Changing Work: From Career Path to Survival Job

Mary Therese is an Employment Services Associate at Upwardly Global, a Tipping Point grantee that helps immigrants and refugees succeed in professional careers. We spoke with her about how COVID-19 is impacting Upwardly Global’s job seekers, most of whom are unemployed or under-employed now that they’re here in the U.S., and aiming to return to their field of expertise:

“One of our jobseekers is a 31-year-old IT specialist from Brazil. He is highly skilled with seven years of experience, but since moving here, has only managed to find work as a waiter. For the past five months, we have been working together to find him a job that would allow him to continue his IT career. A few weeks ago, we had a breakthrough. He made it to the final round interview at a tech consulting company in San Francisco.
Now, that company is on a hiring freeze and his restaurant has closed. I have gone from helping him find a job with long-term opportunity to helping him find a job to survive.”



1.9 MILLION Californians have applied for unemployment benefits since March 12. Source.

14,000 businesses have been affected by San Francisco’s stay-at-home order. During March, the City received 77 notices of businesses laying off workers—5,676 employees in total. Source.

HALF A MILLION people work in Bay Area restaurants, stores, and venues that have been required to shut down or drastically scale back operations. Source.

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