Ten New Developments to Be Aware of Before Moving to The UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Relocating to the UK is not a hard nut to crack contrary to what many thought earlier. It’s a smooth journey for many who are conversant with the necessary things to know before moving to the UK. Meanwhile, September/October is a major relocation season, especially for Nigerians πŸ‡³πŸ‡¬ moving abroad. We have articulated ten things you should know to make your relocation journey smoother.

  1. Accommodation is the most important part of your bill – You will underestimate how important it is to have a roof over your head, till you come abroad. Accommodation is king. Ensure you have somewhere to stay – temporary or permanent – but somewhere you can go and rest your weary head. Rent here na pay as you go. You pay for one month, and then stay for one month. Any story, you have been evicted. So, always keep your rent ready. Make room for two month’s rent in case of ‘incasity’. 😁 Sites that can help you get accommodation include Spareroom, Rightmove, Openrent, Zoopla, Gumtree. You can get house listings in your local post office.
  2. Get your BRP and secure it – Your Biometric Resident Permit (BRP) is the legal evidence that you have a right to live and work in the UK. Collect if from the post office near you as soon as you arrive and guard it well. If you lose it, you won’t be able to get any job in the UK at least till you get a replacement, which usually takes 3 months.
  3. Keep an open mind – You are going to encounter different people and different circumstances. The only way to benefit from any of these is to keep an open mind. You will meet persons of various backgrounds, faiths, sexual orientation. Drop all stereotypes and relate to everyone equally.
  4. Mind the friends you keep – Build a circle of good friends! The importance of this cannot be overstated. Some of your solid friends can come in to stand as guarantors for you. Some may be able to give you a good character reference. If you mix with the wrong crowd, you can find yourself in the Police station or facing deportation as an accomplice to the crime of another person.
  5. Figure out your long term plan – What is your plan after your Masters? Go back to Nigeria? ☺️ Get a funded PhD in the US? πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Find a job that will sponsor a Tier 2 Visa? Whatever this long term plan is, start early to take deliberate steps towards it.
  6. Have a Backup Plan aka Plan B – Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. Make multiple plans to give yourself some options. A good Plan B may be getting Canadian PR. You can start the process early enough. By the time you are done with your Masters, you may have a job that will sponsor Tier 2 Visa as well as your Canadian PR. You now have the luxury of choice. You can have several backup plans – B, C and D. Just don’t go back to the trenches! πŸ˜‚
  7. Network, Network, Network – What industry do you want to play in? Network widely in that industry. Build a very good LinkedIn profile and use LinkedIn actively. Employers are there looking for talents and headhunting people. There are several jobs you can apply to from LinkedIn. Also, attend in-person events and conferences happening around you. When you go to these events, TALK TO PEOPLE. Closed mouths don’t get fed.
  8. Open online as well standard bank accounts – Online banks like Wise, Revolut, Monzo can help you set up an account in minutes. Of the 3, I prefer Wise (formerly Tranferwise). It can help you have accounts in various currencies and you can create jars for savings. Your bank account statement also serves another purpose – you can use it as a proof of address and this is required in most employment processes. You can also open an account with the traditional banks – Lloyds, HSBC, Natwest, Barclays. This will require an in-person appointment in their offices.
  9. Plan your finances – Abroad is not Nigeria. Unless you are earning tons of money, you cannot leave your finances to chance. The bills will press you. Allocate your income properly – accommodation, feeding and other living expenses. Look for deals – many shops have it and also look for items in discount. There is no shame in saving money! What makes you wealthy is not how much you earn, but how much of this you can keep.
  10. Upskill, every chance you get – How do you climb the corporate ladder? How do you rise to the top in your industry? By upskilling! Take courses, certifications, examinations – anything that will position you for the next level. Also feel free to move sideways into any industry that you love and get started. As a Masters in Public Health student, I applied for and got into GapsSummit organized by the University of Cambridge and it got me started on my Tech journey. You can upskill vertically to climb in the same industry or laterally into another industry. Keep getting better. It is the only way to command value in the job market and the big paycheck that comes with it.

Credit: @Kelvin Alaneme, 2023.

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