Working in New York



The working culture in New York is not for the faint hearted as it is known as the most competitive work environment and the biggest city economy in the world. New York also houses the heart of the world's finance industry; Wall Street. 

Economy and Labor Market 

New York happens to be home to the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest in market capitalisation. In addition to that, the Nasdaq electronic exchange is also headquartered in the city. Nasdaq is the world's third largest stock exchange system. 

New York also has four other major stock exchange players in the field:

  • American Stock Exchange
  • International Securities Exchange
  • New York Board of Trade and
  • New York Mercantile Exchange

The finance sector brings in about 35% of the city's employment income and has about 344,700 employees. 

Another important income earner and job generator in the city is the manufacturing sector. Some of the most common by-products of the industry are garments, chemicals, metal products and processed food. 

Jobs in the manufacturing sector offer the best benefits for the many members of the immigrant community. The food-processing sector alone already employs about 19,000 NY residents. And overall, New York's industrial businesses offer about 233,000 jobs for non-US citizens. That industry brings in about USD 41,000 on a yearly basis and has the highest percentage of first-generation immigrant workers, making up 64% of its workforce. 

Also known as a cultural centre on the Eastern coast of the US, New York is also popular for its media and film industry. It is considered the core of American mass media, journalism, and publishing. 

The city is home to about 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazine offices. Three of the country's four biggest music recording companies also have their headquarters in New York. The book publishing sector in itself employs about 25,000 people.  

Getting a Work Permit 

To legally work in the United States, one must obtain either a non-immigrant working visa or an immigrant working visa, which aside from providing entry to the US would also serve the purpose of a work permit. 

For those who wish to work for a temporary or non-permanent timeframe, specifically for a maximum of six years, you would need to secure an H non-immigrant visa. 

If you wish to apply for this kind of visa, make sure that the employment offer has been approved in advance by the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services). 

This category is further subdivided into six subcategories depending on job classification. Category H1-B is for workers in specialised occupations, H1-C for registered nurses, H-2A for seasonal agricultural workers, H-2B for workers filling jobs that can't otherwise be filled by US citizens or residents, H-3 for trainees, while H-4 is for immediate families of H-1 to H-3 holders. 

Work Culture  

As the city is a multi-cultural melting pot, New York's work culture pretty much reflects a very open and flexible kind of environment. 

Hierarchies and gender preferences are uncommon though still present in a few traditional companies. You would find that both men and women share equal responsibilities and promotions. 

Giving gifts to business colleagues or co-workers, especially during the first meeting is not a common practice as it is subject to misinterpretation. Greeting cards or small tokens though can be given during special occasions like Christmas. 

Dressing in the workplace is usually expected to be corporate which means coat and tie for men, and business suits or conservative dresses for women. A hint of style is also appreciated in the Big Apple work world. 

Be considerate when lighting up a cigarette during your break. If you are in the presence of other people, you will find that New Yorkers prefer being asked if it's OK with them for you to smoke. Remember that smoking is illegal in most public places in the city. 



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