Working in the UK: The Definitive Guide

With so many exciting places to work in the world, why choose the UK? In this article, you will learn about the advantages of working in the UK. You will also learn detailed information regarding how to go about finding a job and working in the UK as a foreigner. 

As you are about to discover, the UK is a wonderful place to work and live. So let’s dive in!

Introduction to Working in the UK

The UK, or United Kingdom, is one of the most popular choices for ex-pats and enterprising individuals from around the world looking for work. Whether you are looking for meaningful work in a 1st world nation or just a better life for you and your family, you can find it on the storied shores of the United Kingdom. 

The UK sports one of the largest and most productive economies in the world. This is an impressive feat that took many centuries of hard work to build. As a foreigner coming to the UK with the intention of finding work, you must contribute to society as a productive person willing to exchange honest labor for honest earnings. 

One of the biggest decisions you will have to make is whether you only wish to work in the UK for a specific period of time and then return to your home country or go elsewhere. Alternatively, you could commit to the long process of applying for citizenship and remaining in the UK as a citizen. 

The option that you choose is up to you, and the best answer for any individual case depends on your own interests, aspirations, and commitments. 

The Job Market in the UK

With one of the most robust economies globally, the job market in the UK is strong. You will find a wide variety of jobs here. 

While the job market for migrants was growing steadily as recently as 2019, that growth slipped a bit during the first half of 2020 as a result of complications from COVID-19. That said, it should not discourage you from seeking work in the UK.

The UK has seen an impressive bounceback as its economy charges ahead in search of more growth.

Ravages of COVID-19 aside, the UK’s economy emerged in fair condition considering the extent of the damage. With roughly 16% of all workers in the UK being foreign-born, there is a rich and diverse community of migrants settled on its rocky shores. 

How to Find a Job in the UK

The key to finding a job in the UK is to attain the right kind of visa for your situation. once you have been approved for a work visa, you will need to start your job search. Ideally, you want to have a job lined up before coming over and making the trip.

Even if the first job you have lined up is not something you would want to keep doing for more than a few months to a year, keep in mind that it’s just a stepping stone. 

If you want to know how to find a job in the UK, you need to learn about the area and the local people. When you start looking for work in the UK, you should make an effort to learn about the people and the area. The British are quick to reward someone that has taken the time to learn about their culture. 

Migrants who come over without knowledge of the land’s history, culture, and the like can have a more difficult time integrating successfully. 

Take the SELT Test!

If you intend on coming to the UK as a skilled worker, you will need to prove your command of the English language by taking a SELT Test. A SELT Test, or, Secure English Language Test is a test that must be taken through an approved provider. 

Foreigners applying for a skilled worker visa must take the SELT Test to prove that they can read, write, speak, and understand English. Your SELT Test results are key to getting your application for a skilled worker visa approved. 

For those of you that had taken the SELT Test before and failed, you should check out test preparation services to help you learn enough to pass the test on your next attempt. While the results of the test last for 2 years, there is no limit to restrict how many times you can take it. 

Folks that are coming to the UK as an innovator, minister of religion, start-up, or a student will also need to take and pass the SELT Test. Your level of mastery of the English language will play a big role in determining how successful you will be at finding work in the UK. 

By requiring folks to be able to pass an English language test like the SELT Test, you will have a higher chance of succeeding in the UK. 

You can take the SELT test as many times as you need to until you finally get a passing score. Don’t feel bad if you don’t pass the first time.

Look for Jobs Online

Like most countries in the developed world, you can find a lot of jobs in the UK online. You can use a variety of powerful search engines to help you out as you look for a job.

Another smart tip would be to search for jobs in sectors that are currently thriving or in desperate need of new workers. 

The UK is a financial services giant, which means you can find a lot of jobs posted in the finance sector. Working in finance can be a very rewarding career. When seeking a job in finance, you should brush up on your math skills as most of the work associated with finance positions revolve around numbers. 

Talk to People

Don’t forget the power of word of mouth. Once you have gotten settled in your new neighborhood, you should try talking to the people that live there. If they are open to talk and help you out, it can make your job search much easier. 

While not specific to the UK, this is good advice that can help improve your life as an immigrant looking for work in a foreign country. When you’re struggling to find a good job in a new place, it’s always worth gabbing with the locals. 

