Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Thought I would share this too!

I use a fantastic message board (UK Yankee) here in London, have a look. Here's one of my threads..

« on: February 23, 2009, 04:45:12 PM »

I am looking to hear any positive success stories about Americans finding jobs in London. I just graduated from college this past May. I have been looking for my first real job after college here in London for the past four months and it hasn't been going as well as I would have hoped.

I guess I am trying to figure out what I should expect. I am 30 years old with a BS:Visualization degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I have significant internship experience and before that I ran my own child care business. Technically I am a recent graduate, but I am not the typical fresh out of college kid. My last internship was with a digital agency called Popular Front. I was there for nine months as an experience strategist. I did web strategy and IA.

I know the economy is in a very bad way at the moment, but will it be next to impossible to find a job? I have applied for specific jobs and temp agencies, the works looking for ways to get my foot in the door. I have also applied for internships/work experiences but have been told that I have too much experience. I am in a weird spot because I have experience, but not a lot. Is being American a road block?

I have gone on interviews and they haven't gone well at all. I don't think I am selling my self as well as I could.

I will never give up hope of finding a job that I want, but I am thinking that maybe I will have to shift my expectations. Have people out there had success in finding work? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you,

and here are the replies


I've been in London since October looking for work. I have an MA in Fine Art and have experience working in museums and teaching as well as administrative/office experience. I've applied for well over a hundred jobs and am getting rather desperate. I really (really!) don't want to head back to the US but my savings are dwindling faster than I'd care to think about.

Good luck to you Rhea, I hope you find something soon!


My 2p is this: yes, the economy is not helping at all. But, art/design/museum/web work is a tough field to crack if you don't have connections.
You've got a TON of competition. There are loads of art and design programmes in UK universities which, of course, try to foster contacts for their thousands of graduates. And they all wanna work in London. You are also competing against people from the EU - and some of those countries have outstanding programmes (Holland for example). I had outstanding experience in the US as an art director. I had a BFA and an MA. But it took me ages to get my foot in the door as a teacher and I never got a job as a designer even though I did have contacts. It is not easy. But not impossible. You may have more luck getting an admin type job for security and on the side work hard to build up contacts and a UK-based portfolio. And not to be a further downer, but yes, I did find being American problematic with some people. I would venture to say that I was turned down for at least one job simply because of it. I'm really not trying to make you think this is impossible. It isn't and I do know other Americans who found work. But it took time and serious perseverance. Do anything you can to get contacts. That's the way to go


I'm in the same boat. I arrived in London a month ago and have applied to about 50 jobs with no success. I have a BS in Business Administration/Marketing but spent the last 5 years as a flight attendant in the US. Prior to that, I worked in mortgage banking which no one wants to touch right now with a ten foot pole. I've been turned away from the airlines here because I don't have a UK or EU passport so I'm willing to take anything right now that comes along. I've had one interview and it was the worst I've ever had. A few of the agencies that I've been in contact with were reluctant to submit my CV to potential employers because I'm an American. I explained my situation and told them that I don't need any other documentation to work, i.e. a visa but they were still hesitant. Keep in mind that most Americans that are here in London came over as transfers from the US or already had their jobs lined up for them so recruiters don't have much experience in hiring Americans. I'm headed to another agency to register with them. I wish all of you luck!!



  1. Oh good luck with the job hunt! I wish I could add some tips to the other comments here but all I can add is good vibes. I am also from MN (Bemidji), I lived in Whitechapel for 7 years and worked at a charity in kings Cross (all the posh parts of London!!) but now live in Essex. Not formally working at the moment, doing up a house with my husband--'project managing' i like to say to make it sound important.

    Best wishes and good vibes for a good job...

  2. I always appreciate good vibes :) Good luck with your house project. I would love to do that someday.


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