A two-parter with resources for recent London arrivals – compiled for IABC UK where you can also find a copy of this post.
So you’ve moved to London, eh?
Once you’ve sorted out the essentials (visa, bank account etc. etc.) here are some ideas for a quick start.
Get ahead of the culture shock
(Even if you don’t think it’ll happen to you):
- Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour
- Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things Done Across Cultures
— And whilst it is intended as humour, this cuts close to reality… Anglo-EU translation Guide.
Adapt your pitch
Review and update your CV – correct spelling as appropriate – and remove anything that doesn’t have a result attached to it. Think through your portfolio stories (Situation, Task, Action, Result – or STAR for short) and practice them. Then make sure your LinkedIn profile matches. Yes, people do look you up before they meet you.
Build your network
That said, doing a lot of listening first is never a bad move. You might want to read this book as a fresh take on that topic. Don’t be fooled by the cover.
And … look out for interesting MeetUp events beyond that – meetup.com/
Find a headhunter
Before you approach them, be absolutely clear about what you’re looking for (something that interests you; you’re good at; and others will pay for). Respect their time.
The Japanese call it Ikigai and the World Economic Forum has a useful article on this with a beautiful Venn – but I digress. The point is: cement your personal Venn with STAR stories. That alignment will make all the difference. And having interviewed 100s of people in the last 20+ years I can confidently say that following this format is the key to impressing any interview panel.
Senior gigs in general – a selection of firms
Don’t just send your CV. Call them up. Get an appointment. It is a people business.
Do your due diligence
If a listed company, read the annual report and listen to the latest investor call. You’ll be surprised what is hidden in plain sight – useful for the interview process. If it is privately held, look them up: Companies House. Or if a charity, use the Charity Commission website. And you may want to check out Glassdoor and Crunchbase too – and if you’re willing to spend: a service like DueDil. If not, general Googling is useful – including news.google.com/
Land the job
Work through Slate’s Negotiation Academy + We Have a Deal early in the process. You might also want to use a Negotiation Canvas. Temper all that advice with the cultural insights from your reading of the resources mentioned up front. Or if you want to comprehensively overthink it, have a look at the Empathic Negotiation Canvas…
Good luck! And look for the next in the series which focuses on how to settle in long term – and also has a set of useful ideas and resources for those freelancing.