Author Topic: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?  (Read 1485 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Barb

  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: Aug 2016
  • Liked: 5
Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« on: October 04, 2016, 12:45:43 PM »
So, I've been here in the UK on my spouse visa and applying for jobs for over a month. I have applied to countless jobs that I am very qualified for and have talked to so many recruiters but I have yet to get a single interview, or even a semblance of interest.

I am not trying to sound braggy, but I do have a healthy CV with programming and business analyst experience and I came from working for GE Aviation making much more than what I'll find anywhere here in the North (of this I am understanding, because it is the competitive pay in the area and is fair for cost of living).

I know I could find a job easily back home, but that doesn't seem to translate here. Is this struggle something that everyone in the UK, immigrant or not, would struggle with or is there a bit of discrimination happening here?

Again, I apologize if I sounded very full of myself; I really don't mean to. I just want to clarify that I'm not coming here with only best buy cashier experience and expecting to land some fantastic job right away. Recruiters think I'm gold dust, but employers would rather pass. Is anyone else having a similar struggle? Is it arrogant of me to assume it's possibly xenophobia?

Offline KFdancer

  • *
  • Posts: 6088
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Liked: 470
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 12:53:11 PM »
We heard this ALL THE TIME.  I know it doesn't make it easier.  But the UK LOVES their qualifications.  And no matter how fabulous your CV is, you won't have UK qualifications.  I learned yesterday that they give qualifications for typing!

Once you secure your first job in the UK and have UK experience, you'll have no trouble finding new work.  It's getting that first job that is tough.  Most employers will consider you as having no experience, even though you have experience outside of the UK.  Can you do a bit of temporary work?  That'll get you that all important UK experience.

Good luck.  It'll happen!

Offline Barb

  • *
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: Aug 2016
  • Liked: 5
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 01:01:20 PM »
I would love to get ANY experience, I've definitely applied to anything that I could possibly be considered for, but good grief is it impossible to get anywhere job wise! I'm glad to know that it will get easier once I get my foot in the door, but this is so frustrating. I'm someone who has to be working, so I feel like a useless lump right now.

Offline TravelingFrog

  • *
  • Posts: 2118
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: London
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 64
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 01:07:49 PM »
I had a tough time getting my first job in the UK. It took me about 9 months and my first job here was a temporary role. Once I had that under my belt, another job came my way and I've been with that company for the last 3 years (the first role was fixed term, but they created a new role for me once that was over).

It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but once you've got some work experience in the UK, it's generally easier to find work. For that reason, I wouldn't be too picky about your first job in the UK (I'm not saying you are, just speaking from experience). It may not be an ideal, dream role, but it will be something UK-based to show on your CV.
July 2012 - Fiancée Visa | Nov 2012 - Married
Dec 2012 - FLR | Nov 2014 - ILR | Dec 2015 - UK Citizen

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 14632
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Location: Lincolnshire, UK
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 494
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 01:20:25 PM »
Sorry you're having trouble finding a job :(.

It's not just being an immigrant with no UK work experience that makes it hard... Jobs are competitive here and it can potentially take months to secure a job, even if you are a UK citizen.

It took me 2 years to get my current (career-based) job - I'm a UK citizen with degrees in physics from two UK universities, but I was unfortunately looking for graduate jobs right in the middle of the recession and in those 2 years of job-hunting, I only secured 3 interviews. (To be far, I did have a job in retail to tide me over, so I possibly wasn't trying as hard as I would have if I was completely unemployed).

When my dad was made redundant in the early 90s, it took him a couple of years to secure a new job too... He applied for hundreds and struggled to find anything - he ended up becoming a stay-at-home dad for 2-3 years while my mum had to go back to work.


Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk

Offline sonofasailor

  • *
  • Posts: 3180
  • Joined: Jul 2005
  • Liked: 217
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 04:19:19 PM »
Yes there is a measure of xenophobia on the part of UK employers.
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across - Sun Tzu

Offline jimbocz

  • *
  • Posts: 1410
  • Joined: Sep 2015
  • Liked: 232
Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2016, 01:05:05 PM »
Hey Barb, I'm an American who has been contracting in programming/ Databases for the last 15 years.  I've had many different periods during that time when I was looking for a role and NONE of them were less than 2 or 3 months.  Most UK companies would struggle to organise a picnic in a month, much less hire someone.  Don't sweat it until you reach 6 months with no interviews.  Maybe more if you live way up north.  It's grim up there. 

I doubt anything is wrong with you or your CV, agents will plainly tell you if there is .  However, I'll be happy to look over your CV if you like, and send you mine.  PM me.  If the agents are all telling you something, like you need to increase the area you are looking in and face a long commute, you should listen.

