Chat groups are serving as quick reference points for those urgently looking for a job
To help those who have lost their jobs as the lay-off mayhem continues in the US, various expat groups, social media pages and good samaritans are coming forward across the US.
“These are unusually tough times,” says Gaurav Kalra of the Facebook page, Indian Expats in the US. Kalra started the community as a way for Indians in America to bond and offer advice and share their thoughts with each other during the pandemic.
Read: Indian government asked to help laid off Indians (January 24, 2023)
“We are seeing a sudden rise in the number of people sharing their job loss story. Some are emotional and want to vent, others are desperately looking for a lead,” he shares with the American Bazaar.
“Just last week, on a particular day, we were stunned to see the number of posts with the same predicament – lay-off. It was the same day that some big multinationals announced their lay-off plans.”
Moved by the situation, Wisconsin based Kalra who is an information security professional created a Facebook chat group titled, “Laid off -Jobhunt.” The group exceeded its limit within a few hours and gehad to create another group “Laid off -Jobhunt 2.”
The chat groups are serving as quick reference points for those who are urgently looking for a job.
Neeraj Sahai, an IT professional says, “The job market is volatile and the US is going towards a recession. For an H-1B visa holder finding a job within two months is a very tough feat. The chat groups have people who post openings if there are any in their respective workplaces.”
Apart from professional help, this is also a time where people are looking for emotional support too. Neeta N. an H-4 visa holder says, “I lost my job last week. That was my only outlet as I do not get along very well with my husband.”
“I suddenly find myself lonely and have nowhere to go or no one to chat with. I posted anonymously in one of the Indian American groups, my dilemma and I was so touched to see an outpouring of emotional support.
Read: Amid job cuts, does an H-1B visa still hold its charm? (January 23, 2023)
“Some of the members even asked me to directly message them so that they can put me on to prospective employers,” she says. “Another one shared their contact and asked me to call if I just needed to vent out my feelings. I am still distraught but definitely touched.”
Some good Samaritans on social media are also offering advice on ways fellow Indian Americans can help those affected by job cuts. Suroma Sinha posted in a Facebook group asking members to be considerate if they find any family selling their stuff if they are having to move back to India after a job loss.
She asked everyone to come forward and try to help them by buying their stuff at reasonable prices to help them cover some cost. Her post was immediately appreciated by hundreds of people. Some even shared how they are helping with packing or offering to help sell their stuff on websites.
Sunita Kapur, a green card holder from Milpitas, California decided to travel to India after she learnt about her lay-off. She says, “With nothing to do, I thought of visiting India for a couple of months.”
Read: Tech layoffs send visa holders on frantic search for employment to avoid deportation (December 2, 2022)
“While I was here, some of my past colleagues formed a WhatsApp group to tell us about steps to seek unemployment benefits. With so much going on, I had almost forgotten that I could ask for benefits after being a diligent tax payer for so long,” says Kapur. “If it was not for these well-wishers I would have taken longer to ask for benefits.”
As the crisis continues, the community is trying to pitch in where they can. But as the fear of recession looms large, the post pandemic times look trying for months to come, especially for the work-based visa community.
Read: Indian techies prepare for worst amid lay-off spree (January 10, 2023)
Read: In holiday season carnage, tech sector shed more than 50,000 jobs in November (December 29, 2022)
Read: How workers can stay in the US after losing jobs (December 20, 2022)