Top Do’s and Don’t’s when planning your Overseas Experience (OE) – Part 2
Last week we shared with you Part 1 of our list of pitfalls that Australian and New Zealand professionals have fallen into as they plan and enjoy their professional overseas experience. We don’t want you making any of the same mistakes, so here’s a second batch of things you shouldn’t do in part 2.
Don’t book your travel, accommodation and trips before your visa is approved.
Visas can take time to fill in correctly and months to process. Take our advice – don’t be tempted to rush through it or leave your application to the last minute. Start early, do your homework and you’re far more likely to feel in full control of the process and get the visa you need exactly when you need it. Once confirmed and in your hand, that is the time to go wild with all your plans with absolute confidence. For our more advice on getting your Visa, read this article – Getting your UK working visa: 10 things you need to know
Don’t rely on your old Aussie/Kiwi resume (CV)
They say that ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ and even more so when you are arriving into a new country for the very first time. Your CV is your very first opportunity (sometimes before you’ve even entered the country) to stand out from the crowd in your quest to find your ideal job in your chosen industry. Employers are interested in the facts about what you know, what you’ve done, the impact that has had and your education, so try to keep the ‘fluffiness’ to a minimum and focus on keeping your CV as short, concise and to the point as you can.
Don’t think that the UK is just all about London.
London is a fantastic city, without question, but definitely don’t assume that it is the only place worthy of your consideration to live and work in the UK. Depending on your industry and your personal priorities there are many fantastic cities to choose from in the UK, so make sure you do your homework. Establish what your working/saving/travel priorities are – do you want to earn and save as much as you can before exploring, or are you looking for flexible work so you can get on with enjoying the culture and nightlife of a city? It’s also important to research what demand there is for your skill set in your chosen location as this may dictate your earning capability and success.
What is for sure is whether you fancy working in London, the UK’s buzzing multicultural capital, or you love the idea of exploring Britain’s beautiful scenic rural side…..our experience is that Aussies and Kiwi’s receive a very warm welcome wherever they end up, and generally find the shared language, sense of humour and culture makes it very easy to settle anywhere.
A more in-depth article on choosing the right UK city for you can be found here – How to know which UK city is the right one for you
Don’t assume that your industry will be the same in the UK as it is at home.
It won’t be, and that is the absolute beauty of a professional OE. You may well know your industry inside out back at home, but the unique experience of working abroad will give you the opportunity to gain experience of other cultures and working styles internationally. Do your research into what the differences are, use your networks, find out what core skills might be required that you don’t have and see if there is perhaps the opportunity to learn before you leave your current role? Equally, establish the additional skills that you have where you can add value from your own home industry experience.
Don’t think you will find a job before you arrive
Unless you are transferring or you are very highly skilled, don’t think you will land a job before you arrive. Whilst the job market in the UK is very buoyant at the moment, there are also hundreds of people applying for the best jobs. If you think about it, why would a recruiter or hirer hire someone who is not yet available in the country for an interview and who, in their eyes, might not even actually make it over?
We suggest applying for roles no earlier than 2 weeks before arriving (and really if you can wait, a week). At least this way, you can arrive having made some initial recruiter relationships, which in turn could hopefully lead to getting you an interview or two lined up for when you’re here.
Do start to build relationships and arrange social meetups before you leave home.
This is so much easier now with the powers of social media and the huge variety of meetup sites. Make sure to explore all your personal networks and the networks of your friends and colleagues as part of your planning process. Make sure you say yes to everything you are invited to – there is so much fun stuff to do here in the UK, and so many great people to do it with. Throw your net wide and say yes to everything (within reason)!
And so with that in mind, MyOE would like to invite you to connect with their ready-made MyOE community of like-minded professionals to share experiences, make friends, travel companions and business network. Attending one of the MyOE’s regular party nights can lead to a new job, house, or a weekend away with friends in Europe. Get in touch today with one of our OE experts either in Australia or in the UK, or for more in-depth hints and tips of what you need to know when planning a successful OE then Download our handbook free of charge.