As an immigrant, I have first-hand knowledge of the difficulties and hazards you can encounter in a
strange country. You may also need to adapt or improve your skills. I am an Argentinean and lived all my life in Buenos Aires. I was very happy in a secure job as a secretary in Buenos Aires.
I was working as a secretary to my European boss for five years. I have a Secretary Diploma from a secretarial college here. My colleagues were hard working and fun to work with and job paid well. My husband was offered a transfer to the UK with a handsome salary, benefits and rent-free accommodation for two months.
Although it meant uprooting and leaving family and friends, it was too good an offer to refuse. I was quite excited with the move and supported my husband as I thought I would easily find a similar job to that which I had in Buenos Aires, especially with my experience.
My Adjustment To London
In London, we spent the first month taking delivery of our belongings that were shipped over, organising the flat, exploring London and getting acquainted with the variety of foods in the
supermarkets. Then we went flat hunting. Reality slotted in place as we realised just how expensive it is to live in London; it was way above our budget. We decided that I had to get a job as soon as possible as we wanted to take advantage of this move and build up our savings not dip into it.
I approached several agencies and was rejected right away. My qualifications were not recognised in the UK and the agents said that my secretarial experience would not count. Also they thought my English was not of a high standard although I am fluent in written and spoken English. This was annoying so I now had to overcome my weaknesses.
Taking A Language Course
I decided to address my English Language first, so I researched English Language courses. I found a Business English course that offered a formal qualification, which seemed to be the perfect requirement for my first job.
The English course was a short and intensive that was within my budget. With the necessary dedication, I achieved my first UK diploma within two months. Armed with this qualification, I found the ideal job as a secretary to a department head. I hope this will help newcomers understand how to adapt to a foreign job market. Retraining or a change of career may be what is needed. Also, do not worry if things do not work out at first, you just need to rethink your strategy and adapt to your new country’s way.