Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tales from the Job Hunt - I'm employed again!

My biggest worry about our move was my job hunt. When we moved to UAE, it took me almost 9 months to find a job. A tortuous and very stressful 9 months that took a huge chunk out of my confidence. Through that experience, I learned that I am not a good housewife and need the structure and challenge of full time employment to keep me happy. Worried about how the UK job hunt would go, I tried to keep a realistic view and often reminded myself that something would come along in it's own time. I also tried to really enjoy the time not working and treated it a bit like a vacation.

And I think the attitude and zen paid off because it's only taken about 7 weeks - whew!

Job hunting is similar the world over, but CVs (resumes) differ. In the UAE, it was important to have a photo, your nationality, age, marital status and job history and to make sure that your CV was EXACTLY what the job called for. Here in UK, all the personal stuff needs to come off and companies are a bit more willing to consider transferable skills. My concern was that the market is competitive and I'm an outsider. Why wouldn't you hire a Brit with the same skill set? (I know, I know, once you know me you can't help but love me, but these Brits didn't yet know me!!)

In any case, I jumped on the job boards, tapped into my network and started applying for jobs. July/August is not an ideal time for this as many are on holiday, but I did get a few nibbles. I then was called for an interview with a local university and things moved quickly after that. Interview on Monday, offer on Tuesday, salary negotiation on Wednesday and final offer accepted on Thursday. That's lightening fast compared to UAE where things can take up to 6 months to iron out. Heck that's lightening fast just about anywhere. The contract and paperwork takes a bit longer so I don't start until October 3rd. A perfect amount of time to receive our UAE shipment (scheduled for the 19th) and get a bit more settled. I couldn't be happier.

What I learned:
  • Salaries are much lower here in Bristol that UAE or US. I'm taking a pay cut, but I think the job will be interesting and the team seems like a good fit. Retirement will just need to wait a year or two.
  • Job websites are much more reliable here than UAE. Things are updated in a timely manner and most of the companies I applied for provided a response. Yes, regret emails stink but at least you know they saw your CV!
  • Negotiation works! I was given a final word on salary, but when I pushed it, I got a better deal. I guess old age and experience does count for something!
  • Public transport and rainy humidity that messes with my hair is now a large part of my work future. :) But at least I won't be sweating or have sand in my lip gloss!

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