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
Join your relevant professional body: IABC, CIPR, CIM, IAF etc. and attend events. The networking bits are always a great place to practice your STAR storytelling skills.
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
Spencer Stuart, Green Park, Penna, Veredus, Gatenby Sanderson, Perrett Laver, Odgers Berndtson etc.
VMA, Ellwood Atfield Harkness Kennett etc.
Don’t just send your CV. Call them up. Get an appointment. It is a people business.
+ Also, check out the aggregators (to name a few):
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.
In the meantime, follow @michaelambjorn and @IABCUK for ideas in-between – and be sure to come to the next IABC UK event and meet your peeps!