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Do Foreigners Have To Start Over?

Raúl writes in:

I’m an immigrant with a background in film production (TV Commercials). I worked in the films department of a leading advertizing agency for five years before going on to become a producer for a TV Commercial production company.

So here I am in Los Angeles, looking for jobs. My question to you is: should I be looking for / applying to entry level jobs or can I hope for something better – the kind of job that would take my previous work experience into account?

I don’t mean to skip any rungs on the ladder here. I just want to know where I might stand in terms of job prospects. What should my expectations be?

I don’t see why this would be any different than moving from New York or Atlanta. Every region has their own idiosyncrasies, to be sure, but honestly, every set does, too.

Were I in your position, I wouldn’t necessarily play up the fact that all my experience was outside of the US. That might give some potential employers pause. But it’s safe to say you probably have skills most other candidates don’t have, like speaking a second language.

Everyone has to start at the bottom,1 but Raúl already has. He’s paid his dues. As long as you present yourself in the best possible light, there’s no reason to pay them again.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Well, almost everyone. Sigh.
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