how hard is it REALLY to get a job in London??
Replies: 32 - Last Post: Jul 11, 2011 2:02 PM Last Post By: vedanta
Jun 5, 2011 6:58 AM
how hard is it REALLY to get a job in London??Most of my experience is in customer service/retail. how hard is it to get that sort of work in London??? I have applied for heaps of jobs over the weekend as I need to work URGENTLY as I'm newly arrived from Australia.
Please dont harp on about me "stealing" your jobs here. my dad and grandparents all from england came to australia from uk so it is only fair that i am allowed to come here to work if I want..... especially since almost half my family is here too and I want to see them.
Remembering that im not allowed ANY social security benefits unless ive been here 3 years i need to know my chances of employment.
I guess i need to know is it worth even trying or should I go back to Australia????
Jun 5, 2011 7:47 AM
1Do you have relevant experience/qualifications? And do you have citizenship/a visa that allows you to work (I assume the answer is yes)?
It is a very tough job market at the moment but that doesn't mean there are none available. It just means you have to be a pretty good candidate to be in with a chance - employers are very much in a position to pick and choose workers at the moment, rather than vice-versa.
Jun 5, 2011 8:05 AM
Jun 5, 2011 8:33 AM
As Barny already pointed out, the employers are in a position to 'choose' workers, supply is more than the demand. That wouldn't stop you, if you are ready to take up (any)work to start with. Retail is a great way to start with. The call centres are always looking and advertising for staff. There are lots of online job sites gumtree.com; totaljobs, reed, and many such. Also, you can walk around high streets and look out for 'vacancy' boards too. Try bars too. You can network, make friends, find the work you most enjoy. A curriculum-vitae would be handy, modified as per the work you are applying for. Try jobs in education. There are always schools looking for supply staff.
Hope you have a good time!
Jun 5, 2011 8:51 AM
4Personally I'd be avoiding Gumtree for jobs - too many scams out there, but maybe one to bear in mind.
There are lots of recruitment agencies on the high street, but there's nothing quite like turning up with cover letters and CV's in person. Do up 3/4 different CV's - targetted ones for different jobs. So one for pub / waitressing work; one for call centres; one for retail and a spare generic one for anything else that catches your eye. Stick a wodge of each in your bag and get out there, dressed smartly, and go into any premises that has an advert in the window. Also go into any premises that you think you'd consider working in.
They are four of the main recruitment agencies that if I needed to look for work that I would go to. Have a look on their websites at what is available. If at all possible, get a job directly with the employer rather than an agencey of course, because they will pay better. At 23, you should be paid no less than £5.93/hour or they are breaking the law. There are no exceptions to this, but you will be paying tax and National Insurance contributions (I believe, someone may correct me on this) which will take some of the money away before you get paid.
Just bear in mind that the job market is competitive to say the least, so you'll need to be smartly presented, polite, keen, articulate, with a good work ethic and probably highly flexible in order to beat the competition. The more positive you are about it, the better you wil come across to the prospective employers. Don't tell them you are desperate for work, just be keen. I'm sure you'll have an Australian accent, so just say you were brought up there but have your UK passport and your NI number to show you can legally work. Bring your passport to interview / keep it in your bag when you're job hunting so there is no doubt about that. Make it clear you're not another Australian looking to work for a few weeks before moving on, but someone who is in the UK longterm and therefore would be a reliable longterm member of staff.
See, we're not always evil!
Jun 5, 2011 9:04 AM
5Ask your relatives - personal contacts are often the way into work.
Keep your search as wide as possible ie part time as well as full time (I currently have 4 main contracts with 3 employers, mainly in 1 area, but have to travel to venues up to 100 miles away for 1 employer), plus a few weekends a year working on triathlons and races all over UK. Be flexible about length of contracts (short contracts are unpopular with some job seekers) and what hours you will work - you increase your chances if you are prepared to work evenings, nights, weekends, bank holidays (only 1 in August, but still worth mentioing to show your positive attitude).
