postings for positions with the skills you have from time to time, but it will take time to land such a job. One requirement for a state job is residency and usually they require a drivers license to establish proof of that residency. If you are interested in working for the state, the six month contract job that you're talking about might be a good starter job while applying for other more long-term positions, whether it's with the state or some other organization.

By the way, you should know that the US job industry has gone through a lot of changes since the financial crash of 2008. Even normal (non-contract) job offers are offered, at will, by the largest employers. In other words, they will terminate your job at any time without cause and without any explanatory reason. Some employers still offer health insurance but many don't. Basically, large employers are treating employees the same as contract employers. There is very little difference.

Good luck!


Marriage: 2014-02-23
CR1 started : 2014-06-06
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13
ROC started : 2017-04-14 - CSC

ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

N400 started: 2018-04-24

N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 - Santa Fe

 

April 2017 I-751 Filers Spreadsheet

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t335PrkwxPk7sRryv02NH3vrWHy0vlkBxjmPy5VYJO8/edit#gid=0

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20 bucks/hr as a software developer is low.

Are you coming in on a TN/1 visa, or something else ? If'n yer coming in on an immigrant spousal visa, then maybe this is a good 'first job' in the USA, even as a software developer. Gives you time to find other jobs in your expertise.

Is your spouse actively looking for you, instead ?

Edited by Darnell

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Will you be living in Santa Fe? Does your spouse have a home/job in Santa Fe?

I can tell you that the State of NM puts out job postings for positions with the skills you have from time to time, but it will take time to land such a job. One requirement for a state job is residency and usually they require a drivers license to establish proof of that residency. If you are interested in working for the state, the six month contract job that you're talking about might be a good starter job while applying for other more long-term positions, whether it's with the state or some other organization.

By the way, you should know that the US job industry has gone through a lot of changes since the financial crash of 2008. Even normal (non-contract) job offers are offered, at will, by the largest employers. In other words, they will terminate your job at any time without cause and without any explanatory reason. Some employers still offer health insurance but many don't. Basically, large employers are treating employees the same as contract employers. There is very little difference.

Good luck!

My husband is renting a room in a house. I will arrive there. He works in a Home Depot. Our plan was to live there a little bit while we decide if we move to another city. That depends on where I get a job. I told him Seattle and Dallas had more opportunities for me. Dallas is closer to where my family in Mexico lives so I'd prefer there.

I already have a driver license from NM. I lived there 2 years as an Au pair.

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20 bucks/hr as a software developer is low.

Are you coming in on a TN/1 visa, or something else ? If'n yer coming in on an immigrant spousal visa, then maybe this is a good 'first job' in the USA, even as a software developer. Gives you time to find other jobs in your expertise.

Is your spouse actively looking for you, instead ?

I am going using a CR1 visa. I have been extremely busy with my current job lately so he is looking online for me, but I haven't sent any resume.

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Darnell is correct that $20/hr with no benefits is not a good job offer for someone who has your skills. She's also right that it might be an acceptable job for 6 months while you look for something better. However, if you face financial penalties for breaking the contract and taking a job somewhere else, then it might not be worth it. That's a difficult decision for you to make.

If you can survive a few months without a job, you can probably find some other job within a few months. You are correct that there are many software engineer jobs in Seattle and Dallas.

I mentioned the State of New Mexico because they are the largest employer here in Santa Fe. I have worked in the Information Technology industry for over 20 years including in Seattle and Chicago. I moved to New Mexico a year ago and love it here. I got a job with the State of New Mexico in January. State job salaries aren't as much as jobs with a private company, but we do have good pension benefits and there is a union that represents employees so it's not quite as easy for the employer to terminate the job. Here's a job posting with the State that might fit your skills, but you'll want to do a thorough search of your own:

https://www.governmentjobs.com/jobs/1180535/it-applications-developer-level-iii-ped-10109736

Again, good luck!