On a practical note, I would find the four biggest job sites and every day go to a new one and re-upload your CV, as well as apply for any advertised positions.  Each time you upload your CV, it is distributed to all the agents.  Contrary to what they have told you, agents don't "keep anyone in mind", they tend to send out the last CV that was on their desk.  It's all a numbers game, send out as many CVs and talk to as many agents as you can.  The first agents that call are just filling their databases, so if you don't hear back from them it doesn't mean anything.  The guys who have the jobs will call later, eventually. 

I might consider going to a training site like Pluralsight and studying up on some of the skills that you frequently see on jobs you are interested in.  Even if you just spend 2 days taking a web course, put it on your CV.  Key words are everything!  I personally don't think anyone cares about qualifications for project managers or programmers, but you've got to be able to convince people you know what you're on about by throwing around the key words.  Also, you must have the appropriate key words all over your CV so you come up in a search.

Finally, if your only "issue" is being American, I think you benefit from that.  When it comes to tech, they love Americans.  Do you have anything else going on?  Pregnant?  Girl Power facial tattoos?
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 01:11:07 PM by jimbocz »

Offline KFdancer

  • *
  • Posts: 6088
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Liked: 470
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 01:17:38 PM »
I personally don't think anyone cares about qualifications for project managers or programmers

I'm in the South, so aware it's a very different game to the North...  but my company ONLY hires project managers with a PRINCE2 or PMP qualification.   ::)

Offline hms_seahorse

  • *
  • Posts: 170
  • Joined: Feb 2015
  • Location: London
  • Liked: 27
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 03:12:56 PM »
Finally, if your only "issue" is being American, I think you benefit from that.  When it comes to tech, they love Americans.  Do you have anything else going on?  Pregnant?  Girl Power facial tattoos?

I recognise it's a different game Up North, but I'm about 50% tattoos (including finger ink; also have a nose stud), and no one has so much as blinked in 3.5 years. Maybe it's a London thing, but I've found they're much more easy-going about tatts here than in America.

My guess is the same as yours: It's down to the general slowness of the UK hiring process. And maybe the need for a project management qualification, which can be picked up for a mighty reasonable price, all things considered, e.g.: https://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/training-byte-size-15

Offline jimbocz

  • *
  • Posts: 1410
  • Joined: Sep 2015
  • Liked: 232
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2016, 03:58:59 PM »
I'm in the South, so aware it's a very different game to the North...  but my company ONLY hires project managers with a PRINCE2 or PMP qualification.   ::)

Oooooh, that sounds nice.  I've worked for plenty of companies that should have had that rule.  All too often,it's the programmer that can't actually write code who gets promoted to manager and/or PM.

Offline jimbocz

  • *
  • Posts: 1410
  • Joined: Sep 2015
  • Liked: 232
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2016, 04:05:41 PM »
I recognise it's a different game Up North, but I'm about 50% tattoos (including finger ink; also have a nose stud)


We all need to charter a boat and go out for a day's cruise., like in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.  You get to be Captain.   I wanna see Sirius drink too much and get all lairy, and I want to see Son of Sailor's Grateful Dead t-shirt.

Offline jimbocz

  • *
  • Posts: 1410
  • Joined: Sep 2015
  • Liked: 232
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2016, 04:06:24 PM »
I recognise it's a different game Up North, but I'm about 50% tattoos (including finger ink; also have a nose stud)


We all need to charter a boat and go out for a day's cruise., like in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.  You get to be Captain.   I wanna see Sirius drink too much and get all lairy, and I want to see Son of Sailor's Grateful Dead t-shirt.

Offline jimbocz

  • *
  • Posts: 1410
  • Joined: Sep 2015
  • Liked: 232
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 04:07:51 PM »
I think that would cheer up Barb.

Offline hms_seahorse

  • *
  • Posts: 170
  • Joined: Feb 2015
  • Location: London
  • Liked: 27
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2016, 04:31:08 PM »
We all need to charter a boat and go out for a day's cruise., like in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.  You get to be Captain.   I wanna see Sirius drink too much and get all lairy, and I want to see Son of Sailor's Grateful Dead t-shirt.

I would genuinely be up for that. We can also run a book on who'll be first to fall into the Thames.

Offline KFdancer

  • *
  • Posts: 6088
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Liked: 470
Re: Is my job search struggle normal or possibly discrimination?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2016, 04:32:52 PM »
I would genuinely be up for that. We can also run a book on who'll be first to fall into the Thames.

I'll bring my tap shoes and provide some entertainment....  you know right before I fall into the Thames!