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Absolutely Ashika On Getting a Job In The UK

Content creator and expat expert Ashika (@AbsolutelyAshika) is back by popular demand! 

This time she’s talking about getting a job in the UK. We discuss finding sponsored jobs, avoiding job scams, driving to work, and what it’s like living in the UK if you’re a working parent. 

Welcome back Ashika. Let’s get stuck in. How can people hoping to move to the UK find jobs?

First things first, search for companies that are licensed sponsors. Mainstream portals are the best places to find sponsored roles. Try the UK government site,  LinkedIn, Indeed and Reed, which share job postings in most fields. 

There are also a few niche portals, like UKHired and DevIT, tailored to more specific skill sets.

Are job scams common for UK newcomers?

Lots of my followers show me scam emails they’ve been sent about jobs. Mostly the scammers try to convince people they’ve been selected for a job and that they need to pay a deposit. Don’t fall for it! 

It’s best to assume a job opportunity is fake if:

  • You haven’t applied for a role at the company or sat an interview but have been offered the job.
  • They’re asking you to pay money but there’s no clarity on where it’s going and they haven’t provided a Certificate of Sponsorship number.

Once they’ve moved to the UK, how can people boost their chances of getting a job?

People seem to think that it’s not about who you know in the UK but I totally disagree. Network as much as possible. Interactions with different people from different companies will really help your job search and could lead to your next role. 

And what about driving - do people need a UK driving licence to apply for jobs?

You don’t need to have a UK driving licence or access to a car for all jobs. But there are specific roles that require you to drive, like in healthcare or sales. 

If you’re new to the UK, you can drive in the UK for 12 months on your current license before getting a UK one. 

That’s true. And we cover licences from all countries for the first 12 months. Hint hint…  

Exactly! But, after 12 months, you’ll need to switch to a UK licence. If you’re from certain countries, like the UAE or South Africa, you don’t have to take a UK driving test. If you’re from India like me, you’ll need to book a test. 

The written theory test can be booked quite quickly but, when I last checked, practical driving tests have a big waiting list. And remember, you’ll need to take some lessons too - even if you think you’re the best driver in the world! Driving in the UK is very different.

Of course, lessons and tests come at a cost. Your driving test alone will cost around £62 and people fail their tests at least 2 to 3 times before they pass, on average. It’s worth factoring in that cost before you move. 

Do you think driving is a must if you’re working in the UK? 

You need to do the calculations. For example, if you’re travelling from Maidenhead to Reading every day for work, it’ll probably be cheaper to drive than get a train.

And look at public transport, too. If you live outside of London or a big town centre, it can be really tricky to get reliable transport to and from work.

It’s also worth thinking about how you’ll spend your time beyond work. If you want to explore the UK on your time off, you’ll probably want a car as public transport isn’t that affordable or regular. A weekend away in the Peak District or Scottish Highlands needs a car! 

Aside from commuting, how do you think work differs in the UK from other countries?

What I know from my friends, followers and people I’ve met is that there’s a lot more flexibility in the UK when it comes to remote working. In India, companies are pushing towards full-time office work. Whereas over here, lots of people regularly work from home a few days a week. 

We also don’t really have a concept of flexible hours in India. The culture is very much your set hours for 5 days a week. That can be tricky for parents.

Do you think the UK is a good place to work as a parent? 

If you have children and are based in the UK, there are opportunities to do your work around your children. Lots of the mums at my son’s school work during school hours and can be there for drop off and pick up.

On the other hand, childcare is very expensive in the UK and maternity/paternity policies aren’t as generous as in other countries. So flexible working is an absolute must. Think carefully about the cost of childcare before moving to the UK for a new job. 

Thanks Ashika for sharing more great advice on moving to the UK. If you want to know more about moving to the UK from someone with first-hand experience, head over to Ashika’s YouTube channel.

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