Advice from Aussies and Kiwis Working in London

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Earlier this year, we asked nearly 800 Aussie and Kiwi professionals working in London to share their advice for finding a job. This is to assist and benefit fellow compatriots and professionals back home thinking about following in their footsteps.

Survey findings and advice from 122 Aussies and Kiwis working predominantly in accounting, finance, marketing and law in London were both interesting and little surprising:

  • The UK is market of choice for Aussie and Kiwi professionals working in London – 83% rate London as a better place to work than home
  • Easy to get a job in London – 82% found it easy to find a job
  • Can earn good money in London – 78% earn more than £50,000 pa
  • Doesn’t take long to find a job in London – 75% found a job within 4 weeks of arriving

The recurring piece of advice that kept coming through was plan, prepare and get fully organised BEFORE you go. If you want to land a job in London as quickly as possible and make the most of the experience.

Set out below are a summary of survey findings, interspersed with some great advice from Aussie and Kiwi professionals working in London:

The UK is the market of choice

For Aussies and Kiwi professionals with a choice of working in New Zealand, Australia or the United Kingdom, 83% recommended the United Kingdom compared to Australia (10%) and New Zealand (7%).

Despite this strong vote of approval for working in London, either the message isn’t getting back home, or London is losing its allure in Australia and New Zealand. In 2017, the number of UK visas granted to Aussies and Kiwis continued to decline, falling by a further 8% to 25,574.

UK has offered me so many opportunities I couldn’t have even dreamt of! The diversity and exposure you get from working in London are unparalleled and I certainly wouldn’t have had the career opportunities I have today if I didn’t move abroad. It’s great to be working in a country that remains ahead of the curve in innovation, technology and talent sourcing”

– Stephanie L.

Nobody regrets making the move, but you can easily regret not giving it a shot while you’ve got the chance. And if you don’t like it, you can always go back”

– Natalie C.

Plan, prepare and get organised BEFORE you go

By far, the most consistent piece of advice offered by Aussie and Kiwi professionals working in London was “do your homework before you go” if you want to make the most of the experience.

This is particularly poignant for the vast majority of Aussies and Kiwis who travel to the UK on the two-year Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa.

Ask most people who have done it, they’ll tell you that two years isn’t long enough. You could interpret advice from London to be “don’t waste any of that precious time doing something that you could have done before you arrived”. Get organised before you go!

Before you land in the UK, make sure you have done a lot of work on CV and interview preparation, and have talked to others in the UK to learn from their experiences. Build a network – have coffees with friends of friends, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people you may not now for a coffee. Many people are generous with their time if you show that you are ambitious and will not require too much of them.”

– Michael B.

Learn how to work with UK recruiters and land a job working in London

There was a lot of advice about working with UK recruiters, reflecting the important role they play in helping newly-arrived Aussies and Kiwis find a job in London.

UK recruiters are the main channel that newly-arrived Aussies and Kiwis use to find a job – 93% reported “using them a lot”, compared to LinkedIn (44%), job boards (31%) and applying directly to company websites (8%).

Find a recruiter that is focused on relationships not one that is doing the churn and burn”

– Lynden M.

LinkedIn is great due to the range of jobs and ease of access but mainly focusses on permanent roles. Job boards are great because you don’t need to deal with recruiters however recruiters are still probably the best way to actually land a rolerole”

– Lauren W.

Recruiters offer face to face advice and information and make the process of finding a role a lot simpler than any other channel. They open you up to many more opportunities”

– Sinead C.

Easy to get a job in London

Most things are easy if you know how! It’s no different when it comes to finding a job and to start working in London.

Finding a job on the other side of the world is a big step for anyone. Having a realistic appreciation of demand for your individual skills and experience is a very good starting point.

The benefit to people that we help knowing what demand is like for their skills before they head to the UK is reflected in the ease with which they find work and the time that it takes them to do so. They understand the importance of being open to new opportunities, know where the demand is, and tailor their CVs accordingly.

Overall, 83% didn’t find it difficult to find a job – 21% found it really easy. 62% found it easy or not too difficult while 17% found it difficult to find a job.

Be open to new job opportunities and experiences, be prepared to sell yourself to recruiters and employers as there is a lot of competition”

– Lucy Q.

Don’t be afraid to take temp work or a short-term contract to get some UK experience on your CV. The quantity and quality of jobs I was being considered for drastically increased after working on a short-term contract for my first UK job”

– Kyle B.

Doesn’t take too long to find a job and start working in London

Nearly three quarters found a job within 4 weeks of arriving in London – 19% within a week. 55% within 2-4 weeks, 18% within 5-7 weeks and 8% more than 2 months to find a job.

Once again, the relatively short time it takes to find a job in a new country is a reflection of the amount of effort that people put in before arriving.

We arrange UK interviews with leading recruiters across a range of professions. Before we can do so, people need to do a bit of work to get ready for an interview. Once again, this highlights the importance of getting prepared before you depart.

Don’t just think you will walk straight into a job, if you want to do that you will need to put in the work before arriving to get everything set up so you can hit the ground running”

– Brittany J.

Earn good money working in London

The median annual income was £68,000 in 2017. Incomes ranged from less than £25,000 to more than £100,000 with 78% earning more than £50,000.

For some professions, there was a substantial increase in median income levels in 2017. For others, income levels have remained fairly stagnate or even fallen over the past 5 years.

Doing your homework before you go means you should have a realistic understanding of what you might earn in London. In some cases, it helps determine whether it is worth making the move at all.

Plan ahead, do your research and, unless you have an amazing amount of experience, do not expect to walk straight into a job. Work hard but also take the time to enjoy UK and Europe while you have the chance”

– Tracey M.

And the BIGGEST challenge is…

Seriously… for the 18th consecutive year… opening a UK bank account. This should not surprise anyone. Thankfully, we reckon we have found the quickest and easiest solution.

The biggest issue everyone has is trying to open bank accounts. Find a way to prove your address (utility bill sent to a friend’s house or bank statement etc)”

– Dean W.

Redirect your NZ bank statements to the UK before you leave NZ. You can use it as a proof of address to open a bank account, otherwise its tough”

– Louise L.

If you would like to learn about your prospects in the London job market – demand for your individual skills, what you might earn, or how long it will take to get a job, just get in touch with the team at Global or attend a free Finding a job in London webinar.

Our services are free to job seekers, and we are here to help.