Finding a Job in the US



  • Hello,

     

    My fiancée is going to move to the US to study at Princeton University, and I'm considering moving there too. However to be able to stay in the country, I must absolutely have a job, and this job must be in a local company (ie: I can't telecommute to my current Swiss company). So my question is the following: How hard is it to find a Job as a software developper in the US in general, and in the New Jersey - southern New-York area in particular?



    I would be grateful if any of you could direct me to any placement agency or job websites for the area I mentionned.I have

     

    In your experience, how hard/fast would it be for me to find a job, knowing that I'm a Swiss citizen, and have the following experience. I graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology with a Master in Computer Science last year, but I created a startup company with friends 3 years ago. This company now has 3 offices (Switzerland, Canada, China). I've been working in the Chinese office for the last 2 years. I'm a java developer with experience in both pure research (natural language processing and understanding, Human-Computer interaction) and development (compilers, interpreters, web applications). I also have a little experience in server management. During these two years, I have led small teams of 3 to 5 people on
    different projects, and as such have a good experience in system design and architecture, as well as task scheduling and managing interactions between the various members of my team. I was also responsible for interviewing R&D
    section candidates. Beeing from Switzerland I speak 4 languages: French (mother tongue), English(bilingual), Italian(fluent) and German(mostly fluent) and have basic knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.

     
    I apologize if this message is inappropriate for this board, but I honestly don't know where to start searching. I figured that since many experienced developers view this forum every day, I might have a chance to find an answer.

     

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with me!
     



  • Are you kidding? They are going to roll out the red carpet for you!

    Let's look at all the items in your favor:

    1. The NY area is a great place to make major $$$ in development.
    2. You are European. As we all know, Europeans are more intelligent than Americans, due to Europe's superior education system(s).
    3. You have a Master's in CompSci. Bonus points for that.
    4. You are a Java developer! Highly sought after at this stage in the game.
    5. You speak several different languages. Depending on the job you interview for, this could mean additional $$$.
    Need I say more?



  • @CPound said:

    Need I say more?

     

    Yeah, like for example, which are the common employment websites I should check, or which are the better know headhunters I could give my Resumé to, and other stuff like that, that could help me get started in the process of finding the actual job. 



  • In the US it's hard to go wrong with http://dice.com or http://monster.com

    There are some specialty sites for the east coast, but not being from that area I can't speak with any authority.   Your experience looks good, and there's a lot of call for java devs on the east coast it seems... but your biggest issue, I suspect, is getting authorization to work in the country.   One of the first questions you will likely be asked is "are you authorized to work in the US".  

    I can't tell you much about that -- I lucked out and married an american and that made life a lot easier :)    If you were applying somewhere like Microsoft or IBM, they'll help you with all that stuff, but with smaller companies you'll be on your own.  Perhaps one of the many other europeans here can say something on this topic? 

    -cw  

     



  • @CodeWhisperer said:

    but your biggest issue, I suspect, is getting authorization to work in the country.   One of the first questions you will likely be asked is "are you authorized to work in the US".

    Yeah, I suspect that too. Any input on that matter is greatly apreciated. 



  • Why can you not telecommute for the company that you created?



  • @LordOfThePigs said:

    @CPound said:

    Need I say more?

     

    Yeah, like for example, which are the common employment websites I should check, or which are the better know headhunters I could give my Resumé to, and other stuff like that, that could help me get started in the process of finding the actual job. 

    Headhunters in that part of the world are slime. Avoid them. 



  • @asuffield said:

    @LordOfThePigs said:

    @CPound said:

    Need I say more?

     

    Yeah, like for example, which are the common employment websites I should check, or which are the better know headhunters I could give my Resumé to, and other stuff like that, that could help me get started in the process of finding the actual job. 

    Headhunters in that part of the world are slime. Avoid them. 

    Headhunters anywhere in the world are slime. 



  • @RaspenJho said:

    Why can you not telecommute for the company that you created?

    Because I currently do not have a work authorization, and as a non-US citizen working in the US for a company that doesn't have a branch there would not qualify me to get such an employment visa.

     So basically, I have to work for a US based company.
     



  • Best way is to enroll with a multinational company in your home country and go for an intra-company transfer.



