London Calling Pt 3 of 3: Lessons learnt when I moved to London

Lesson #7

Strategise and optimise your contact approach

Spend a day looking through every single contact you have, then plan your approach with these contacts.

Your contacts could be from; recruitment agencies, social media, social networking, nice and mainstream professional networking sites, expat online communities, obtaining introductions from existing contacts, introductions from new contacts, pitching (as opposed to cold calling..).

So be strategic.  Look beyond the “I’ll drop my resume at this store” thing.

Lesson #8
Have multiple approaches encompassing cash flow generating activities (including a job) but focus on one or two.

I used “cash flow generating activities” because it could be from multiple sources and not necessarily dependent on a traditional employer strategy.  It doesn’t matter how and who you approach – just don’t burn through everyone in one month.

I also had some activities that could be running in the background – for example, doing a seed or call out with potential collaborators and seeing who will pick up.  Same with recruitment agencies – so ensuring that communication lines are open with the recruiters.

The key here is in stages and then deciding what measurement of success or failure is appropriate before you know when it is time to move on to the next stage.  I can’t really say what though because it will all depend on a number of things but two measurements I used was time and money.

Lesson #9
You may need to let go of your expectations

I admit that prior to moving to London, I had set expectations of what it is that I am looking to achieve.  These were then communicated out to colleagues and networks.  These expectations were formed out of assumptions that I had about myself and I have to admit that it was also influenced by my peers.  Let’s just say that I was in a bubble and that I was looking at making this bubble ‘bigger’.  The thing here is that, I wanted out for various reasons.  I felt that I was in a stuffy room and that I needed to get out – get fresh air, fresh perspectives.  I just didn’t know where or how.  Felt like doing a career change in a new country in a competitive job market AND only just realised it after arrival? Bit of a tough one…

During a conversation with Someone Really Important, he asked me “What do you want to do here?” and I fumbled.  I wanted to do this, and that because of x and y. I trailed off… Then I looked out over the huge expanse that is London (we were in a Really Tall Building), and I let my mind expand.  If I didn’t have to think about anyone or feeling that I have to be a certain way or do a certain thing, what would I be doing?

The same type of conversation happened earlier, a day after I arrived.  I caught up with a friend living in my hometown and we talked about what was (the past) and what could be (the future).

Lesson #10
Learn to deal with loss (a different type this time)

Bridging from #9, changing my expectations meant losing the old ones.  And the old expectations that I previously had took up a fair chunk of my self – both professional and personal.  It’s a bit of a long story.  It was a situation that I was in before.  You see, I spent several years thinking that I would be a digital artist or be a creative director of something then after a couple of bad client eggs and loss of time to do own work, I decided to move on to something else.  I went from the world of fine arts and into the world of mobile startups, emerging tech, festivals, creative industries, social media….

This loss turned into an opportunity.



That is the end of my London Calling series.  I hope that you found it helpful!

I suppose that this entry with tips on how one can move to a country and hit the ground running (with career/professional development stuff) could have easily qualified as the final part of the series as well if you want more reading!

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