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Expat Advice: Working in London, UK

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

London

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

In London there are of course all types of jobs and numerous career opportunities no matter what field you're in. People find new jobs through a variety of modern ways, from the internet to newspapers to informal arrangements. A few good resources are: the Guardian and Evening Standard newspapers (especially the Guardian specialist job sections, printed weekly for different sectors). There are also quite a few recruitment agencies in London, a simple internet search will reveal dozens. They will not, however, work with someone who does not already have permission to work in the UK.

What type of work do you do and how did you find your job?

I'm a journalist for a US-based website. I started out freelancing and found my present position through a jobs board (a US-based one, but I did use international ones in the job hunt). I was in the right place at the right time.

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Expats in UK may get a free expat health insurance quote from our partner Allianz Care, a leader in international insurance for expatriates. Allianz's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Their flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget..

How did you obtain your work permit? What advice would you have for others about work permits?

I didn't! At least not at first. In Britain, laws on freelancers are ambiguous. I took a chance and had some contacts over here before setting out. When I moved into permanent employment my employer was ready to help with the working visa. But now I'm married to a British national and the work permit is no longer an issue.

Advice: It's always risky working without the proper documentation. In many or most Western countries, however, you simply won't be able to work legally if you're a foreigner and have no blood or marriage ties to your new home. Bone up on current laws and try to find a way to get legal. But if you are stuck and know for absolute sure that you want to move, explore other options...

Have you taken language and cross-cultural training courses to prepare for your assignment? If so, how have they helped you on the job?

My cross-cultural training occured when I had a study abroad year in England. I got to know the customs, manners and especially the lingo of this island, which has helped immensely in this job.

If you were transferred abroad by your employer, were you guaranteed a job upon repatriation? What type of mentoring programs does your employer offer?

N/A. As for mentoring, I was thrown in at the deep end. This is par for the course in journalism and unsurprising in this instance.

What advice would you offer others about finding jobs and working abroad?

Expect frustration and learn to live by your own wits. Don't expect anyone to help you out -- but if they do, treasure them! You may have to fight pitched battles with bureaucrats -- stay calm and remember the consequences of any one decision on, for example, your visa status, are usually not that important in the long term. If you think it's worth it, do whatever you need to to stay on in your new country. If you start thinking it's not worth it, buy a plane ticket home and chalk it up to life experience.

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Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UK from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Guide to Living in LondonGuide to Living in London

If you're a global nomad in London or living in London, expats there have a lot to share to newcomers. Here are 11 things to know about living in London.

Healthcare in UKHealthcare in UK

Expats in the U.K. are able to utilize the public health care system, which is managed by the NHS. Many expats want to have private health insurance to help reduce wait times and several other reasons. Read for more details on how to navigate the system. Plus, a list of the best hospital in London.

Best Places to Live in LondonBest Places to Live in London

Here's a guide to the best neighborhoods in London. There are a lot of options for a lot of different situations. We'll be adding new neighborhoods and updating it regularly.

Cost of Living in LondonCost of Living in London

The cost of living in London routinely ranks among the highest in the world. Here is some basic information about the realities of living in London and what you'll need to consider when deciding whether or not to move there.

Schools in LondonInternational Schools in London

Families moving to London who are interested in an American curriculum, IB program or bi-lingual education for their children, may be interested in these popular expat schools.

Restaurants in LondonRestaurants in London

Support your favorite restaurants in London as they recover from the pandemic. Submit a free listing for them on Expat Exchange to help spread the word about them to the expat community.

Moving-to-LondonMoving to London

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's tremendous diversity, vibrant nightlife, incredible restaurants and varied neighborhoods.

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's t...

5-Best-Suburbs-for-Expats-Living-in-London5 Best Suburbs for Expats Living in London

Expats moving to the UK who plan to work in London often want to live in a village or smaller city and commute to the city. Here are a few options to consider.

Expats moving to the UK who plan to work in London often want to live in a village or smaller city and commute to the city. Here are a few options to consider....

Healthcare-in-the-UKHealthcare in the UK

Expats in the U.K. are able to utilize the public health care system, which is managed by the NHS. Many expats want to have private health insurance to help reduce wait times and several other reasons. Read for more details on how to navigate the system.

Moving-to-LondonMoving to London

Expats describe London as a love it or hate it city. With it's high cost of living and rainy weather, it's not for everyone. But, those who move to London and love it will tell you that the city's tremendous diversity, vibrant nightlife, incredible restaurants and varied neighborhoods.

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