Finding your first job in London – Part 1
Everyone’s experience finding work abroad is different and it usually depends on your level of experience and the industry that you’re in. Aussies are commended for their work ethic however, that doesn’t mean you’ll have all the career opportunities in the world at your fingertips.
Landing your first job in a foreign country can be a lengthy and frankly heartbreaking process. A few sensible folk told me to line up work before I moved to London. Hence, when I signed a lease on a central London apartment before interviewing for roles, everyone thought I was mad and expected that I’d end up starving to death in my fabulous terrace flat.
And they were right…to an extent!
Here is a general timeline of finding your first job in London. HINT: read between the lines and try not to make the same mistakes I did.
1-2 Weeks unemployed in London
Oh that first CV and cover letter sent to your dream employer. Riddled with confidence and cockiness. You send it out and wait for the phone to ring because you’re finally on the market and your expertise is obvs a hot commodity.
And so you’ve already wasted days making slight amendments to your Linkedin profile and waiting for your dream job to fall into your lap.
2-4 Weeks unemployed in London
This is the action phase. Your bank balance is dwindling and you have no time to lose. You’re paying rent and on top, you also have to pay council tax, utilities and even a television license. Not to mention that public transport is twice as expensive, but you need it to get anywhere and everywhere. The number of jobs you apply for increases and you’ve engaged a football team of recruiters from all across London to keep you ahead of the game.
In the morning you’re swigging coffee and typing cover letters and in the evening you’re attending networking events.
Yet you still hear nothing from prospective employers.
4-6 Weeks unemployed in London
I call this chapter “Diary of a broke and broken woman”
Despite your best efforts to save money in the world’s most expensive city, you’re down to your last 100 pounds.
You’re confident that you have the most refined and engaging resume and not in a cocky way. You begin to doubt yourself and your decision to move abroad. Family and friends try to console you but your mind begins to slip into a black hole.
And then when you think you’re at the end of your tether, considering becoming a dish hand or a pole dancer the phone rings….
And rings, and rings!
Key lessons in the job application process
- Do your research before you move abroad
- Meet with recruiters and apply for at least 20 jobs as soon as possible
- Don’t underestimate the international job market, set yourself apart with tailored cover letters
- On the recruiter side, reviewing applications takes time so apply for other roles in the interim
- Stay positive, the more you seek the more you’ll find!
In the next post, I will share with you all the lessons, tips and tricks I’ve learnt from six weeks of job hunting in London from NI numbers to contract roles.
Until then, keep your chin up and trust that all your hard work will pay off!