Typically immigrating with your wife isn’t the easiest decision on virtually any level. They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, let alone across The Pond! But that’s exactly what I’ve done. In general, there has been a bit of stress in this roller coaster of moving from the USA to the UK, but one that has given me a bit of insight.
It’s been pretty uneasy at times as solutions to visa issues and career options at times seemed thin, but in the end things have fallen into place in fortunate ways. I came to Aspire myself in search of work opportunity and within a week I was back in work this time helping others to further their own careers as a Consultant on the Creative and Technical team. As technology gets more integrated into day to day life, getting to meet the creatives behind some cutting edge digital projects in a city like London has been pretty cool so far.
However, it has been a learning curve with a few light hearted differences in making the change to working in the UK, of which I thought I’d share:
1. Fortunately, no one wants an American making their cup of tea… I guess one teabag, 2 sugars, milk plus hot water is a complicated combination.
2. I’m still not sure how to answer the greeting “Alright”, seems counter productive to say alright and answer with an alright, especially if someone isn’t alright.
3. When giving directions to candidates and clients, I’m used to grid cities and cross streets, no need for me to be as precise as “yeah Oxford Circus at the corner of X and Y”… great way to look like a tourist.
4. 20+ days of holiday? Not on my All American wrist watch, time to get to work…but yes I’ll take it!
5. Phone numbers in the USA are simple and have natural pauses such as the classic Hollywood movie phone number, 555-5555. Where do you pause with UK numbers? I’ve opted for a range of different approaches when leaving voicemails and am still working out the kinks.
6. Unsure about attending a Leaving “Do” or any type of Work “Do” for that matter on an account that I keep wondering what we’re going to actually “do”, but I do like to party.
7. Dropping the phrase, “I’ll shoot you an email” at work. In an anti- gun country like the UK, shooting anything seems like a great way to get unwanted attention or possibly “banged up” as my colleagues would say. Send, don’t shoot!
8. After a long day at work, refrain from telling your wife when passing McDonalds how badly you need a Number 2…The Double Cheese Burger meal doesn’t exist in UK McDonalds. Shame.
9. When spelling my last name Fitzgerald to new contacts, is it necessary I say “Zed” or can I still get away with the “Zee”? Sounds silly over-analysing this point, but I’ve stuck to the latter.
10. Lastly, thank you to The Hangover movie’s great international success, I’m glad to hear the “Doug Song” link to youtube sung from time to time around the office.
On that note, everything’s slowly falling into place. Granted this wasn’t heavily recruitment focused, but I thought I’d share my experiences. Feel free to reach out if you’re a Designer looking for your next opportunity, I’d be happy to help!
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