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Move to UK and work in IT

Many people associated with the IT industry reflects the move from Eastern Europe to the West, United Kingdom, Germany or the United States. Not only because of better earnings, but major opportunities to develop your career and meet new people from different places around the world.

A few years ago, for a long time I though about it. Until one day, together with my wife we decided to move to London. It was 3 years ago. Time flies…

In this post I would like to present some advice about moving to UK.
How to prepare yourself.
How to find a job in IT.

Below are several points that I hope someone will find useful.

English

This seems trivial, but there are many people who don’t speak English. I’ve conducted many interviews and nothing is more doomed to failure, than a potential candidate that has as a lack of language skills. I’ve also worked with such people, and believe me, it is neither easy nor pleasant. Therefore, if you don’t speak English well enough to use it at work and to talk about life, my advice is simple – learn! Never it’s too late to start. Check this great ad found recently:

CV

CV is the abbreviation of your experience and the fastest way to present yourself. Remember, it needs to be [zwiezle], [specifically and about]. Do not forget to enter your experience and brief summary of this. Before you do, however, define your experience and be honest. Spanking college code without a purpose doesn’t count as X years of experience. Believe me, sooner or later someone will find it out, i.e. during a conversation with a recruiter or an interview.

And most important – do not attach your photograph to the CV! The UK market doesn’t hold such a habit.

However, if you have difficulties with the preparation of your CV, you can find agencies who will help you in this type of things (it may cost you) or you could ask the recruitment agency and ask them to send you the templates or existing CVs. You should be able to create your own based on these documents.

Job type: permanent or contract?

The difference between permanent and a contract role is that a permanent work is a contract with different kind of benefits, i.e. gym membership, free breakfast & lunch, medical care, pension scheme.

A contract role is valid for certain period of time (usually several months). It does not have the benefits of a permanent role but as a rule, contract is more profitable (even £600/day and more). Moreover, permanent role obligates you to statutory 20+ days of holidays during the year. I wouldn’t recommend the contract role to someone who just wants to start his or her work in the UK. As far as I know, it’s good to have at least few years of experience before. For more details, please check Google.

Check the market

Take some time to review the situation in the IT market. If you have already prepared your CV, you should know what you can afford and how much you can get every month. This is important, because recruiters often ask yourself what is your experience and what are your expectations. From what I know the salary range for .NET Developers are as follows:

  • Graduate/Junior .NET Developer – 25 – 35k / rok
  • .NET Developer – 30 – 45k / rok
  • Senior .NET Developer – 45k+

Of course, these amounts may be outdated. For more details, please check current job offers and check what exactly you may get.

Find a place to stay

If you know someone in UK or if you’re brave enough, try to find an apartment, even for temporary accommodation. Last option is accommodation in a hotel / motel (pricy for a longer period of time) or hostels (if you like to sleep with strangers). I can’t even imagine how I would attend an interview after a night in the car or train station 🙂

Get in touch with agencies

Most important part. Even outside the UK you should look for a recruitment agency who may be interested in your person. Send your CV as a response to job ads posted on the Internet. However, remember to be honest and tell them exactly when you’ll be in UK and when you could start your job. In this case, all interview steps could be taken online (Skype video-call or others) or by telephone.

Remember about money!

Second most important part. Remember that sometimes things may not go as you though and you won’t find a job straight away (I never heard about the programmer who would seek for a permanent role longer than a few weeks, but it may happen). For this reason, you should put aside some money (for a month, max two) and, if necessary, use it.

Summary

From experience I know that coming to the UK and beginning your work as a software developer isn’t difficult. You just have to prepare for the new environment, be open to new people and be brave. There are hundreds of jobs posted everyday online i.e. on LinkedIn. I’m sure everyone will find something for themselves.

Maybe someday I’ll describe my journey, how I end up living and working in London. For now I hope that someone will find all of these details useful. If you’ll need any help, please, don’t hesitate to contact me on LinkedIn

Published by

Mateusz Pustelak

Software Developer with several years of commercial experience, TDD practitioner, DDD/CQRS fan. Currently working for Universal Music Group in London.

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