Why is it so important to talk to the local people when looking for a job in the UK? Because although there are certainly plenty of jobs listed publicly online, many jobs aren’t advertised. 

For example, when talking with a local citizen at the grocery store, you might find out that a plumber, electrician, or secretary is about to retire. You can use that information to your advantage by getting in touch with them and submitting a bid to take their place. 

When opportunities like these come up, it’s important to take advantage of them. By submitting an application in advance in anticipation of someone’s retirement, you can get your foot in the door before anyone else has the chance to apply.

Keep in mind, that if you’re planning to migrate to the UK for work, make sure that your work certification or degree is accepted for the type of work you’re pursuing. Your certifying body or university should have this answer for you.

Use a Recruitment Agency

Another way to find work in the UK is to use a recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies can help you get your name out there and find a job quickly. When working with a recruitment agency, be sure to provide them with a thorough accounting of your skills, work experience, etc. 

Thousands of positions in the UK are filled with the help of recruitment agencies. These agencies work on behalf of employers looking for qualified candidates. If you can impress a few recruitment agencies, you’ll be given the chance to apply to exciting job opportunities. 

Something to keep in mind is to make sure the recruitment agencies you are working with are aware of your visa status. 

Holding Down a Job in the UK 

Once you have found a job in the UK, your next focus should be on holding it down. Holding down a job in the UK takes hard work. Although there are many advantages to living in the UK, people tend to work very hard in this country. 

You can increase your chances of holding down a job in the UK by showing up to work on time every time and demonstrating a strong work ethic. Your work ethic will be rewarded in the UK as the British respect people that work hard. 

Another thing that you should do is take the initiative. Don’t wait around to take care of business, em. Employers in the UK like workers that are proactive and take initiative. By taking the initiative you will show them that they have what it takes to excel. 

Best Places to Live in the UK

The UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This means that the UK covers a fairly large area. Not only is it a large place in terms of surface area, but it also features several culturally and geographically distinct regions. 

Most of the hustle and bustle is found in London which is also where most of the highest-paying jobs can be found. That said, the cost of living is also much higher in London. If you could do without the glitz and glam of the nation’s capital, you might be happier and ultimately better off in the middle of the country north of London. 

If you want a job in a big city, search for a job in London, and if you want to work somewhere a bit more relaxed, try searching for jobs in Leeds, Manchester, and York. 

East Hertfordshire has ranked as one of the most popular places to live in the UK. This area is home to plenty of good schools, good wages, and a pleasant climate. 

The community of Stroud has also been touted as one of the best places to live in the UK because of its pleasent atmosphere and welcoming community. For those of you that want to feel a strong sense of community in a new land, you’ll want to find work in Stroud. 

North Berwick is also very popular. This coastal community is situated in Scotland, making it a unique place to live in the Northern stretches of the United Kingdom. Graced with beautiful scenery, it’s a veritable paradise of the North. 

Aberdyfi has also been ranked as one of the best places to live in Wales and the UK more generally. As a seaside community nestled on the coast of Wales, you will have no shortage of beautiful views.

Best Places to Work in the UK

Now that you know more about some of the best places to live in the UK, it’s time to take a look at the best places to work in the UK. 

The best places to live aren’t always the best places to find work. As you may have noticed, East Hertfordshire is a notable exception to this as the community is blessed with pleasant surroundings and plentiful job opportunities. 

As it turns out, Slough is one of the best communities in the UK in terms of job opportunities. If you’re looking for high-paying jobs, you can find them aplenty in the community of Slough. 

Cambridge is another UK community with extraordinary job opportunities.

The city of Cambridge has a median base salary of £31,941, while Slough has a median base salary of £30,139. Although the base salary in both towns is comparable, you should know that property is more expensive in Cambridge than in Slough. 

Gloucester and Guildford are also fine communities to find a job. You will find that real estate is much more affordable in Gloucester than it is in Slough, Cambridge, or even Guildford.

Why Choose to Work in the UK?

Out of all of the countries in the world, why should you choose the UK to move to when looking for work? For one thing, the UK is a very stable country. The United Kingdom has come a long way from the collection of warring Picts, Anglo-Saxons, and Welshmen of its past. 

