5 Tips to Move Your Career to the United Kingdom

Posted on May 31, 2016 | 1 comment

5 Tips to Move Your Career to the United Kingdom

There are many ways to prepare for your job search before your arrival in the United Kingdom. You need to be resourceful, willing to meeting new people at any given moment, and skilled in the business culture. Yet your most important skill will be effectively making contacts or networking.

Jobs in the UK do not, by law, have to be advertised. Advertising is expensive and employers will often try to recruit internally by promotion or they may draw on their network to find suitable candidates. One of the best ways to get a job is by word of mouth, but in order for this to work someone at your target employer must know you. Networking is an essential job search skill. Read on for five key tips for your UK job search.



Visa rules and regulations change over time. Because the eligibility requirements for visas often undergo reevaluation, it is best to check with the official web site of the UK Government on Visas and Immigration for the most up-to-date information.


Unless you are a citizen of one of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, you may need a visa before you travel to UK. In order to get a visa, you will need to be cleared by officials at a British Overseas Mission in your country of origin. Once cleared, the entry clearance certificate, or visa, will be put into your passport.


Use the visa fees tool to check the cost of your visa in the country you’re in. You can check what visa you need to come to the UK – e.g. a work, study or visit visa.


If you are coming to the UK from abroad to visit, work, study or join a family member or partner, you must apply online. If you are unable to apply online, you can use these application forms.


You don’t have to apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). You’ll get one automatically as part of your visa or immigration application. When you submit your visa or immigration application you have to give the personal data that will eventually appear on your BRP including your fingerprints and a photograph.



Effective networking is critical for expats as many companies do not advertise jobs in traditional ways in the UK and sometimes offices are overwhelmed by applicants. In addition, having a personal working relationship with an individual who can recommend you for a position in their organization is favored highly over a “walk-in applicant.” To develop your network, consider joining a professional organization or an expat group. Passport Career members should log in and review the UK section on professional associations and expat groups. Non-members can find a partial listing on the professional associations in UK Wikipedia page or search online for groups on sites like InterNations and Expat.com. Similarly, connect with cultural associations that speak your language and can identify your needs, such as the Inter-Cultural Society of LondonBritish Czech and Slovak AssociationBengali Cultural Association of London and dozens of others. Almost every ethnic community/cultural group is represented in the UK (and Passport Career members can find an extensive list in the UK portfolio).



Jobcentre Plus, an executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions, provides a wide range of information and services, such as benefits, loans and grants and help with finding a job.

If you want to work in a profession regulated by a specific body, such as nursing or engineering, be sure to contact the regulatory body as soon as you can. A list of about 30 regulating bodies can be found on The UK Inter-Professional Group (UKIPG) website. UKIPG acts as a forum for the major professional and regulatory bodies in the United Kingdom. An additional list of professional bodies in UK can be found on this Wikipedia page.



Some expats create their own career opportunities by setting up a business or registering as self-employed. In order to start up a business or register as self-employed, you will need to obtain a National Insurance Number and register with HM Revenue & Customs. You will be responsible for keeping your own records and paying your own taxes. For information on how to register as self-employed, how to start a business or how to file a tax return, visit the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) web page.



To overcome your lack of work experience in the UK or to find a job while you are looking elsewhere, try to find a temporary job. The Recruitment and Employment Confederation annual report has stated that employers in the UK prefer to accommodate temporary agency workers. Temping is a good way to get some experience in the UK workforce and can often lead to a more permanent position with a company. Some employers simply prefer to hire on a temporary contract in order to analyze candidates’ effectiveness. Or, for teachers who cannot find immediate full- or part-time work, consider working as a substitute (“supply”) teacher in a local UK or international school.


Lucia Kolaja Bordean, Corporate Relations Manager

Edited by: Anna Sparks, Expert Global Career Consultant



Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources about networking, finding a job, internship, alternative career opportunities as well as information on writing CVs, cover letters and interviews. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please contact us (or email info@passportcareer.com) regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.



One Comment

  1. The single best piece of career advice I ever heard with regard to getting promoted, was to ask. To be clear I am not talking about asking for a promotion, although there are times when that may be the ticket or it may just backfire and knock you down a rung or two on the career ladder. No, I’m talking about asking the right question of the right person.

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