I started my recruitment career in London in 1998, and even though I was only there for 2 years I am still benefiting from the networks I developed there. Now that I am back living in the UK I get to work more closely with our alliance partner Totum, and at an event they held recently for law firm CMOs I was delighted to be in the company of many I worked with 22 years ago – though they were all juniors then!
London has always been a favourite choice for APAC based professional services marketers when considering which overseas market they should gain experience in. According to The Global City website (www.globalcity.co.uk) the UK is the heart of the world’s financial markets and home to the world’s largest cluster of financial and professional services firms. There are more bank head offices in the City of London than anywhere else in the world and £38bn has been invested in more than 2,800 UK companies by private equity and venture capital in the last five years. It’s a busy place and as one of our clients said “working in London for 2 years is like working somewhere else for 5”.
Outside of London, the UK has much to offer and with more flexible work arrangements, meaning time in the office can be split with working from home, many people are settling in other towns and cities that afford better lifestyle and living arrangements. But for me, if you are going to gain the sort of life and work experience that sets the adrenaline pumping and delivers amazing career opportunities, working and living in London for a period, cannot be matched.
Now that the world is moving again – you might consider looking at London as the circuit breaker or re-boot your career needs – and a contract could be just the solution.
This week I sat down with Totum consultant Emma Johnston who manages interim and contract assignments to find out what the deal is.
Emma, what are the benefits of someone moving to London for a contract?
Interim and contract work can provide great flexibility and work life balance especially while living in London, whether you want time off to travel between contracts or want to coincide work while focussing on your own project or business venture. Contracting also provides exposure to a wide variety of companies and business projects, whether you are wanting to upskill quickly or expand into different areas or fields.
And what types of contract roles are you getting?
The contract roles I am recruiting include short term temporary roles from 4-8 weeks, up to twelve month fixed-term contracts, ranging from Executive to Sr Manager level roles. I am currently representing several global full-service firms, a leading litigation finance and private client law firm.
And how easy is it to secure a contract?
You can relocate to London if you are lucky enough to have a British passport, or qualify for an Ancestry visa or Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) visa. Ancestry visas are typically valid for 5 years and are relatively easy to extend. If you are aged 18-30 years, you can apply for the YMS visa which allows you to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years – the earliest you can apply is 6 months before you plan to travel and you must enter the UK before turning 31. There are no restrictions around the contract duration as long as it falls within your 24 months of work eligibility, and there are no restrictions around the number of employers you can work for during this time. For further information on visa costs and eligibility requirements for both visas, you can visit www.gov.uk.
It’s also worth noting that the New Zealand and Australian governments have recently agreed with the UK government to extend the YMS visa duration to 3 years and the age limit to 35 years – although I wouldn’t hold off making the move now as nothing is official, and it may take several years for these changes to come into effect.
And how easy is it to find somewhere to live?
It can be expensive to live in London depending on location, although perhaps not when comparing to the likes of Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai or Auckland. Some people will look to hire an Airbnb or even house share when first arriving to London until they find their feet, and a job! When looking for somewhere to live in London there are various websites that are helpful such as www.Zoopla.co.uk or www.Rightmove.co.uk, or even Spareroom.co.uk if you are looking to house share – although places do tend to get snapped up quite quickly, so it’s often better to wait until you’re on the ground.
Finally you yourself are an Aussie who went to London – how long have you been there now and what have been the highlights?
Yes, I moved to London to work, live, and travel with the intention of being here for 2 years, which is now coming up to almost 10 years! Highlights for me include the incredible travel opportunities, and London culture is massive for me. There are so many incredible events and interesting things to do, always new places to visit and people to meet around every corner. Although the biggest highlight for me personally has been the career opportunities in London, as I probably wouldn’t still be here if that weren’t the case.
We are marketing a range of career opportunities both permanent, contract and interim via our website
If you want more information please contact Graham Seldon