Updated: Jun 3, 2019
You are finally here! UK, here we go! You are thinking 'I need a job, I need to start earning money'! You may have already done some research from your home country or you may have already arrived here not sure where to start from. Look no further, I share 3 best practical tips you will find out there as a foreigner on how to best approach your job search in the UK. It is all about your approach and strategies that you need to put in place in order to achieve positive outcomes.
Reflect on what you wanted to do in your home country, on what school, courses and degrees you completed. Think about your aspirations, vision, drivers and reasons you left in the first place. If you are yet to work out what you would like to do, that is ok. These things can take time. They also may change from time to time, and that is ok too!
Focus on what you would like to do, try and picture yourself doing just that, perhaps do even a vision board with quotes, books you read, people that inspire you and often think about how they did it and make sure it is visible in your kitchen or bedroom to see every day as a reminder when you start loosing your focus. This little tip may help you refocus, refresh, remind yourself of the original plan, focus and review it. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to refocus, I suggest that you ask yourself the following questions: Is this still relevant?, do I still want the same?, what did I learn so far?, what did I observe from other people?, who did I meet and what impact have they had on me?...etc
Once you are clear on your focus and have a vision of yourself in the future, I suggest that you go into your action mode. Action planning here we go! If you are an organiser like myself, you will find this process super easy. You may even get nice notebooks and pens to get you going or use your laptops. I love noting things down and putting little ticks next to them once they are achieved. If you are not always as organised as you would like it to be, that is ok too. I suggest that you at least think about your next steps and start doing them as opposed to noting them down. Go from talk to action!
My personal and practical example:
I arrived in the UK in 2009 thinking I would like to pursue my law career. Yes, I know it is a different country and legal system but that never stopped me to at least look into it. I sent copies of my law degree and completed subjects to the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the UK. They reviewed it and guess what - I did get a certificate of academic standing. Hurray! I was thinking I was onto something here and this actually may be possible for me.
I started looking for local work experience, unpaid. I just wanted to get relevant work experience and put that on my CV. I focused myself on researching local law firms and also local charities, volunteering at a local Citizens Advice Service. I was sending speculative applications. Speculative applications in a nutshell mean that you are contacting organisations by email and enquire about any upcoming job opportunities or work experience that is not advertised. It means you are taking some initiative and putting yourself out there. I was clear in my emails that I was looking for unpaid work experience and wanted to learn and develop. It worked, I started getting emails and had a few interviews.
I was lucky enough to be offered a few weeks work experience at a local law firm that specialised in employment law. I loved their offices and how close it was to home. I was then offered an employment contract to stay as a trainee paralegal (technically and more widely known as a legal assistant) on a permanent basis. Huraaay! My role was to assist with admin, do photocopying, research law cases, ensure bundles of documents were ready for court hearing, assist lawyers with whatever they needed as well as do tea for them. In fact, I did a lot of tea for the lawyers I worked with but more about this some other time! We need to focus on your action plan now!
I hope this blog helps you, more to follow around this topic. I also offer a range of Upgrade Yourself | Personal Development 1:1 services/programs one of which is to review and draft your CV together and start preparing you for upcoming interviews. You can find out more HERE.
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