As well as local newspapers and websites, register with employment agencies and get to know which shop windows have boards of postcards advertising jobs - care work in people's homes are often advertised this way.
Bear in mind state school holidays in England, Wales & Northern Ireland last from mid July to end Aug / early Sept and early July to mid Aug in Scotland - some employers will be looking for staff to cover for parents taking time off in school holidays, plus others will be recruiting for holiday & leisure related jobs.
To work with children or vulnerable adults, you'll need to arrange a Criminal Records Bureau check, which you can only do once you have a provisional job offer - as this can take weeks to come back, you'll need to be extremely quick to get work for the beginning of school holidays.
Surely you have some high school qualifications?!? Employers want people with a minimum of equivalent of English Language, Maths, Science and 2 other GCSE subjects (exams taken at age 16 in England/ Wales / Northern Ireland), and preferablty some qualifications obtained at age 18 years.
Jun 5, 2011 10:55 AM
6Well done Amy! Better post than the dole one!
Not sure about London, but my experience is that those who want work get it!
There is plenty of work out there you just need to have a flexible approach (you may not get the job you want in the area you want) and demonstrate a postive and willing attitude (Ozzies and Kiwi's generally have a good reputation as hard workers, so don't necessarily hide the fact that your are an Ozzy with a UK passport).
Good Luck and go for it !
Jun 5, 2011 11:48 AM
7This might come accross as rude but it's not meant to be.
If you are applying for jobs at the lower end of the market in customer service based roles the fact English is your first language will be a massive thing in your favour in London.
Oh and because you are Australian and 23 chances are you're pretty fit, this also helps.
Jun 5, 2011 1:12 PM
Jun 5, 2011 6:12 PM
9Can I ask why you are kimiting yourself to staying in London? There are other cities in the UK that are also probably cheaper for living costs but have the ability to earn comparable wages.....
Jun 5, 2011 10:19 PM
10I agree with the others. Have several versions of your CV. Hit the local agencies hard by calling them daily via phone (ultra politely) so they don't forget who you are. Eventually they'll find you a job just to shut you up - it worked for me in reverse in Sydney during the xmas break when the entire city seems to grind to a halt business wise. For everyone else, hit the streets and start showing up everywhere in person, it shows a good enthusiastic attitude (anyone can phone, so I wouldn't do it apart from the agencies). You could maybe also try visiting the jobcentreplus centres. You're not entitled to benefits, but you could still use their computers (freely available) to see what they have on their books.
Hitting the less centralised areas of London is likely to also work; your chances of finding a job for example in one of the walkabouts in central London is gonna be low because everyone is also thinking of this as an option. You'd also find your money goes a fair bit further outside of London, but it is where most of the other Aussies tend to congregate, particularly in W London.
Overall don't be discouraged, keep going. The UK economic situation is the toughest it's been for generations right now and it's no fun for the majority; it's survival of the fittest so go get em! :-)
Jun 6, 2011 3:23 AM
11I'm full on with *9 on this one.
Why London? Is it a total necessity to be stuck there - in one of the world's most expensive cities for just about all your needs?
There are some great regions away from 'The Smoke' that will offer exactly the same wage and have much cheaper 'Everything', from shopping to accommodation, from transport to eating out.
Jun 6, 2011 7:10 AM
12Thanks everyone, some great advice there :) I am under a lot of pressure right now. been online to all the major retailers such as sainsbury's, marks and spencer, tesco etc etc, and none of them seem to have any vacancies. Going out now to hand my resume around.
I want to stay and work in London because i love the culture here. its a great place with so much happening. There is more for me here than back in oz (if i find work that is).
The standard of living is not great, but im prepared to put up with that to live in a big, cosmopolitan city where there is lots to see and do.
Jun 6, 2011 7:48 AM
Jun 6, 2011 5:30 PM
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