The daunting process of job seeking

What is the hardest part of settling in abroad? Arguably, finding work.

It did not need to be like this, because I had a job long before I packed my bags. That’s right. I am blessed to have the cv I do for an accountant, which includes ACCA and a Masters degree. I worked damn hard for it.

So as soon as I applied to One of the Big4 in Malta, I got the job easily. Shockingly easily.

The question that seemed relevant the most was ‘why Malta’ and the director seemed assured only when I said that it’s for my boyfriend. The interview lasted 35 minutes, of which he was introducing the operations in Malta for 15. Second interview went similarly- I did not say much.

This would never happen in London as there the competition is much more fierce.

Fast forward, as the first day of employment approached, the non-compete clause in the contract was ruining my sleep. As a matter of fact, should I leave this job, I would have to pay them in order to find employment in Malta in my sector. Which is not ideal when you are stepping into new territory, advisory. What if I did not like the job? I would be chained to the firm for good (imagine paying back minimum a year’s worth of your salary !!) and that’s something that I can’t handle.

I think I made some enemies there! But then they did not even offer a decent salary! Which in fact was what tipped me over to send the fateful email.

I know that a few countries can offer the level of salaries that London can (I say London because the rest of the UK is different) but I believe that I have got some great experience I can offer to prospective employers and those who will see it, will pay.

Wow, that was cocky.

Well, I hope it works out. I have had six interviews in one week and three chats with recruiters. So far, the work of recruiters bear no fruits.

I don’t like waiting for feedback, especially when expecting it to be negative. I feel that way about all interviews though. When I interviewed for a job at my previous company, where I stayed for four years (!!), I thought after each round that I completely screwed up and that there is no way that these big shots from a huge bank would give a job to a non-British woman. They did.

And here I am, waiting for a phone call from the HR of the company which interviewed me once over the phone and twice in person. Either they will tell me to get lost or to come for another round. What a way to spend birthday!

Oh and by the way it is clear that despite English being the official language here, I tend to not progress to second interview if I am not Maltese. Coincidence? Doubt it.

But then, I am lucky to be invited to all these interviews and it has definitely not always been like that.

When I was applying to companies after graduating, the UK just about came out of the recession and jobs were scarce and underpaying. The one I accepted was so far away with bad connections that it took me two hours each way to get to work. I stayed sixteen months.

The very first job I got in London back in 2007 was in a laundry. Day-in-day-out counting dirty tableware, getting burnt by the iron while not understanding what is being said around me as all my colleagues were Bengali.

Let’s home it doesn’t come to this.


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