Additional discussion on finding employment can be found at “Weekend Warrior Sunday: Finding Jobs in London for Your London Move.”

I will be addressing this topic, yes, but hopefully I haven’t just gotten hopes up that I hold the key to your future 🙂  I raise the subject as it’s a question that often floats to us over cyberspace because, obviously, relocating here requires having a job or program of study over here in the first place.  No employer/school, no need to search for those flats to begin with.

First of all, my most dished-out advice on the employment issue is considering a Tier 1 visa that would allow you to move without having first procured a job.  The drawbacks are that it’s more costly and you must satisfy requirements pursuant to a points-based system that gauges your education/professional level.  If you meet the minimum criteria (which has just been raised as of the 19th this month), you are considered a “highly skilled migrant” and allowed to come on over on the condition that you do actively seek employment and contribute; renewal of your visa will be contingent upon it. [Please note: Since the time this post was first published, UK visa requirements have changed reduced the feasibility of getting a Tier 1 visa. Please refer to our more recent posts outlining such change: “The UK Visa Verdict”]

Otherwise, to attain the Tier 2 visa, you will have to be sponsored by an employer, which is not so easy these days.  The new UK coalition government has recently announced limitations to be placed on visa sponsorship (caps will apply to Tier 1 as well); as it is, corporations already must obey guidelines that ensure their positions have been made available to UK/EU citizens and are only filled by non-UK/EU candidates when no local applicants are as capable of fulfilling the roles.  With the added expense of registering and issuing certificates of sponsorship, the prospect of recruiting/transferring employees from abroad becomes less and less attractive.  In any case, a register of sponsors for Tiers 2 and 5 (and sub-tiers) is available at this link.

I have no rabbit to pull out of the hat here.  To find work, you will need to research it, apply for it, and network for it.  You cannot be proactive enough in this endeavor, as it is critical to distinguish yourself from the masses that are also clamoring for that advertised role.  I recall from my own experience how my CV accompanied 1000s of others in cyberspace when I registered and applied on sites like londonjobs.co.uk, justlondonjobs.co.uklondoncareers.net, totaljobs.com, and TwitJobs.net—with that kind of competition, it’s not enough to look great on paper.  Now, I personally was able to land my role through a search on Craigslist; it just so happened to work in my favor that I was an American expat given the nature of our services, but that is not always going to be the case across industries.

This is where networking is going to kick in.  Hit your Google search and investigate the possibilities for connecting with like-minded individuals, if not recruiters themselves, and get leads or at least good advice for creating your CV, interviewing, etc.  LinkedInMeetup.com, Facebook, and so forth are the most obviously popular networking sites, so don’t underestimate their range of forums on professional networking/job-hunting; keep running through the key words to cast a wide net, and remember that each contact you establish on one of these will be able to proffer advice on yet another resource to tap.  That’s what networking is all about, after all, so you’ve to start somewhere in spinning that web!

It truly is all about who you know.  And now you us, so once you’ve lined up that job and visa, we’ll hook you up with the property, yo, and offer you our own social network of lovely expats.

Additional discussion on finding London employment can be found at “Weekend Warrior Sunday: Finding Jobs in London for Your London Move.”