    Otherwise, you'll need a H1 visa, which basically slavery. Your US employer needs to get the visa for you (you can't get it yourself) and generally will only do so if you are spectacularly better or cheaper than anyone else they can hire (or at least you can make them think you are). The US employer is your sponsor and must (formally) make a case to the government that they can't hire similar expertise locally.

    Jobs offered through monster boards are not likely to involve companies that are willing to cut through the red tape and costs involved. You'll have to run it through the old boys' network from your canadian experience or from princeton contacts.

     Worst part of the H1 visa is that if your sponsor gives you the pink slip, you have to leave the US within 15 days - you cannot change employer with an H1; you'll have to find a new sponsor in 15 days.

    Another option is: enroll in a university like your fiancee with a student visa and try to work your way into corporate America through internships - but given your resume that would be a set back.
    Last option: get married. You'll get a visa via your girlfriend - this will give you ample time to be in the states and maybe get good contacts,
     



  • @JvdL said:

    Best way is to enroll with a multinational company in your home country and go for an intra-company transfer.

    Otherwise, you'll need a H1 visa, which basically slavery. Your US employer needs to get the visa for you (you can't get it yourself) and generally will only do so if you are spectacularly better or cheaper than anyone else they can hire (or at least you can make them think you are). The US employer is your sponsor and must (formally) make a case to the government that they can't hire similar expertise locally.

    Jobs offered through monster boards are not likely to involve companies that are willing to cut through the red tape and costs involved. You'll have to run it through the old boys' network from your canadian experience or from princeton contacts.

     Worst part of the H1 visa is that if your sponsor gives you the pink slip, you have to leave the US within 15 days - you cannot change employer with an H1; you'll have to find a new sponsor in 15 days.

    Another option is: enroll in a university like your fiancee with a student visa and try to work your way into corporate America through internships - but given your resume that would be a set back.
    Last option: get married. You'll get a visa via your girlfriend - this will give you ample time to be in the states and maybe get good contacts,

    This is unfortunately exactly what you'll have to deal with. Is your fiancee an American citizen? If so, SHE can file for a  K1 (fiancee) visa for you, and then you can enter on that visa, get married, and then adjust your status and get a green card (work authorization) that way. If you get married abroad, it's a different process. It'll take 6+ months to get approved, and up to 3 to get a work authorization. If she's not an American citizen then I don't think you can do any kind of marriage based immigration, just her being there on a student visa won't get you into the country (Actually, if maybe if you get married abroad you can get a J2/F2 visa?)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_visas 

     



  • Maybe I'm just fantasizing, but since you live in Swizerland and are a genius ;-), why not get a job at Google in Zurich first and then let them send you to the US? I'd think that Google knows how to get a Visa; if not, they can always ask MS Live. g



  • There are a handful of jobs at Microsoft out in the areas you're looking at.  You might want to look at their careers site and you can apply for one -- they'll help with visas and such.  But there's only so much they can do.  I work with one guy who got his offer and then had to wait 12 months for the paperwork to come through, but at least the job was waiting for him.

    -cw



  • Thanks a lot to all of you.

     I must say I kind of expected that sites like monster.com would probably not list job opportunities in companies that would be in a position to offer me the work authorization and a visa, but I have to investigate all possibilities don't I?

    I will have a look around at what are the possibilities to enroll in a swiss company and then get transfered to the US. One thing I am not sure though, is how long would I typically have to work in Switzerland before I can get transfered to the states. Does anyone have any experience on that?

    I'm really considering headhunters, because it seems to me that companies that could offer me a job (with the visa and all) are exactly the kind of companies that would use headhunters to find employees. Does my reasoning make sense, or is this not the way it works in the US?

     Thanks again for all your valuable input!
     



  • @LordOfThePigs said:

    I'm really considering headhunters, because it seems to me that companies that could offer me a job (with the visa and all) are exactly the kind of companies that would use headhunters to find employees. Does my reasoning make sense, or is this not the way it works in the US?

    It depends on whether you really want to get a job cleaning executive toilets with your tongue.



  • I lived in Princeton for a few years and am now in NYC.  Programming jobs are definitely available in the NYC area, if not as plentiful as they are out west.  There's also a little bit of a corporate boom on Route 1 and between NYC and Princeton along the Northeast Corridor commuter rail line, and I'd be surprised if no one was hiring programmers.

    Princeton U has an excellent career services department that will have many listings not available to the general public.  Even if they're not willing to extend their direct support to a student's spouse, presumably your wife would have access to the listings.


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