Today, you will find that what was once a faraway land on the outer rim of civilization during the height of the Roman Empire is now a resplendent economic powerhouse. The UK is graced with the distinction of being one of the major superpowers of the modern world. As such, it can offer you a wealth of opportunities.

The United Kingdom is home to bustling cities, charming villages, and a rich variety of jobs to choose from. England was once referred to as the workhouse of the world and to a large extent, that hasn’t changed. There’s always work to be done in the United Kingdom. 

Healthcare in the UK is considered to be on par with some of the most medically advanced countries in the world. There is a great deal of confidence in knowing that you can find work and competent medical care all in the same place. The National Health Service is a combination of government-backed publicly funded healthcare systems. 

Another thing you should know about is the IHS, or Immigrant Healthcare Surcharge. The IHS is essentially a healthcare charge that non-EEA migrants must pay. You need to pay this charge to satisfy the requirements of the immigration process. 

The UK is also home to a vibrant variety of cultures. The best way to learn about the culture is to visit the public museums and frequent the local pubs. 

How to Stand Out as a Foreign Worker Seeking a Job

If you are serious about building a career in the UK, you will need to learn how to make yourself stand out as a candidate. While it’s not always essential to stand out when you only seek work for a temporary period, building a career in the UK takes more dedication. 

Standing out as a foreigner might seem like a daunting task, but when you think about it, you can use your own unique background to your advantage. Take the experience you have from your native country and build on that. As long as you take the process of learning English seriously, you will outperform your peers. 

Come with an Understanding of Local Laws and Customs

By taking the time to learn the local laws and customs, you will stand out as an upstanding prospect that has the drive to make it in the United Kingdom. You can easily learn the local laws by looking them up online. 

While you should make sure that you gain a clear understanding of traffic laws, you should be focusing on labor laws and immigration law. By knowing about the local labor laws, you can successfully avoid being taken advantage of.

You can also ensure that you are getting a fair chance when being interviewed and are not being discriminated against.

Demonstrate Your Knowledge of English Literature

By demonstrating your knowledge of English literature, you will be able to endear yourself to employers in the UK quite easily. The British people are quite fond of their literature which means they will take a shine to anyone who shows an enthusiastic interest in it. 

Don’t just throw a few quotes around. Try having an in-depth conversation with people on English literature. You are sure to make a few important friends that way. These friends could be your ticket to a better job and a better life. 

Become Familiar with the Transportation System

If you’re going to work in the UK, you have to know how to get around. Employers will want to know that you can navigate the area competently. More specifically, they want assurance that you will be able to show up to work on time. 

You will stand out because you will show up to your interview on time while people that neglect to become familiar with the transportation system will be late. 

For those of you applying for a job in a large city like London, you should take the time to learn about the transportation system. 

Flaunt Your Language Skills

Once you have passed the SELT Test and mastered the English language, you will have the opportunity to flaunt your language skills. When employers know that they can communicate with you at a high level, they will be more inclined to hire you.

Conversely, if you only speak broken English and take a long time to respond to questions, employers can become frustrated very quickly and will move on to the next applicant without hesitation. 

The Best Way to Learn English 

There are many ways to learn English. That said, you should begin by teaching yourself as much as possible using free online websites and tools. Start by building your vocabulary and continue to add new words every day. 

Once you have a solid foundation to work on, try reading short stories written in English. The more you read, the more familiar you will be with the language, which will build confidence. It is important to supplement your reading with TV shows and videos. 

The key to learning English and speaking it like a native is to hear people speak English and practice repeating the things that they say. Try saying different sentences over and over again every day until you master them all. 

After you have become comfortable with your knowledge of the language, you will be ready to schedule a SELT test through Skills for English!

Skills for English Is Here to Help you Qualify for a Visa! 

Here at Skills for English, we are committed to helping people master the English language to qualify for a visa and launch a successful career in the United Kingdom. When you work with us, we will help support you every step of the way and make it easy to arrange your test. 

Qualifying for a visa should be easy. All you need is a little help, and you can get that help right here, at Skills for English. 

Success in the UK is just a few clicks away. Get in touch with the friendly team at Skills for English today!

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