Early October this year, I received an email from an emerging digital marketer currently based in Brisbane and researching their options to develop their career overseas, in particular the UK. They will remain anonymous 😉 and here’s a slightly reworded of my email exchange with this individual…
I have recently connected with you on LinkedIn as a recommended connection.
I previously took a year off from Uni to live in London, travel a bit and worked as a casual. Absolutely loved it and came back to graduate with the hope of returning and working in the digital space (I’m lucky enough to have a British passport so Visa’s aren’t an issue).
I was just wondering if you had any tips for finding work over there. I consider myself to be an enthusiastic Digital Marketing junior, with a bit of experience in an agency. I graduate this year and really would love any advice you had on how to get into the digital scene in London.
Look forward to hearing from you.
KP (initials have been changed!)
Thanks for being in touch
Some things that I found in the first couple of months — and this was also the stuff that I got from a few London recruiters:
– Considering the current financial and economic situation, you’d be competing for spots not only with other UK residents, but also EU nationals (especially Italy, Spain).
– Have a recent 25yo graduate of a London uni here for a job interview in marketing. So what would differentiate an EU national graduate from an Australian? And same can be asked for emerging professionals (ie within 2 years of graduation..)
– You would also be competing for spots not just with graduates but with those who have a bit more experience (esp with the financial situation in Italy, Spain, job cuts in UK) that were laid off or are about to be laid off
– If you’re thinking digital, have a look at the startups here which is good for experience, but not for cashflow. I landed an internship with a startup, which would have been good to get UK based experience, but wouldn’t work out in the long run so I declined.
My main advice:
– Your message (ie whether it’s an interview, a CV, LinkedIn profile etc) needs to be tailored not just by employer but also by market, which in this case is in an entirely different market to Brisbane.
– Think big. The most exciting thing about London is opportunities
– Cashflow is king. Get your cashflow and budget figured out to a tee.
– You don’t need to be in London to get started – ie informational interviews on Skype, connecting with people on LinkedIn and Twitter etc.
My advice is to keep on researching and preparing, build your CV etc. It’s also a good idea to see if you can get in touch with at least two London recruiters or global CV specialists who are able to provide good advice on shaping your CV to the UK market.
Generation Y Expat
Thank you so much for getting back to me, that information is very very helpful.
I really want to start organising myself, nutting out my CV and really make it stand out.
With regards to my message, as well as tailoring it to the specific market, should I identify a clear ideal career? Or is it okay to show my interest in the various areas of employment within digital?
Someone once told me that you can never buy enough coffees and never have enough conversations. So even though I’m not making the move yet I’m looking forward to contacting people like you to help me get a scope of the digital environment there. Do you have any tips on personal attitude or how to approach professionals and recruitment agencies?
– Sorry for all the questions, don’t feel rushed to reply to me quickly, I understand you must be very busy.
Once you nut out your CV, try and get in touch with localised recruiters (i.e. UK recruiters or recruitment consultants that specialise in placing Aussies in international markets) for their opinion.
In terms of tailoring a CV according to a specific market, should one identify a clear ideal career?
Not sure if I have a good answer for this – it’s a really good idea to have an open mind, there is a difference between what you think you can do, what you want to do (now vs 1-2 years down the track) and what you can actually do (i.e. in 1-2 years time) as you can do a complete pivot in the space of months.
In terms of tips on personal attitude, approaching professionals and recruitments agencies I see two different approaches. Recruiters have an agenda (increase the success rate of placing a good candidate for an employer) i.e. they already know what the outcome is (i.e. I need a marketing professional for a big data company). Professionals could be more of a conversation. Recruiters are helpful though and it’s good to keep in touch with the good ones.
Generation Y Expat