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An Expat Talks about Working in London, UK, Report 618 | Expat Exchange
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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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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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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.

Traveling Mailbox
Traveling Mailbox

Traveling Mailbox lets you view your postal mail online anywhere and it's is affordable, simple, and flexible.
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Traveling MailboxTraveling Mailbox

Traveling Mailbox lets you view your postal mail online anywhere and it's is affordable, simple, and flexible.
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