It’s been a few years since I’ve been job hunting. But getting a job in England has been eye-opening.
Back in Canada, I had a perfect score: I’ve never been rejected for a job once I get an interview. Before leaving for England, I had secured two job interviews for my first week in the country, one was for a basic administrative position with a legal company and the other was a bit more tough at a posh private school.
Leading up to those interviews, I was terrified. What if they don’t understand my accent? What if I can’t understand them? What if I look like a total idiot?
I attended both interviews and obnoxiously thought I totally smashed them. The first was very informal and required basically no experience. We talked about my work history, previous positions and how I ended up in England. The girl was friendly and we laughed. She saw me out and said I’d hear on Friday.
The posh school was much more formal, even with two tests after the interview. Even so, I thought I had a great shot since the position was exactly what I had done before. At the very least I had the lesser position to fall back on. I was set.
Friday came and went. The school called to reject me and the lesser job didn’t bother to call. I was so gutted. I was so sure of myself and was left feeling pretty low with my deflated ego in the toilet.
I was that girl on the back of the train crying silently while everyone kindly avoided all eye-contact. Really pathetic.
Finding a job in a foreign country is different. If you’re after anything in hospitality, you’re set: I see millions of postings at pubs and restaurants but that wasn’t what I was after. I joined sites like Reeds, JobSite and JobsInKent to find the perfect match. I could upload my information to the various sites, apply to jobs quickly and allow recruiters to contact me if they liked what they saw.
I’m still searching.
I would suggest temporary or contracted work to get yourself going when doing a working-holiday-type adventure. It could take awhile to get your perfect job, but at least you’re getting experience along the way.
I may have two strikes so far but it’s not over. I’ve got a long way to go and lots of learning on the way there. I’ll find my place, but it’ll take some sweat, blood and tears. But that’s okay! Everything is great experience, just don’t cry on the train.