Marriage: 2014-02-23
CR1 started : 2014-06-06
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13
ROC started : 2017-04-14 - CSC

ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

N400 started: 2018-04-24

N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 - Santa Fe

 

April 2017 I-751 Filers Spreadsheet

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t335PrkwxPk7sRryv02NH3vrWHy0vlkBxjmPy5VYJO8/edit#gid=0

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Thank you to both of you. I was reading the contract and says things that get me a weird feeling. Like:

"...Ownership of work; Assignment: Contractor agrees to disclose promptly and fully to the company any idea, work of authorship, software code, discovery, invention, improvement, or design conceived, made or developed by Contractor (solely or jointly with the company), during work hours or otherwise, while contractor is contracted by the company...

...Liquidated Damages. In the even that the contractor materially breaches this agreement... it is agreed that the company will incur certain damages and costs that are not accurately ascertainable. ...in the event of such breach, Contractor shall pay to the company, as liquidated damages, $30,000 US dollars"

I checked the meaning of a material breach and says "A material breach is a breach that reaches to the heart of the contract’s subject matter and negatively affects the outcome of the agreement. The essential requirement for a material breach is that the non-breaching party did not receive the “substantial benefit” of the bargain."

and other stuff. I decided to listen to my gut and not accept the offer, but then I read a post here in VJ of a lady who has been in USA for a year and a half without a job!! I mean I was an au pair I am not afraid of starting working in stores or being a nanny, but not for long. I'd like to accept the offer but I have a weird feeling about it. My husband said the money was good. Then I sent it to my ex-host dad and he said "$20/hour is ridiculously low for a programmer... They are really taking advantage of you, in my opinion." I am not just a programmer. I do more than programming. My ex-host dad also mentioned some other things I should pay attention and ask the company to reword them.

A friend told me this is a good offer to start, but didn't read the contract. I feel confused and sad. I am not even there and I feel overwhelmed already. Maybe all contract in USA are like this?

Edited by Eric & Idalia

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Don't feel discouraged. I saw the thread started by the woman searching for a job for over a year. It all depends on a person's skills, and you have skills that are still very much in demand within the US. I was thinking that you might need to wait 2 months upon entry for arrival of your green card before being able to begin employment. I'm not sure if this is true. You might check this forum to see what you need before you start a job, such as green card, social security number, etc.

If you do need to wait for 2 months for the green card, then the 6 month contract job looks less attractive. That puts the end of that job out to 8 months from your entry. Instead, you can use that 2 months to search for a better job. As a frame of reference, it took me 3 months from the time that I started to search to get my present job. You'll do fine. You should be confident. Dot Net skills are still in demand and I'm sure your other skills are too.


Marriage: 2014-02-23
CR1 started : 2014-06-06
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13
ROC started : 2017-04-14 - CSC

ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

N400 started: 2018-04-24

N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 - Santa Fe

 

April 2017 I-751 Filers Spreadsheet

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t335PrkwxPk7sRryv02NH3vrWHy0vlkBxjmPy5VYJO8/edit#gid=0

Share this post


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Don't feel discouraged. I saw the thread started by the woman searching for a job for over a year. It all depends on a person's skills, and you have skills that are still very much in demand within the US. I was thinking that you might need to wait 2 months upon entry for arrival of your green card before being able to begin employment. I'm not sure if this is true. You might check this forum to see what you need before you start a job, such as green card, social security number, etc.

If you do need to wait for 2 months for the green card, then the 6 month contract job looks less attractive. That puts the end of that job out to 8 months from your entry. Instead, you can use that 2 months to search for a better job. As a frame of reference, it took me 3 months from the time that I started to search to get my present job. You'll do fine. You should be confident. Dot Net skills are still in demand and I'm sure your other skills are too.

I read about what I need before starting to work. I already have a SSN, but my card has a text on it that needs to be removed. According to what I read I can work like 2 weeks after I cross the border because the database needs to be updated.

My plan was to start working as soon as I can even if it is in another kind of job. It's not because of money. It's because as soon as I have knowledge about American companies and how they work the better.

I will talk to my employer to ask him to change some paragraphs in the contract. And if we don't agree, I will look for other options.

Thanks for your time and advice.

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