A US-based Nigerian lady identified as Florence Idowu has said she was frustrated during the first six months of her stay in the North American country and thought of coming back home because she couldn’t get a job of her choice.
Florence, who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, told Muse.ng that the job offers she was getting during the first six months of her stay in the US were below standard.
In her words: “Everything just seemed upside down. There was no forward, there was no backward. It was just stagnancy. I couldn’t get a job.”
The young lady said she hardly sees Nigerians in her community, which is dominated by White people.
Florence, who works as a talent manager for the Science Museum of Minnesota, said she left the shores of Nigeria in 2020.
Contrary to people’s perception about the diaspora, Florence said life abroad is not as easy as people paint it.
In her words: “You have to earn your living. You work to get your daily bread. Life abroad is not as easy as people paint it. You have to work hard for it.
“It took me six months before I got my first job in the United States. It was a little bit hard because I came during the pandemic.
“Even the six months, I didn’t even get a job that I would say falls into my education qualification. I just had to do something first as a charity account specialist with Amazon to get into the system.”
According to Florence, after a year and almost six months, she decided to put in for a job she wanted to do.
She said: “I worked towards it, did a lot of interviews before getting the job.
“Life doesn’t come that easy. You have to work hard to make life easy for you.”
Fielding questions on whether she has experienced racism in the United States, Florence said: “The racism I experienced in the United States is actually in getting a job.
“All my previous experience and qualifications were pushed aside because it’s not an American experience. It really made it difficult for me to get a job.”
Florence said someone who finished their Bachelor’s degree in the United States is qualified to work as a manager in some organisations but she wasn’t even able to get a job as a specialist, let alone a manager.
In her words: “So I had to work hard. I had to take some certifications. I had to do some programmes just for me to understand the system. I’m in talent management now, so I understand why that is, but apart from that, we should also know there’s a place for training.
“But every organisation wants someone that already knows the system, except if it’s going to be on entry level.
“But the truth is even entry level they still want someone that knows the American system. I wouldn’t call it racism but work place bias.”
What she misses about Nigeria
The young lady said what she misses about Nigeria is the food.
According to Florence, there’s Nigerian food in Minnesota but she misses the African touch in it.
She said: “The first thing I’m going to do if I go back home is to eat the correct amala and ewedu with gbegiri soup.”
Speaking about African culture in the United States, she said people are always very interested in it whenever she wears colourful African attire.
“They are always very interested because of the colour. Even when you walk through the shopping mall, when you’re coming from church, everyone just looks at you and smiles at you. Why? Just because of the clothe, it’s always colourful.”
Florence said being Black in the United States has limited her in some aspects of life, especially getting clients. According to Florence, this is because of trust issue on the part of White people.
The young lady said she would invest in talent management, healthcare system and insurance if she were to be Nigeria’s president.