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How I Got a Job in New York?

I am based in the UK, but was fortunate enough to work out in New York for 3 years, thought I would share with you what I did.

I worked for an international firm that have an office in the location that I wanted to go and work in. So I was hired in London, was sent to New York on the graduate training program for 6 months, and there the seeds were planted that I wanted to come back and work in New York. However, upon completion of my training, I was expected to work in London, which I did for another 4 years ..... yes it takes time, as but as a graduate you have very limited in depth knowledge, but thats ok, as that is to be expected. The only way that you get experience and knowledge is to WORK, it's like becoming a concert pianist, it takes years of training, education and practice, you cant become an experienced professional overnight.

I worked in different areas and teams whilst I was in London, after about 3 years once I had established my expertise in a particular area and I knew what I wanted to do, I approached my direct manager and asked if there was any opportunities to work in New York. He said that there was a possibility as the firm supported internal relocations, but I needed to find the role and the sponsor. Now, when your company supports you, do not expect information all the information that you need to be handed on a plate. You will have to manage the transition yourself.

First step, was to ask peer colleagues and other managers outside my team if they knew anyone that had relocated from NY to London. I knew of one colleague already (the New York accent was a bit of a giveaway), so I met her for coffee and asked her why she wanted to work in London and what she did. When you ask someone for help, or ask them to talk about their experiences I have very rarely found people to be unhelpful, but you need to do it either in person or virtually, you need the face to face communication, its a bit harder over email. Schedule the time that is mutually convenient. I spoke to 3 other women in London (no reason why I didn't speak to any men), so understand their journeys, their motivation and any challenges that they had experienced that I could avoid. I was unique in that I was single and not moving with a partner. They also gave me insight in aspects of what to expect.

Finding the job that you want to do in New York, so I arranged several meetings with managers outside my reporting chain, either visiting London on business or they ran global teams in New York and London. Use your resources and connections to find out who is hiring from which role, internal portals, colleagues etc. Also, be transparent, so that your manager can plan for someone to replace you when you transition. You have a huge network within your firm, use employee networks to extend that network further. After, I found the right role and Sponsor, the sponsor is the hiring manager and his management that will advocate for you during the transfer. You need find a reason why they want you and not someone locally, for me I was an SME expert in a particular type of trading business. This is important as the US government have very strict immigration and visa policies, so you need to know what criteria the company will use to transfer you over. I moved over on an inter-company management transfer which meant that I had a unique set of skills to the job in New York.

Human Resources will let you know what Relocation packages are 'applicable to you'. If you are a senior Managing Director and your firm wants you to move cities, they will offer you an incredibly generous relocation package, includes paying for your UK expenses such as a primary residence mortgage, kids school fees, car payment etc. as well as paying for your living expenses in New York. However, if you are less senior, and the driver is that you want to go rather than being asked, the package will not be as generous, but will be fair. It will pay for your flights, relocation of your personal effects, legal expenses and other costs etc. again do your research so that you know what to expect. Also, make sure that you find out about the tax implications of any costs that are paid to you, as you don't want to have a huge tax bill.

It's important to check that cost of living in your new city compared to where you are living currently, as you may need a salary increase to be able to support yourself. Human Resources can perform a comparative salary analysis on peers at the same level as you, however I always find that HR are more helpful when directed by the hiring manager.

Make sure that you understand conditions of the visa and the process, as this takes far longer than most people think. It took me a total of nine months to find a job in New York and move from London, it was definitely worth it, and I am glad that I did it. I did move back to London, but that was a personal choice simply because my parents live here.

When you get to there, remember to reach out to any friends or colleagues that you already have, as moving countries is hard enough without support from friends.

Thanks for reading.



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