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Kiwi in the Big City

28th October 2015 by Jamie Francis

Kiwi in the Big City

I touched down in London in August 2014 and it was pretty daunting to think I will be setting up a whole new life over here… fast forward a year where I am settled and confident this was the right move plus excited for the new year. Though I don’t claim to be an expert in the realm of international moves, I do have a few tips for those of you planning a similar move.

Transport Apps

City Mapper and Uber - two absolute app musts in terms of getting around London. CM will get you from A to B safe and sound whether it’s walking, catching the tube or jumping on a bus, it will give you all routes along with directions. Uber is currently the most popular taxi app in London and there will no doubt be a taxi within 5 minutes of you. Just set your pick-up location and it will show how many taxis are near you and hail the next available one, while texting you the driver’s details for reference.

Areas to Live

Finding a place to live can be hard especially if you don’t know where you are working or what each area has to offer. I have to say my favorite and most recommended places to live would be East London – Hoxton, Shoreditch, Dalston or North London - Islington and Angel. Or if you want to set up residence with fellow Kiwi’s or Aussie’s then Clapham in South West London is a good hub, with an equal mix of vibrant nightlife offerings and nice neighborly homes. 

Job Seeking Advice

Many of you will be coming over to London on a two year VISA, so after you’ve got all the travelling out of your system and you find yourself ready to work you realise you actually only have 22 months here and need to find a job. Though most of you will be looking for a full-time job, you should definitely be open to temping or freelancing to tide you over if you can’t get that full-time role straight away. For this, having the right CV is a MUST so always make sure you have a short summary/personal profile at the top (only a few lines) as this is the first thing companies see.  I would also strongly recommend amending your CV to cater for each job you apply for i.e. Receptionist, Personal Assistant, Account Manager – you should have a slightly different CV for each one of these roles.

I think my main piece of advice is: Don’t carry the rejections with you! 

London is a game of sink or swim. In the beginning you will have a few curve balls but just enjoy the ride, soak it all in because home will always be there but your opportunity in London might not…

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